Sep 22, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) runs the ball past Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Bears won the game, 40-23. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Jay Cutler Project Progressing For Chicago Bears?


The Chicago Bears made many moves this off-season to improve their team, but when it comes to winning in 2014, it always comes back to Jay Cutler.  Is the veteran starter poised for his best season yet?

Marc Trestman sees physical development in Cutler

One of the more refreshing things going around Halas Hall the past couple years for Bears fans and media is the open honesty coming from both the top.  None exemplify that more than head coach Marc Trestman.  When asked what were the most essential requirements for improving the offense in Year 2 of his system, Trestman did not beat around the bush.  He stated quite plainly that the health of quarterback Jay Cutler was paramount.  Since 2010, Cutler has missed at least one game every season and more often than not it has hurt Chicago both on the scoreboard and in the standings.  Last year was another example as he missed five games with a combination of groin and ankle injuries.  This is something Cutler himself has also understood and set about using this off-season to improve his durability.  Trestman said in an interview that Jay is “bigger, he’s stronger than a year ago, and he has really focused on staying physically well for the entire season.”  Some of the credit can go to teammate and friend Brandon Marshall, who hosted Cutler and a number of other Chicago Bears personnel at his workout facility in Florida.  After seeing the impact it had on Alshon Jeffery, such a commitment to physical improvement is almost certain to help Jay as well.

Bears hope Jordan Palmer and backup race is a preseason sideshow

Ultimately, the goal is obvious.  Keeping Jay Cutler upright and on the field will increase the chances of winning.  The priority for the Bears is to ensure that the pending battle between Jordan Palmer, David Fales and Jimmy Clausen for the backup job vacated by Josh McCown is nothing more than a mildly entertaining preseason storyline.  What McCown accomplished last season was not the norm.  It’s rare for backup quarterbacks to have a winning record when the starter is out for any length of time.  Marc Trestman knows this, which is why his priority was and remains keeping Cutler healthy.  Aside from being the most talented quarterback by far on the roster, he is now firmly entrenched as a team leader.  Having him in the huddle for 16 games will create rhythm, stability and above all production.  Those are all keys to winning football games in the NFL.

Tags: Chicago Bears Jay Cutler Jordan Palmer Marc Trestman

  • Cutler2Marshall312

    The progression of one Mr Jay Cutler…Some would say that Jay Cutler won’t stay healthy m, On ESPN 1000 Brandon Marshall said Jay has packed on a some muscle preparing for the season, Cutler knows that the season is on his shoulders and Trestmen has drilled into the Bears mind how important pass protection is especially the running backs..In year 2 the O Line should be more in tune with each other as well as the rest of the offense..And you can never count out a man who is just simply tired of losing #Motivation

    • Erik Lambert

      Some might not see it like I do, but I believe that loss to Green Bay was a blessing in disguise. It put even more motivation and focus into this team than making the playoffs probably would’ve. Jay can see his deficiencies starting to disappear from protection to weapons and coaching. That just leaves himself, which is why he’s worked all off-season on his body and his mechanics. I will be really shocked if he doesn’t have a career year in 2014.

      • BearsDitkaBears

        The loss to Green bay definitely meant something – it meant that we should have kept McCown and let Cutler backup someone in a different town. After McCown torched the Cowboys w a near perfect QBR, Jay barely beat the…..Cleveland browns…..got smoked by 40+ points vs the Eagles and then choked vs Green Bay…AGAIN?! And he cant stay healthy.
        Im a diehard bears fan and I’m starving for a superbowl victory. But Jay just isn’t good nor is a leader. Rex Grossman took the Bears further in 1/2 the years as Cutler. Also, in 5 years as a starter in Chi, Cutler’s never won more games than Orton did as a rookie X-( Why did Emery pay him 18MM/yr?!?!

        • Erik Lambert

          Choose your arguments carefully, BDB. McCown posted that perfect QBR against what was the worst defense in 2013 (maybe ever) and did at home in frigid conditions against a team from Texas. Cutler was in his first game back after five weeks on the road against a Cleveland defense that ranked 9th in the league last year. Cutler did not choke against Green Bay in the finale. He led three successive scoring drives in the 2nd half to get the lead back and had a 103.8 QBR, easily his best ever against the Packers. It’s already been established it was a series of eye-gougingly ugly plays by the defense that cost them. As for Grossman and Orton, they played with way better teams, especially defenses. The two years Cutler has had a top 15 defense, he has gone 11-5 and 10-6 respectively and that was with Johnny Knox and Devin Hester as his top receivers. Sorry but your logic is flawed.

          • BearsDitkaBears

            EL – I appreciate the positive spin on the situation. I’ll take anything gives me confidence with the most important position on da bears

          • Erik Lambert

            Happy to help!

          • Cutler2Marshall312

            What people don’t understand is put Brady,Brees, or Rodgers in Cutlers shoes the last 5 years…I bet my last pay check that we wouldn’t be talking about those players the same way we are today..Atrocious O Line, mediocrity from the OC and play calling…3 OC’s in 3 years, pedestrian WRs or good numbers 2s horrible number 1s..One thing that Brady,Brees & Rogers all have in common and what makes the so good is STABILITY…they’ve had stability through out there career from management, to coaching, to having the same damn OC for over 5 years apiece…a lot of people don’t appreciate stability until you don’t have it, everyone needs it, Even a QB

          • Erik Lambert

            Stability is the key to thriving in any profession, not just football. Cutler started to really play well in Denver when he had stability. People always forget he went to a Pro Bowl. The guy can play. We know this. It’s just a question of giving him every opportunity to excel.

  • Dr. Johnny Nacho

    The offense is fully stacked up and down from up front to all skilled position players. The article is right on stating that health is the only thing that can falter this offense in 2014.

    • Erik Lambert

      Health and what’s going on between all their ears.

    • BigJonLilJon

      My only fear with this awesomely high powered offence is that Cutler will get locked on to Marshall and force balls to him. This has been his pattern in the past. If he spreads ball around a bit more… he will have a huge season!!

      • Erik Lambert

        People forget part of the reason he forced the ball to Marshall in the past was because of his lack of trust in certain plays. That happens to quarterbacks in new offenses. I believe he learned to trust Trestman’s system late in the year and should be even better this year. Besides, Jeffery and Martellus Bennett received plenty of chances when Cutler was starting.