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Professional

NFL: Bears QB coach impressed with small sample size of Cutler

Four is enough

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throws during Tuesday’s mini-camp in Lake Forest. In four offseason practices, Cutler has impressed QB coach Matt Cavanaugh.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throws during Tuesday’s mini-camp in Lake Forest. In four offseason practices, Cutler has impressed QB coach Matt Cavanaugh.

Chicago Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh has been able to oversee Jay Cutler for all of four offseason practices. But already, he likes what he sees. And hears.

“Very impressed with Jay,” Cavanaugh said. “Very impressed. He’s borderline football brilliant. I think he gets it. I think he knows the game. I think he knows offensive schemes. I think he knows defenses.”

Cavanaugh indicated the coaching staff has been open to Cutler’s input, and Cutler has had a say in what the new Bears offense will look like.

“I think he’s embracing how we want to approach things,” he said. “There has been a lot of give and take.  We didn’t come in here with a mandate that this is exactly how we’re doing it and there is no leeway. We wanted his feedback. He’s been willing to do that.”

Cavanaugh, who has been in the NFL or in major college football for 40 years, rates Cutler’s arm as one of the best he has been around. In terms of other quarterbacks Cavanaugh worked with, he puts Cutler’s arm in a class with Randall Cunningham’s, Joe Flacco’s and Phil Simms’.

Bears coaches want Cutler to feel comfortable enough in the pocket to use that arm. 

“We’re trying to impress on him, Marc [Trestman] too, that our job is to protect you and allow you to finish the throwing motion,” Cavanaugh said. “If that’s our sole focus for you, you have to hold up your end and hitch into throws and follow through and throw a bunch of completions.”

It’s only May, but so far the honeymoon has gone as well as it could have.

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