Bears

Bears: Gase's success with Cutler no surprise to McCoy

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Bears: Gase's success with Cutler no surprise to McCoy

Under Adam Gase, his fifth offensive coordinator in seven seasons as a Chicago Bear, Jay Cutler is having a breakthrough at age 32, and having it in precisely the area of his game that has been his greatest career shortcoming.

Gase’s primary mission statement going into the season was to reduce the interceptions and other turnovers that had become Cutler’s signature. After an interception-free game against the Minnesota Vikings,

Cutler’s interception percentage stands at 1.9, lowest of his career and among the rarified air of the NFL’s top 10 with 200 or more pass attempts.

Cutler, whose interceptions were noticeably absent even through training camp, has a current stretch of 51 pass attempts without an interception, going back to the Bears’ first possession of the third quarter of the Detroit game.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The turnaround is no surprise whatsoever to the NFL coach who was part of Gase’s emergence when the two were part of John Fox’s staff with the Denver Broncos.

Mike McCoy, now head coach of the San Diego Chargers, was on the Denver staff in 2009 when the Broncos traded Cutler to the Bears for Kyle Orton. Gase was Denver’s receivers coach and moved to quarterbacks coach under McCoy, which meant working together with Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning before McCoy went to San Diego and Gase stepped up to offensive coordinator in Denver.

“I think Adam wants to do whatever it takes to win,” McCoy said. “And I think we’ve proven over the past couple of years that we were together, that we’ll make the change to do what our players do best. We started out with Kyle back in the day and then we went to Tim and we changed and then we went to Peyton.

“You kind of do what your players do best. So he’s going to figure out what Jay does best and let him roll with that.”

The only real meaningful quarterback stat is obviously wins. But Gase’s approach, developed with McCoy in Denver, also translates into efficiency gains elsewhere.

Despite the season of turmoil for the offensive line, Cutler has been among the least-sacked quarterbacks in the NFL (nine). He has gone from being sacked on 6.6 percent of his dropbacks for his career to just 4.2 through his six games this season – a drop of more than one-third.

[MORE: Why the Bears stayed quiet at the trade deadline]

Meaning that Cutler is using his head and legs to play quarterback, not simply his arm – also part of the Gase plan, which McCoy has seen develop.

“I think the big thing is his attention to detail, his preparation,” McCoy said. “He lives at the office. I mean now that he has the three kids, he’s getting away more. Which is good for him.

“But he’s very smart, a very good football coach. He’s a good communicator with the players. I think all the [Denver] players you’d talk to, all those guys loved working with him. And Peyton. His success with Adam speaks for itself.

“I think it’s about being a better person than coach. And he gives everybody an opportunity to help the team win.”

And that involves bringing to Chicago what Gase learned in Denver working with McCoy, Manning and others.

“When he first got here he went through his relationship with Peyton and how it worked throughout the week and in the offseason and what Peyton liked, what Peyton didn’t like,” Cutler said. “You’re talking about a lot of experience there and a lot of success. I think Adam had a good feel and picked his brain pretty clean over the last three years. That’s been able to help me too.”

Mitch Trubisky will reportedly start for the Bears' Week 7 matchup with the New Orleans Saints

Mitch Trubisky will reportedly start for the Bears' Week 7 matchup with the New Orleans Saints

We'd been circling this news all week, and now it's getting closer to reality: late Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported that QB Mitch Trubisky will be under center for the Bears' matchup with the Saints this Sunday:

Trubisky was a full participant in practice from Wednesday to Friday of last week, but had still been listed as questionable up to this point. He returns after dislocating his left shoulder in Week 4 against the Vikings and missing the team's Week 5 loss to the Raiders.

The news comes at a crucial juncture of the season for the Bears, who are currently 3-2 and in third place in the NFC North.

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Puppy Pick 'Em Puppy Walter makes his Week 7 picks for Bears-Saints

Puppy Pick 'Em Puppy Walter makes his Week 7 picks for Bears-Saints

When the Bears announced their 2019 schedule, we decided to have some puppies reveal the opponents. Now, we have taken it a step further. We have a puppy that will make weekly picks for the Bears games.

It is Week 7!

Walter's choices in Week 7 are a chance to go to Mardi Gras or a celebration of St. Patrick's day in Chicago. Bears fans should be excited about his decision in Week 7... and now we're all looking forward to St. Patrick's Day again!

The 12-week old dachshund was hand-selected by the scouts at NBC Sports Chicago and hails from One Tail at a Time rescue. He came from a shelter in Alabama and was transported to Chicago.  At just 7 weeks old and without his mom, he beat a deadly virus and spent some time in the doggie ER, where he healed and became strong again. 

Now, Walter is ready to rumble between the well-manicured lines of Sweetness Field. He is NOW adoptable via onetail.org and has two adorable sisters named Martha and Millie, who are already adopted. 

Walter will pick the games throughout the NFL season, including the playoffs and we hope that his nose follows the scent to the Bears every week, all the way to that magical game in Miami in February. Narrated by Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the White Sox.  

It is time for Puppy Pick ‘Em presented by Nissan.

To learn more: www.onetail.org