Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler has no answer for obvious Marshall question

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Jay Cutler.jpgBears quarterback Jay Cutler couldn't talk enough about Brandon Marshall in the offseason. But now that the Cutler-Marshall connection has withered after a fast start, Cutler has been increasingly prickly when asked about his favorite receiver.

A question about Marshall at Cutler's weekly press conference elicited an awkward and contentious exchange in which Cutler seemed to go out of his way to be uncooperative. Here's how it ensued:

Can you throw too much to Marshall?

Cutler: "No."

What if he's getting a lot of defensive attention?

Cutler: "Like what kind of attention?"

Extra coverage.

Cutler: ''What coverage?''

Is it better off to throw to someone else when Marshall is getting a lot of attention?

Cutler: ''I need to know specifics like...what are you getting at? I don't know. It depends on what coverage it is. It depends on a lot of things. There's a lot of variables. You can't just make a vague statement of if they're playing and they're giving him extra attention, can you go to him? It depends what route it is, what coverage it is, what's the down and distance? There's a lot of things that go into it.''

Is it worth the risk to sometimes force the ball?

Cutler: ''Like I said, it depends on the situation.''

Thanks for the enlightenment.

Cutler: ''Thank you for your vague question. I'm sure you'll be able to get a lot out of that.''

Ranked 31st in the NFL in passer rating -- that's second-to-last -- Cutler is in no position to be so obstinate. But he's heading in the wrong direction. A week ago, when he was asked why the Packers were able to take Marshall out of the game, it was Cutler who was short on specifics. ''Two-man is different,'' he said. ''That's a different coverage. You can Google that and figure out what two-man is.''

Questions about his vaunted connection with Marshall aren't going to be kissed off with a snippy attitude. In two games since Marshall had nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against the Colts, he has seven catches for 95 yards. And most of that -- three receptions for 58 yards -- came when the outcome was long decided against the Packers (a 23-10 loss) and Rams (a 23-6 victory).

So regardless of whether it's only three games into the season or ''it's only the first year of this offense,'' -- as Cutler has reminded us two weeks in a row now -- the issue is a real one. Because you don't need a big sample to see a potentially systemic problem -- ever since the Cutler-Marshall connection put something on tape, opponents have figured it out, with virtually no response from the Bears. In fact, opponents have successfully taken Marshall out of the Bears' offense without getting burned by somebody else.

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7 Comments

Way too early for this crap. We will be fine

How's any of that Cutler's fault? That was a vague question, what was he going to say that could be useful?

The key to stopping the Bears at the minute's doubling Marshall and sending 6 man pressure.

If the Bears were able to protect or get a running game going then they'd have a few more options but if a DB knows it's coming out hot he'll play more aggressively and drive on the short throws hence all the tight windows on the slants they've been throwing.

Comes back to the offensive line playing better for me and before you say they looked better in Denver they were throwing it against single high safeties playing the vaunted Shanahan zone run game, nothing like what the Bears have got now.

Sean...that was a vague question asked...seeing as this same article is on espn Chicago and I'm sure soon to be on the tribune site...one has to ask the question...can't the individual reporter who asked the question fight for himself? And in fact it was the reporter who became a smart ass first...when cutler is asking for more specifics why couldn't the reporter just continue down the path ...and I don't think he is being obstinate in telling the reporter to do his job and make sure he knows some basic football comments...smells like the media is looking to just make trouble versus trying to just do some solid Q&A prior to asking general questions predisposed to negative inferences...

I think Cutler is fed up. He knows he's playing shitty. But stupid questions from reporters who don't know the specifics of the game don't help, and obviously irritate him further. It doesn't matter if they're giving him "extra attention" - plays are designed to break that extra attention in half with certain routes and offensive schemes. He's not going to stop throwing to his star receiver because of "extra attention" (that means nothing). Sure he can distrubute passes a little better, but that doesn't mean he should through to Marshall any less just because he's getting double teamed or something. If a play is intended, before the snap, to break the coverage, then Cutler's obviously gonna go along with the play. Go play football before you report on it.

I love this article. Reporters ask so many stupid questions that I'm glad Cutler pointed out the simplistic nature of this one about Marshall. I do not think that it is written that one must suffer fools gladly. As a university professori occasinally had to suffer fools, but never did I do it gladly. Of course Cutler is absolutely correct. There are simply too many variables in any game situation to be able to intelligently address this qyestion.

Man, I know Cutler could use a public relations course but who wouldn't get fed up with questions dumbing down the man's job? If it were simple, wouldn't there be a LOT more guys who could play QB for the NFL?

Add to that the fact that J'Marcus Webb probably couldn't stop an old lady on a scooter from reaching Cutler and you can see his irritation. When Martz left, we heard about the "planned rollouts, bootlegs, and 3-step drops" Cutler would have increased success throwing. How many have we seen? Tice is asleep at the wheel. For the Packers game, why not run RIGHT AT Clay Matthews? make him stop your jumbos running at you? And if you can't do that, how about doing what the Packers made their living doing to the Bears and screen pass them to death? At least make their DL run sideline to sideline chasing somebody so perhaps they are gassed by the second half? And if you need pass blocking, why not go to a two tight end set and keep everyone in for pass protection? Make the other team EARN their sacks?

Cutler can't be held responsible for mistakes made when he spends much of the game running for his life. Could he stand to get rid of it out of bounds more often? Sure. But to crucify him for trying to make something happen proves most have forgotten the times when:

* Rex Grossman couldn't throw a simple out pattern without making it a pick-6

* Neither could Mike Tomczak

* Bob Avellini couldn't run away from a loaded down bear vendor let alone a defensive lineman

* Vince Evans' only asset was his cannon arm with zero accuracy--his best play the deep ball to a crowd of receivers in a Hail Mary formation


Cutler at least acts like he cares about winning, more than one can say for J'Marcus "The Doorman" Webb.

Ha I love the headline to this article and how poorly chosen it was: ''Jay Cutler has no answer for obvious Marshall question''

Uh, yeah he did. His answer was ''No''

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on September 27, 2012 1:36 PM.

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