Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler praises Mike Tice for open-mindedness

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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said new offensive coordinator Mike Tice listens to him and other players.

"I have a little bit of input. Not much," Cutler said. "I've got a few things that I whisper in [Tice's] ear and he's always receptive of it.

"At the end of the day we're going to do what's best offensively for us. No matter if a rookie has the idea, if Mike has the idea, or Jeremy or me. Whatever is going to work against a given defense, we're going to use it."

That was one of the criticisms of Tice's predecessor, that he ran his offense "just so," including when the inexperienced Caleb Hanie took over as the starter.

But on Tuesday, Cutler acknowledged that Tice has "one of the toughest jobs on the field."

"Being able to take everyone's input and different ideas and being able to dissect it and figure out what the best is for this offensive football team," Cutler said. "We've got a lot of bright minds out here. A lot of guys that have been in a lot of football games. He's doing a great job. I think he's accepting that role and really relishing in it."

Tice said he wants to know what Cutler likes, adding he wants input from all of his players.

"Why call things that they're not comfortable with? If we're calling things they're not comfortable with, they're not going to make the right throws," Tice said. "If we're calling runs the back doesn't like, he's not going to hit it up in there. If we're calling routes that the receiver doesn't like to run, he's not going to run them with authority or confidence.

"So I think it's important across the board to have a great line of communication between the players and the coaches."

Tice said he and Cutler talk "all the time," although that sometimes presents a challenge.

"He's from the South and I'm from New York so he doesn't get my jokes much or understand much of my English," Tice said. "The other day, we have a play we put in and have kind of expanded on. I said we have something that 'was a seed and now it has a code name.'

"It's not 'aw-toe,' it's 'ot-toe.' "

Cutler, however, is from Indiana, although he played football at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on July 31, 2012 5:34 PM.

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