Mike Martz said Tuesday that quarterback Jay Cutler is so smart it can be "intimidating."
The Bears' offensive coordinator spoke to reporters after the ceremony honoring center Olin Kreutz and rookie receiver Johnny Knox as recipients of the Brian Piccolo Award, which is given each year to the veteran and rookie who best exemplify courage, loyalty, dedication and sense of humor.
"Better than I thought," Martz said when asked how his relationship with the franchise quarterback was progressing. "I've got to smile because he has just been remarkable, he really has. He's so intelligent he can intimidate you. He really can. He is extremely bright, one of the smartest people I've been around. He's very humble, though. He loves this game. He has great passion for what he does."
Martz said he has yet to begin installing his system in earnest and is instead working with players on their fundamentals.
"We started with him with how he holds his hands under center to his stance underneath the center just like he was a high school quarterback," Martz said of Cutler. "We go back and re-train all the basic fundamentals the way we see it and he's bought into everything we do. He's been a dream for me. I couldn't ask for a better situation."
Coach Lovie Smith said the offense will score "a lot of points" next season. Martz sees now reason why it can't after examining the roster and seeing players during offseason workouts.
"The system allows you so much flexibility that you can take it in any direction you want to go," Martz said. "You can bend it toward the personnel you have but certainly when you look at the personnel in this group I don't see any limitations. This is going to be fun. This is as excited as I've been in a long time going into a season."
Martz went onto dismiss persistent speculation that Greg Olsen will not have a primary role in an offensive system that in the past has not emphasized the tight end.
"If there's a player who doesn't fit a system and he's a good player there's something wrong with the system, don't you think?," Martz said. "We will give everybody an opportunity."
Kreutz won the Piccolo Award, which is voted on by Bears' players, for a record fourth time and dedicated the honor to his fellow offensive linemen.
"You don't know until the pads go on and the season starts," the veteran said when asked how the line will perform in Martz's offense. 'I was just speaking to last year and how proud I was of the guys. A lot of times, when one group is receiving that much criticism, inside the room guys will turn on each other and not want to play together anymore and that did not happen in our room. Guys kept working hard together, playing together and working to get better. I think it showed at the end of the year. We didn't make the playoffs but the O-line continued to get better."
Kreutz said he was almost "100 percent" after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur from near his Achilles tendon. He also said he is excited to work with Martz and new offensive line coach Mike Tice.
"Mike Martz and Mike Tice have been everything as advertised," he said. "They are two of the top offensive minds in the business and it has been obvious since we started."