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Joniak's Journal: Focus On Marshall Won't Affect His Game Preparation

By Jeff Joniak-

(CBS) The Bears (1-1) face the Jets (1-1) on the road Monday night. Here's what is on my mind heading into the matchup.

First Impression

Several times in the last couple of days, concerned fans have asked me if the focus on Brandon Marshall will affect his focus on football. I don't see that happening, knowing how serious his preparation is mentally and physically to get ready for a game. He used nearly an hour of his time to unload some things off his chest related to his past, present and future at his news conference Thursday. It's over. He didn't practice Thursday, giving his ankle another day to quiet down, but his treatment never stops. He's as relentless in his pursuit to be ready to play as he is attacking a pass or a defender after the catch. He does everything to the extreme. It's who he is. I don't envision an issue with his performance mindset even under another set of bright lights on Monday night.

Second thought

Starting right tackle Jordan Mills impressively embraces the history of the NFL. While a number of players don't even watch football or aren't are interested what has happened before them, Mills owns unique respect for the men who played and coached in the sport. For example, he knew exactly what Buddy Ryan accomplished as defensive coordinator of the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles and the men who played for him.

"Man, the 46 defense, the head coach of the Eagles and brought that there." Mills said. "That mentality he had of we are going to kick your behind no matter what. It's transferred from him to his sons (Rex and Rob) and they are the same way."

I'll have more from Mills coming up in Monday night's WBBM pregame audio version of Joniak's Journal.

Third degree

Rex Ryan's Jets defense has blitzed 62 percent of the time on third down pass plays and 37 percent on first down pass plays. In those situations, they've recorded five blitz sacks in two games. Chicago coach Marc Trestman made it clear the Jets pull the trigger on zero blitzes, sending at least seven bodies 25 times in the first two games, after only 20 such calls all of last season. According to Stats Inc., Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is 10-of-14 in blitz passing situations in the first two weeks, with one interception and one sack. In 2013, Cutler fired five touchdowns against the blitz with two interceptions and 10 sacks, but he had a solid 97.2 quarterback rating in such situations.


I use Twitter to follow what is going on in the world, but I don't tweet very often. I was honestly blown away by the reaction to Devin Hester's record-setting return touchdown Thursday night by those of you who enjoyed my calls of his previous 19 return touchdowns. It was humbling. The volume of responses and references to my characterization of Hester as "ridiculous" back in 2006 certainly caught fire and became synonymous with his unique playmaking ability. All I've ever wanted to do was chart the history of this great sport and be the eyes for those who aren't in the stadium to witness it. Hester was driven to get that record and how and where it happened certainly was good theatre.

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