Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler is entering what could be his most important season of his entire career with the Bears in 2013. Cutler is entering the final year of his current contract with the Bears, and with a new coaching staff in place to go along with improvements made to the offensive line and tight end positions, the Bears’ quarterback must succeed in 2013 or else he may find himself on the free agent market.
Cutler is entering this season with yet another offensive coordinator and has already impressed the Bears’ new coaching staff. New Chicago Bears’ quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh has been impressed with what he has seen from Cutler this off-season.
“Very impressed with Jay,” Cavanaugh said. “Very impressed. He’s borderline football brilliant. I think he gets it. I think he knows the game. I think he knows offensive schemes. I think he knows defenses.” -Matt Cavanaugh, Chicago Tribune
This is something that we have heard before about Cutler. That is the praise that former Bears’ offensive coordinator Mike Martz had for Cutler during his time on the Bears’ coaching staff under the Lovie Smith regime.
Previously, Cutler has been unable to call audibles and adjust plays on offense. That is something that Cutler was allowed to do last season with the Bears and did so with some success. Going forward, it appears that Cutler will have continued authoritative powers for the Bears’ offense.
“I think he’s embracing how we want to approach things,” he said. “There has been a lot of give and take. We didn’t come in here with a mandate that this is exactly how we’re doing it and there is no leeway. We wanted his feedback. He’s been willing to do that. It’s a good working relationship now.”-Cavanaugh, Chicago Tribune
That is something that Cutler may not have had previously with the Bears. Think about the past offensive coordinators for the Bears while Cutler was the team’s starting quarterback.
There was Ron Turner, who was already in place as the team’s offensive coordinator when the Bears’ acquired Cutler. Neither Turner nor Cutler were ever able to get on the same page with one another and that resulted in an inept Bears’ offense.
The communication problems between coordinator and quarterback were believed to be solved when the Bears replaced Turner with Mike Martz. Cutler and Martz appeared to click in 2010 when Cutler led the Bears to the NFC Championship while having a quarterback rating of 86.3–the highest it has been with the Bears at the end of a season. The relationship between Cutler and Martz grew estranged in the second season when Cutler grew increasingly frustrated with Martz.
The Bears went the opposite way of Martz in 2011 by hiring Mike Tice as the offensive coordinator. Though, it was clear that Cutler never respected Tice as an offensive coordinator in a season that was plagued with inconsistency from the offense.
That is why it is encouraging to hear Cavanaugh say there is a “good working relationship” between Cutler and the Bears’ new coaching staff. Because that is something that Cutler has never had while playing with the Bears.
If that relationship remains in place throughout the entire season, then that should spell success for the Bears’ offense and Cutler. For Cutler, that also may signal more money in his pocket.