Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler backs the job of Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice

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By Mark Lazerus

Only four teams in the NFL -- the Chargers, the Jets, the Jaguars and the Cardinals -- are averaging fewer yards per game than the beleaguered Bears offense. Those teams are a combined 22 games under .500.

But the last thing Bears quarterback Jay Cutler wants to see is yet another change at the top. He's hard three offensive coordinators in four years (Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice), and there's been speculation about Tice's future as coordinator. Tice Cutler.jpg

"You hope not," Cutler said on ESPN Radio's "Waddle and Silvy Show" on Monday morning. "It is what it is. It's hard for an offense and as a quarterback to get where you want to be and be consistent on a weekly basis if you're changing coordinators every couple years. That's a reality. I think it's an overlooked fact. It's something that happens
in the NFL a lot to some of these quarterbacks. I was talking with (backups Jason Campbell and Josh McCown), and Josh, in 11 years, he's had eight or nine coordinators. J-Cam, in eight years, I think he's had one about every year, so seven or eight different coordinators.

"There's a lot of different coordinators between the three of us. It's amazing those guys have been able to be successful, and that they're still around the NFL. Most of the time when you get cut up like that, it's hard to stick around, it's hard to be successful and you get bounced out pretty quick."

Cutler said that he doesn't feel anyone in the locker room is "worrying" about any changes that might be made after the season, but he defended the job Tice has done this season.

"I thought he did a good job; we're not done yet," he said. "It's a difficult job. We had a lot of injuries, we mixed up the offense a lot. It's your first year in an offense and you're expected to go out there and rip it up. But it's just a reality -- it's your first year in an offense."

Cutler's thoughts on other topics:

--- On playing the Lions: "We're going to get their best shot. They're going to want to knock us out of the playoff race. We'll definitely get their best shot."

--- On another battle with Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh: "I don't know if we want to call them battles. He was practicing his WWE moves on me. This game I'm going to be aware of him. I hope we don't have any meetings this Sunday. If I see him coming, if I can't get away rather quickly, I'm probably just going to go down."

--- On what he predicts will happen next week: "We're going to do our part. We're confident about that. We're gonna take care of our business, and we'll see if it falls our way."

--- On rooting for the Packers next week to beat the Vikings, which the Bears need (coupled with a win over Detroit) to make the playoffs: "The NFL's crazy. You never know how it's going to turn out. This has been one of the crazier years in the playoff picture, and how things have unfolded. Teams you thought were going to be right in the mix aren't, and Minnesota coming out of nowhere. It is what it is, we can't worry about all the scenarios. we have the Detroit Lions and that's all that's on our plate.

That said, Cutler added this little tidbit that likely sent a cold shiver down Bears' fans spines: "Go, Pack, Go."

--- On the large Bears fans contingent in Arizona on Sunday: "On the road, you can't say enough about them. They're dedicated fans, they're loud, they do a great job in an environment that's not our own. That's fun to see this year, even more so this year than last year. At home, it's different. They expect you to win, they expect you to put up a good performance. This year we've struggled. We have to play better."

--- On running back Matt Forte's performance against Arizona: "He looked really good. He was running hard. I thought the offensive line played one of their better games all year. I didn't get a chance to talk to Matt, so I'm not sure how he's feeling."

--- On whether Brandon Marshall could ever threaten the single-season receiving record set by Calvin Johnson last week: "There's a couple of tandems out there that can probably vie for that record. But I don't think you're going to be successful as a team, you're not going to be successful winning games. I could throw to Brandon 25 times a game and
we can get 12-15 catches, 20 catches a game, but you're probably not going to win."

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If they do fire or demote tice they should think about putting bates in that spot. Cutler would be pretty comfortable with him.

i wonder if this is a case of "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't" on the part of Cutler. He certainly has shown discontent if not disgust about not getting plays into him quickly enough from the side lines, and that incident of walking away when Tice sat down by him did not manifest a great deal of love and tenderness. I guess I would concede that Tice has improved somewhat, but he still seems to me to need smarter and faster play-calling. Maybe he needs to study the game films of upcoming opponents more, or maybe Cutler should be allowed greater play-calling responsibility. I suppose I can put up with the status quo if the Bears make a run after squeaking into the playoffs with a Bear win and a Viking loss.First things first though, so let's hope they beat Detroit.

I have watched John Gruden this year and know that some Bear fans would like to see him as the Bears' coach. I cannot see it. Gruden would cerainly be a direct opposite of Lovie Smith and would be hugging, kissing and jumping up and down on the sidelines. Personally, I prefer a lower key approach. Clowns are more at home in circuses than at NFL games, whether they are players or coaches, or even game officials..

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on December 24, 2012 11:32 AM.

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