So, imagine me standing in the back of at large party boat waiting to talk to Jay Cutler before his "Vegas Night Charity Cruise" debarks from Navy Pier on Thursday evening, as beautiful model-type girls in party dresses walk past.
The Jay Cutler Foundation charity event benefitted kids with juvenile diabetes. Finally, No. 6 comes on board, dressed to the nines.
"It's the first time we've done it in Chicago so it's kind of exciting," Cutler said of his his charity event. "We put it together a couple months ago so we didn't know what was going to happen but Chicago really got behind it. It means a lot to me and it's special that everybody came out to the event."
Of course, the person perhaps most responsible for the Bears success this season had to answer some football related questions.
"We're getting ready to go," Cutler said when asked about training camp, which opens in Bourbonnais when players report on July 29. "Everybody is kind of excited. It's been a month and a couple days and it's getting kind of long. I'm getting a lot of text messages and calls. Everybody is getting back into town and getting ready to go."
What follows is a transcript from Cutler's question-and-answer session before the cruise. I also had an exclusive interview with the Bears quarterback after he finished with the masses. What Cutler said in those interviews will be featured in stories in Saturday's and Sunday's editions of the Sun-Times. It's good stuff. Be sure to check it out.
Here's a transcript of what he said to the cameras. The questions are in caps:
HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT YOU'VE MADE GREAT STRIDES SINCE [OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR] MIKE MARTZ CAME ABOARD?
"We're going to see. We left minicamp and OTAs really high. All the guys were excited. You can see a totally different attitude offensively from all the guys so it's going to be exciting. We'll see how it works. We've got to get through three or four preseason games and really see what happens [on the field].
GiVE US THREE REASONS WHY YOU THINK THE BEARS WILL BE BETTER THIS SEASON.
"Defensively, we've got [Brian Urlacher] back and we've got Julius Peppers. Offensively, Mike Martz and just being together for another year. If you take those three reasons, I don't know how we couldn't be better."
HOW HAS MIKE MARTZ TWEAKED YOUR APPROACH TO THE GAME?
"Mike has a philosophy. It's different. It's cutting edge. He presses a lot of boundaries offensively in what you can do and what you can't do. You've got to accept those. If you don't accept it, if you don't buy into it 100 percent, you're going to struggle. Luckily enough, with a young team, with a team that has a lot to prove, it's easy to do that. Guys are there, they're eager, they can see the benefits of what can happen when they do buy into it. It's been a fun four-or-five months of working with him and seeing the evolution of the offense and how it works on the field."
HOW MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH BEING THE CAPTAIN OF THIS OFFENSE?
"It takes some time. You come into a team that's very veteran dominated like last year with guys that are really established and have been here and you throw a guy in like me in my fourth year with a lot of expectations and I think that leadership role and captain role, you assume it's going to work, but it's like anything else, like any other business, any other situation. You have to earn that respect. It takes time. Guys have to be around you. They have to see how you work on and off the field. They have to see you in the weight room, see you there in the summer, see you grinding and [they need to see] that it's important to you. I just think that extra year with the guys and [them seeing] what it means to me and how dedicated I am to this offense now, everybody is going to buy into it a little bit more."
As for his foundation and it's fight against juvenile diabetes, Cutler said: "We've been working on this for a while. It's been 2 1/2-3-years now with diabetes and it's been up and down. I visited a lot of hospitals and tried to help people out and this is what it's all about, giving back to the kids.
"I got it when I was 25 almost 26 years old and I can't imagine having it when you're 5-6-7-years-old and having to deal with some of the things that you have to deal with to be able to maintain and really control the disease."
To support the the Jay Cutler Foundation, which we've plugged on this blog before, send your donation to: Jay Cutler Foundation, 910 West Van Buren Street, PO Box 414, Chicago, IL 60607
As I said, tune in to the Sun-Times Saturday and Sunday for more from my exclusive interview with Cutler. It's good stuff. I promise.