Corey Wootton will face up against a familiar opponent this Sunday in the Chicago Bears. Wootton played for the Bears for four years and grew close with some and got to know a lot of players on that team.
The Bears have not had the season they wanted to so far in 2014. They are 3-6 and last in the NFC North. They also are coming off an embarrassing 55-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers on national television. After something like that happens to a team it can affect their psyche, but Wootton believes that the Bears are going to give the Minnesota Vikings everything that they have when they meet up at Soldier Field on Sunday.
“It’s a big game for them coming off a loss, and a kind of lopsided game,” he said. “So they are definitely going to be ready to prove and come out ready to go.
“Guys in this league, you have to be mentally tough. Week in and week out, that’s how you got to approach it. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out in your favor – you know wins and losses – but I expect their best effort.”
The Bears started out 2-1 and the 2014 season was looking very promising for them. After that, however, things started to unravel, and fast. They lost their next two games – beat the Atlanta Falcons – and then lost three more in a row.
After losing to New England 51-23, the Bears had a bye week and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to stop the bleeding, get healthy and fix the things that they were doing wrong. That obviously did not happen as they went to Green Bay the following week and let another team put up more than 50 points on them.
Wootton, however, does not think much of these blowouts. He still says the Bears are a good football team and have just gotten unlucky.
“Green Bay is a talented team,” Wootton said. “They have a great offense, the defense has been playing well lately, so they played against (a hot team) and sometimes that happens in the NFL. You see week in and week out, sometimes there’s blowouts in the league and there is no doubt in my mind they’re going to bring their best shot for this week.”
Whether it is just bad luck or there are serious problems in Chicago, one player, quarterback Jay Cutler, has gotten a lot of the blame for the way the team has been performing this year.
One reason he has been shouldering the blame is because of the amount of turnovers he has been producing – he has thrown two interceptions in four separate games, and 10 total. There has been talk in the past about Cutler’s attitude and that he might quit out on the football field – most notably in 2011 when he left the NFC title game with an injury that many at the time didn’t believe was serious – but Wootton believes his former teammate has done a good job handling the scrutiny and will eventually change people’s attitudes.
“I think (Cutler) has been doing a good job,” Wootton said. “I think the biggest is go out there and try and do his best, just like anybody out there. That’s really the biggest thing.”
With the playoff hopes seemingly disappeared in Chicago, the Vikings will need a win more as they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive, and you can bet Wootton will do everything he can to help his current team defeat his former one.
Former Bear Wootton expects Bears’ best
Viking Update Top Stories
Vikings shut out from compensatory picksWhile four teams were awarded four compensatory picks each in the 2017 NFL Draft and 16 teams got at least one compensatory pick, the Minnesota Vikings weren't among them.
Scout NFL Network12:29 PM
Podcast: Keys to Shurmur, keys for SouhanJim Souhan arrives late, rants on technology and we eventually dive into Pat Shurmur’s strengths and more Minnesota Vikings topics.
Viking Update8:32 AM
Spielman saw progress in Kalil before injuryThe Minnesota Vikings will be looking for a left tackle in free agency, but that might not exclude their own free agent, Matt Kalil.
Viking Update7:15 AM
Outside Linebacker: Replacing GreenwayIt’s been almost two months since the Vikings’ last game and we’re still waiting for the announcement of Chad Greenway’s retirement. Who will replace him? There are candidates.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 10:44 PM
Spielman: Bradford in prime of his careerWith the benefit of hindsight, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he would do the Sam Bradford trade again in a millisecond.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 5:15 PM