Jay Cutler gives rookie QB David Fales enthusiastic welcome
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter May 20, 2014 9:02PM
Sixth-round pick David Fales aspires to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but for now he is Jay Cutler’s backup. | Nam Y. Huh/AP
Updated: June 23, 2014 4:00PM
Jay Cutler’s congratulatory, welcome-to-the-team phone call would have been good enough for rookie quarterback David Fales. Instead, Cutler made his line available to Fales for anything.
“I text him here and there about practice and stuff,” Fales said.
Cutler’s support of Fales speaks to his comfort level now that the Bears are considered his team more than at any other point in his Chicago tenure.
During minicamp last weekend, Fales, a sixth-round pick from San Jose State, texted Cutler with questions about his mindset during the progressions of some plays and about the footwork he uses for some concepts. He also would tell Cutler how his days were going with Marc Trestman and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
“He was giving me tips,” Fales said.
Does Cutler reply immediately?
“Yeah,” Fales said. “He’s good with that. He’s just a genuine guy. He truly cares. And he knows the game.”
Drafting a quarterback was always on the table. Cavanaugh said he evaluated 19 in the draft.
“I had a good grade on David,” Cavanaugh said. “I didn’t know [the Bears were going to draft him], but I was glad we got him.”
The chemistry of the quarterbacks room is important, and Cavanaugh believes that Fales will mesh with the other quarterbacks. Fales already is close with Jordan Palmer having trained with him.
With Trestman and Cutler, the quarterbacks room tends to have a unique intellectual side to it. Fales impressed Cavanaugh by articulating some of the Bears’ pass principles.
“That room is quietly competitive,” Cavanaugh said. “It becomes competitive when it becomes obvious that somebody doesn’t know something; then it becomes a little tough. I don’t think [Fales is] going to be stumped by anything. He’s going to be able to answer questions and follow along. … When it’s his turn [to speak], he’ll be able to spit out what he’s responsible for. I don’t have any doubt that he’ll fit in.”
Coming off consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, Fales definitely has a competitive side. Asked if he aspires to be a starter, Fales said, “Obviously, yeah.”
That said, he’s a backup right now, competing with Palmer and Jerrod Johnson for two roster spots. The Bears have a preference for keeping three quarterbacks to guard against injury, but also for familiarity.
“If you can afford to do it, it’s nice to have a third one available,” Cavanaugh said.
Fales described Trestman’s playbook as “QB-friendly and “really cut and dry.”
“It’s a lot of timing and sticking to your footwork,” he said. “There’s no gray area. Everyone’s going to know in that quarterbacks room why you made a decision. Everyone is on the same page.”
And if he’s not, Fales always can turn to Cutler.