Jay Cutler said Wednesday that it's time for players to step up and take responsibility for what's gone wrong with the offense.
"We take a hard look at all of ourselves on offense, myself included, and we need to execute better," he said. "Mike and the staff's doing everything possible to help us and put us in positions against certain coverages and certain looks to do the right thing."
If the coaches are doing a great job, then why isn't it more apparent on the field? Finding the disconnect is critical heading into Sunday's game against the Redskins at Soldier Field.
"That's obviously where we've got to figure things out whether it's us as players not paying attention, not doing exactly what we're supposed to do or if it's something they're doing, they're wording it differently or something like that, we've got to figure it out," Cutler said. "It's gotta come on both ends. Everyone's got to get better."
Another big issue for the offense is third downs. They currently rank last in the league --- by a mile. In two games this season, the Bears have been unable to convert even once on third down.
"We're going to have to complete some balls, we're going to have to hit some hots," Cutler said. "I'm going to have to get a little bit more accurate and we're going to have to protect better. Everyone...it takes 11 guys. This offense is so detailed that if one guy's off, you know, it's going to have a traumatic effect on the outcome of a play."
Much has been made of quarterbacks being unable to call audibles in Mike Martz's scheme, although Cutler said it's not that much different than what he was used to while playing for former Broncos and current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.
"I didn't really have the ability to do that in Denver, either," Cutler said. "There are answers out there if something happens. If a play gets blown up it means someone is missing an assignment."
Actually, in Martz's offense, audibles are built-in. If the defense lines up one way, for example, it can change assignments. If it shifts again, the assignments change again. In that way, almost every play is an audible to begin with.
"Every play there's 1,000 different scenarios that could go down," Cutler said. "There's 1,000 different variables. Receivers are cutting routes, they're doing stuff off the line. I'm looking at things. We've got backs checking; different guys going back and forth coast to coast. It's very complex. Everything is built into it. It's just a matter of us doing it correctly."