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Jay Cutler concerned about Bears’ offensive line

Students Perspectives Charter Schools’ Calumet Campus  8131 South May Street received free diabetes screening school auditorium—as well as personal

Students at Perspectives Charter Schools’ Calumet Campus at 8131 South May Street received free diabetes screening in the school auditorium—as well as a personal visit from Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. More than 100 Perspectives students, ages 12-18, will be screened during the in-school testing week, May 14-18, by volunteers from the University of Illinois Hospital. Cutler also talked with reporters.| Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 16, 2012 8:16AM



During an appearance Monday at a Chicago school, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler looked lean and sounded upbeat about an ­array of topics, from his weapons to his position coach to the impending arrival of his first child.

Yet he seemed to confirm a potential problem that could threaten a championship run in 2012: the offensive line.

“You know, the offensive line is definitely going to be a concern and seeing where those guys are going to fit in and seeing what five we go with,” Cutler said when asked a general question about the excitement for the upcoming season. “If Gabe [Carimi] comes back, if J’Marcus [Webb] pans out. Where are we going to put Chris Williams? There are some question marks there. Until we really get that resolved and get our front five settled in, we’ve got some work to do on offense.”

Cutler isn’t questioning the lack of an upgrade, but he isn’t going along with the optimism expressed by coach Lovie Smith, general manager Phil Emery and offensive coordinator Mike Tice in recent weeks, either.

Cutler, who was sacked an astounding 75 times in the last 25 games, didn’t even jump at a chance to soften his take on the offensive line when asked if the new offense — which won’t put as much pressure on the line as Mike Martz’s did the last two seasons — would help the beleaguered unit.

“It helps some, but it’s not a cure all by any means,” Cutler said. “They’re still going to be asked to protect. There are going to be times it’s third-and-eight, third-and-10 and we’re going to have to take seven-step drops and we’re going to have the longer route and they’re going to have to protect.”

Cutler still is pleased with the changes the Bears have made.

He’ll reunite with Jeremy Bates, who was his quarterbacks coach with the Denver Broncos when he made the Pro Bowl, and highly productive wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

In addition, he’s having “fun” working with Tice.

“We’ve got a really good group of guys,” Cutler said. “It’s fun to go to work.”

On Sunday, Bates said the offense will utilize Cutler’s athleticism more.

“He does a good job of keeping his eyes down the field and making plays, so we’re going to take advantage of that,” Bates said of the possibility of Cutler rolling out more. “He’s a good athlete — a great athlete — so we’re definitely going to get him out in space and try to make some plays.”

Cutler would welcome that.

“I love to,” he said of rolling out. “We’re doing a lot of stuff we were successful with in Denver and kind of going back and looking at that film and incorporating some of the things we’ve done here in the past. So it’s a lot of give and take.”



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