Jay Cutler’s comfort level appears to be at all-time high
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter August 27, 2013 9:28PM
- DOWNLOAD: "The 50 Greatest Bears" eBook
- DOWNLOAD: "Brian Urlacher: Bear For Life" eBook
- DOWNLOAD: "Marc Trestman: 'Smartest Guy in the Room'" eBook
Updated: August 28, 2013 10:18AM
Jay Cutler’s reputation in the NFL is founded on his ‘‘cannon for an arm.’’ But in Marc Trestman’s offense, it’s going to take more than that.
‘‘The best thing that Jay did [against the Oakland Raiders on Friday] is he dropped back and got rid of the ball quickly,’’ Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. ‘‘He knew where to go. He knew how to throw it, and he knew who he was getting it to by play and by [the] coverage that he was seeing. That was a strong step in the right direction.’’
It remains to be seen if Cutler will blossom into an elite quarterback in Trestman’s offense. But he seems more comfortable with his coaches, his teammates and especially his offensive line than he ever has been.
A year ago, the subject of the offense, in particular the offensive line, drew only a tepid, hopeful response. ‘‘We can only do as much as [the line] can handle,’’ Cutler said at the time.
Fast forward to Tuesday. Though he was typically conservative, Cutler sounded almost excited about the offense’s potential.
‘‘We’re headed in the right direction,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘Coach Trestman and coach Kromer and all of the guys have done a good job of piling a lot of stuff on us and then limiting it back and trying to figure out what we’re good at and what we can be successful at. It’s been fun to see the progress the guys have made and how hard they’ve worked and studied throughout the offseason.’’
Asked if the Bears have found their best five offensive linemen, Cutler seemed satisfied that whether the current starters are the best, the Bears can win with them.
‘‘I just know that the five guys in front of me have been doing a really good job the last couple of games,’’ Cutler said.
That’s with two rookies starting — right guard Kyle Long and right tackle Jordan Mills.
‘‘They’ve done a great job,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘They want to be out there. They want to be the two guys starting in Week 1. They’ve done a lot in the last two games to hopefully solidify those spots. But we’ll see how it goes.’’
Though the Bears scored 27 points in the first half against the Raiders, Cutler isn’t about to get carried away. Is he more optimistic about this offense than the Bears’ last three offenses?
‘‘Everyone’s optimistic in the entire league, so I don’t think we can get caught up in where we’re at or where we’re going,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve just got to concentrate on what we’re doing and everyone making sure we’re doing the right thing.’’