Jay Cutler says hits hurt more mentally
By Mark Potash email@example.com October 12, 2011 10:04PM
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) shuttle passes during an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Updated: November 16, 2011 3:23PM
Jay Cutler looked fresh and relaxed when he met the media Wednesday, but he acknowledged — again — that trying to run a complicated offense while dodging linemen, escaping pressure and shaking off sacks takes a toll on him.
“Physically, it’s not that big of a deal,” Cutler said. “Mentally, it just speeds up my clock. It just makes me uneasy in the pocket. You take your eyes from downfield and you kind of check to see what’s going on in front of you, so [it’s more] psychologically and mentally [challenging] than anything. I don’t want to take the sack. I’m just trying to get rid of the ball as fast as possible.”
Hounded by the Detroit Lions defense on almost every play, Cutler was as artful as he’s been in two-plus seasons with the Bears in the 24-13 loss. He was 28-for-38 for 249 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 99.6 passer rating. That’s his highest passer rating in a loss in six NFL seasons.
Cutler was sacked three times — a fourth sack was nullified by a Lions penalty — and either hurried or hit on almost every other pass attempt. Penalties and negative plays helped put him in a bind. The average distance for a first down on his pass plays was 9.8 yards. Only five times was it fewer than five yards.
“When you’re jumping offsides, getting sacks, when you’re having incomplete balls — first-and-15, third-and-long, it’s tough to win ball games doing that,” he said.
Asked if he’s talked to offensive coordinator Mike Martz about running more plays where he can get rid of the ball quickly, Cutler answered with a dry “Yeah” and didn’t expound.
So Martz has told you he’s going to do that?
“I’m not saying anything,” Cutler said with a smile. “You guys talk to him today, don’t you?”
Martz usually speaks to the media on Wednesdays, but not this week.
“Whenever you talk to him, you can ask him,” Cutler replied. “I said I’m hoping. I’d like to see that happen.”
Cutler had most of his success against the Lions throwing on the run after being flushed out of the pocket. But designing plays like that is not likely an option, he said.
“This offense isn’t really geared for a lot of rollout, play-action type stuff,” Cutler said. “We just don’t do that. So to implement that six games [into the season] is kind of hard.”