BOURBONNAIS, Ill. Jay Cutler has had a lot of excuses made for him even when he wasnt necessarily asking for them or making them for himself:
- He is on his (third? fourth? fifth? 23rd?) offensive coordinator in the past four yearsweekshours.
- He lacks good receivers.
- He lacks a good offensive line in front of him.
- He struggles in night games because of his diabetes.
His magic right arm got him a pass, literally and figuratively. The reasoning was that his talent was such that any problems couldnt be his fault.
Now he doesnt have any excuses, nor is he asking for them.
This is the most comfortable I think Ive been going into a camp with the offense and what were doing scheme-wise and the talent around me, Cutler declared as he arrived at his fourth Bears training camp (under his third different offensive coordinator, if anyone is counting).
Jeremy Bates, QB coach) has come in and installed some of the stuff I was comfortable with in Denver. Mike Tice has a good feel for what I like to do, how to put guys in position to be successful.
Im happy with it. Weve got some tweaking and stuff weve got to do so everyones on the right page but everything weve done in the offseason has put us in the right direction.
Cutler is in need of some right directions.
He has finished his last two seasons watching from the sidelines, with an NFC-Championship game knee injury in 2010, with a broken thumb in 2011.
Of Cutlers passer ratings over six NFL seasons, the two lowest (2009, 2011) have come in Chicago. That, too, is a must-reverse, along with a career-low completion percentage (58.0) last season.
Cutler, like coach Lovie Smith, is under contract through next season. Neither has the luxury of excuses anymore.
Its a win-now league. I think every year youre expected to win, win big, go to the playoffs and compete for a Super Bowl. I dont think its anything new to this group.
Lovies seems to be one of those guys they say is on the hot seat every year. We like having Lovie around and were going to do our best to keep him around here.