Chicago Sun-Times

Cutler delivers state of the offense address

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Jay Cutler may not be as comfortable in Mike Martz's offense as he would like to be, but he's more comfortable than he may have appeared thus far during the preseason.

"I'm getting there," Cutler said Tuesday. "The more snaps we get the closer we're going to get.

"Like I said, once we get into the regular season we'll be fine with our game plans and we'll know exactly what kind of defense we're going to get and what kind of calls we're going to get on third-and-short, third-and-long and in the red zone. Once those things become a little more clear this offense is definitely going to take shape."

The Bears first-team offense failed to score in Saturday night's 14-9 preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field, which was supposed to be the best indicator of what we could expect during the regular season starts.

"Guys don't want to make mistakes," Cutler said. "They want to be perfect. In that third game we put a lot of pressure on them [to go] out there and treat it exactly like a game and we had to do everything right and this was a last dress rehearsal and we had to put on a good performance. The guys were a little bit tense. They're trying not to make mistakes and they're trying hard. It's not because of a lack of effort. We're just still learning a little bit."

As the preseason has continued, there has been a growing concern about what the offense has and hasn't accomplished and how it might impact the team this season.

"It's preseason," he said. "We're doing some stuff just to get it on film and just to run plays and get them game-ready and season ready. We're not calling exactly what we want to call against exactly the right defense. We're not checking anything or doing anything like that. We're not making a ton of adjustments on the fly, either. Is there reason for concern? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm not concerned. I don't think anybody in that locker room is really concerned about where were at. We're happy with where we're at and there's room to improve, absolutely, but we'll be ready Week 1."

Cutler has been sacked 10 times in three games. If team keep pressuring him at that rate, Cutler was asked if it would be difficult for Martz to use his entire playbook.

"We're going to open it up," Cutler said. "Those guys are going to have to make it happen over there. They played a lot better this past game. Going back and looking at the film I was a little edgy in the pocket moving around sometimes. I could've helped them a little bit. That's where we learn. With Lance [Louis] in there and Chris [Williams] on the outside we're still gelling together. Some of the calls are a little bit new to them as well in terms of what we're doing protection wise. It's all coming together. Once we hit full stride we'll be OK."

Cutler said the offense's struggles this preseason hasn't made him feel any less optimistic about the system or the upcoming season.

"I'm good," he said. "I met with Mike a lot since the preseason started, just talking through plans, we're going to do more and more of that once the season gets closer. From week to week, I'm sure we'll have lots of film sessions and going over the game plan, but I feel good, I feel good about this system. I understand it and know what we're trying to accomplish out there. I'm ready for the real games to start."

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I believe what Jay says and I'll refrain from making any judgements until the season begins. The bears aren't the only offense struggling this preseason. Dallas has scored one touchdown and Romo has been sacked consistently, NY Giants have been horrible on offense, the NY Jets too. Martz and Cutler will adapt, not so sure about Lovie and his 3rd and longs.

If your gonna take anything from the pre-season so far this season, its this, Julius Peppers is the real deal, and Johnny Knox is probably gonna end up leading Chicago in receiving this season. Out of all of Cutler's receivers, Knox seems to be in sync the most with him. Knox and Peppers are a couple bright spots heading into Detroit and week one.

I'd be lying if I said the pass protection isn't a concern heading into the regular season. I still think the line is gonna be alright. Like Cutler said, their learning a new scheme protection wise. Same with Cutler and his receivers, its gonna take reps for Chicago's young linemen to get this scheme down and gel, once they do, I think their gonna be alright.

The real test for Martz and his offense will be during the regular season when they actually game plan for certain defenses, and to see what kind of abjustments Martz can make on the fly. Thats gonna be key GO BEARS!!

Zibgnew - you speak with logic! So many people want to throw Cutler under the bus because of the two picks. Before those two he was doing fine.

Fickle Fans!

And you wonder why pro athletes don't like sports writers and fickle fans. One day they love you the next they say you stink. Sad!

