Jay Cutler has had an up and down career with the Bears. He’s shown flashes of greatness (he led the Bears to an NFC Championship game). He has also shown a maddening ability to throw interceptions at the most inopportune moments.
To be fair, Cutler has had a plethora of offensive linemen who failed to block for him, receivers who dropped many of his passes, and offensive coordinators to call the right plays and maximize his abilities.
In came Marc Trestman.
Under Trestman, Cutler had a good season. He threw 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He had a career-high 89.2 passer rating. He did that in 10 1/2 games. In 14 1/2 games in 2012, he threw 19 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and an 81.3 passer rating.
Now that he’s starting his second season with Trestman, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, Cutler has what he needs-an offensive line that ranked in the top-five, a world-class receiving corps with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett (and possibly Marquess Wilson), and a new longterm contract paying him $54 million guaranteed. There can no longer be any more excuses.
In order to make the jump to lead the Bears into the promised land, Cutler needed to buy into Trestman and company’s system. Under Lovie Smith and three offensive coordinators and three quarterback coaches in four years, it didn’t seem that Cutler bought in. After a successful first season, Cutler has bought into the plan and has trust that the offensive minds helping him are actually doing that.
Trestman and Kromer are the architects of the offense, but the one in the trenches day in and day out, always there with Cutler, getting him to trust his instructions, is Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh has seen Cutler’s progression, and loves what he has shown, in particular his willingness to take instructions, no matter how difficult it may be.
Speaking to reporters during minicamp, Cavanaugh lauded Cutler. “I’ve seen incredible progress. When we got in here last year and evaluated him, we had a real good conversation with him about certain things that every quarterback should do.
“We said, ‘Jay it might not be natural, but we want you to try it.’ And he did.”
“To his credit, he’s taken every suggestion we’ve given and he’s embraced it. From how he holds the ball to how he lines up in the`Gun’ pre-snap to how he drops back, to his throwing base to his follow-through. Every little fundamental we’ve talked to him about, he’s embraced, and it’s like night & day.”
The trust in Chicago has gone both ways. The Bears went all-in with Jay Cutler, trusting that he is the right leader for this team. Now, if they can keep Cutler healthy then special things may happen in Chicago.