Jay Cutler Says It Takes Three Years To Learn An NFL Offense


Jay Cutler runs the Bears offense during scrimmages at Halas Hall.

LAKE FOREST- The Bears opened up their mandatory full-team mini camp at Halas Hall on Tuesday. And with all of the players on the active roster in attendance, the Bears opened the playbook a little more during scrimmages. This was especially evident in the Bears new look offense under new head coach Marc Trestman.

Despite offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer being absent for the time being {he is recovering from hip surgery}, that didn’t stop the Bears from showing the media some new plays at Tuesday’s practice. It appears that this new system will have plenty of passing plays. Backup quarterback Josh McCown told me during last week’s OTAs that “The offense has a west coast background to it.”

From what I saw on the field, McCown is right. Then again, with no pads, no contact and no hitting, there won’t be a lot of running plays showcased. While the Bears look like a more upbeat, uptempo offense so far, it’s what starting quarterback Jay Cutler said after Tuesday’s practice session that made headlines. “Learning an NFL offense is a three-year-process, it takes time” No. 6 said to the press on Tuesday afternoon.

Head coach Marc Trestman said “The terminology is different but Jay is a bright guy and a great quarterback. It’s been fun working with him.” Trestman has built a reputation as a quarterback guru. He led Rich Gannon to an MVP award and an AFC Championship, he led Jake Plummer to his first playoff appearance, he also worked with Hall of Fame passer Steve Young. Despite Trestman’s ability to groom quarterbacks, Cutler thinks he’ll learn this new offense in three years.

Unfortunately, Bears fans, the media and more than likely Bears management hopes that Cutler can learn the offense within the next couple of months. Cutler is in the final year of his current contract. And considering he’s only been to the playoffs once since wearing the orange and blue, many feel that this is his last chance to prove himself as an “elite” NFL quarterback.

Here are some other things to consider……. 63 of his 100 career interceptions came as a member of the Bears. He’s been sacked a total of 199 times in his career, 143 of those occurred in a Bears uniform. Granted he did have a subpar offensive line and lacked big target wide receivers for most of his tenure.

The running game also lacked at times and more often than not, he did not have a reliable tight end. But this year Cutler has no excuses. General manager Phil Emery has been on a mission to right the wrongs of Jerry Angelo. Last year Cutler finally got his wide receivers in the forms of Brandon Marshall {his teammate in Denver} and Alshon Jeffery.

He also got Michael Bush to relieve Matt Forte, especially in the short yardage game. This year, Emery has done a solid job of bringing in additional talent around Cutler. What’s amazing about this year’s transactions is that the Bears only had so much money to spend due to the salary cap. But none the less, the front office provided Cutler with what he needs.

They signed tight end Martellus Bennett and offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod on the first day of free agency. They drafted offensive linemen Kyle Long and Jordan Mills and signed a host of new, younger, healthier linemen as well. Add that to the other pieces already in place, mix it in with a new coaching staff with a fresh perspective and all that’s left is to add a touch of Cutler’s athletic ability {Yes he does have that when he’s not lying on the turf}.

You put all of that together and you have a recipe for success {hopefully everyone stays healthy}. If the Bears do fail in 2013, chances are a good portion of blame on the offense will fall on Cutler. If he wants to be rewarded with a new long-term contract then he will need to have the best season of his career.

Here is the full video of Cutler speaking to the press after practice:

DISCLAIMER: I apologize ahead of time for the background noise. There is ongoing construction at Halas Hall and they were working pretty close to the field when I shot this video.

You can get sports from me anytime on Twitter @GabeSalgado82



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