I'm still excited about this year and believe we are going to surprise the NFL. I'm more worried about the safety play on "D" then anything going on with the "O". Jay will have a great year and we'll be fine. It could be worse, we could still have Ron Turner!

Jay is trying to lead and he is trying show a strong front but I doubt this is what he thinks. Because he is not playing like he is talking. I am not talking about the picks I could care less about them, I am talking about his happy feat in the third game. He got hammered 2 pre-season games in a row and as soon as it started again in game 3 he got happy feet. That's a sign he does not trust the line and he is scared back there. They are not doing their job and he is the one getting nailed for it.

I have been sceptical of Martz and his offense sense the hire and I just don't think it is the right fit for Cutler. He is an athletic mobil QB with a cannon arm who was brought up in a WCO, me and Joe F talked about this right after the hire. His arm may be to strong for this offense. Sounds crazy right? Well think about it, have you ever seen Cutler just flick his wrist and launch the ball/ Sure you have, shoots out like a cannon, well thats his touch pass. Timing requires touch, a lot of it, cannon armed QB's don't have great touch because their arms ar ejust to strong, the ball gets their really quick.

If Cutler and Warner both take a 7 step drop on a 35 yard pass Warner has to release the ball sooner with more arc allowing the reciever to make a play on the ball out of his cut. Cutler has to hold the ball longer because it is going to get there faster when he throws it with less arc. The reciever will not have as much time to make a play and the line has to protect even longer.

Everyone thinks the Bears recievers are prototypical Martz recievers. They are not in fact, their is no such thing. Speed is great we all love speed, but it's not actually the speed that is the threat in this offense. It's the cut, that's what makes the space. If the recievers make loose cuts or run sloppy routs or get bumped or jammed the rout is off and with Cutlers arm they have less time to recover on a timing rout because the ball is on them quicker.

The Martz offense is making Cutlers arm strength a negative, taking away a lot of his athletic ability by making his stay in the pocket more, asking a make shift O-Line to cover lots of deep drops, and asking athletic recievers who are not actually good recievers to run the sharpest routs of their lives, make sharp cuts as opposed to the loose cuts they made with Turner and develop perfect timing.

I think Martz was a mistake I think Tice was a mistake because of the Martz system.

I am still trying to figure out what kind of organization goes out and gets a talented young QB at the cost of two first round picks and then ignores the problematic O-Line for not one year but two.

Good analysis Creighton. I agree with about 85% of what you said.

Except this:

"Timing requires touch, a lot of it, cannon armed QB's don't have great touch because their arms ar ejust to strong, the ball gets their really quick."

No way. Strong-armed QB's are less likely to develop the same level of touch thaat a weaker-armed QB has because they're lazy and can rely on arm strength. But it is not as simple as you stated.

Jay has shown he can throw with touch. Drew Bledsoe, in his early days, had amazing touch. Mark Bulger has a pretty good arm and above average touch. Dan Marino, at times, had great touch as well. John Elway? Eh, maybe not.

Good point, but overstated I think.

The Martz system requires a strong arm AND great touch. If Jay can tap into his inner-Montana (he is one of the top 2 or three 4th Qtr comeback QB's in the league), if the OL can gel just a little bit more, Jay could have an amazing season.

Or the entire offense could crash into Lake Michigan with in a spectacular blaze of disgraceful blocking, route-running, and QB misreads ... which is just as likely.

I guess we'll see what happens.

Late ;)

Creighton, you cant say that just because a guy can throw a flat ball further than most that he cant throw a touch pass. Sure he's known for the bullets and being able to get it downfield without as much air but do you think that Cutler cant drop the ball over the outside shoulder in the corner of the EZ from the 10? That's a pass that needs air underneath it and a level of touch, to say that Cutler cant make that throw is greatly underestimating his ability.

As far as Martz's offense goes, Martz will love his release and the velocity of his intermediate throws. The timing of the offense will simply be tailored towards it, he's never going to say "Jay, I want you to hold on to the ball because you throw it too fast". If it ever came to it he's just tell him to take some heat off it, why add extra strain to the protection?

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on August 31, 2010 1:36 PM.

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