Keeping Cutler clear of pass rushers won't be as easy this week considering Minnesota has right defensive end Jared Allen and defensive tackle Kevin Williams is expected to return after missing the Vikings' season-opening 34-24 loss to Detroit. Allen has plagued the Bears in the past, but they signed Bushrod, the former Saints tackle, in part because he had success against Allen. Bushrod has limited Allen to just six tackles and no sacks in three games.
"We want to fight to keep our quarterback up as much as possible," Bushrod said. "Every game is not going to be like that. I wish it was, but it's not going to be like that."
If they keep Cutler upright, it's possible he could step up among elite quarterbacks during the final year of his contract. Trestman said he saw signs of leadership last weekend.
"All I could say is what I learned is he can be as consistent demeanor-wise during a game, during the ebb and flow of a game as he was during the ebb and flow of practices, because it wasn't all good on Sunday — there was adversity there," Trestman said. "There were some bad things that happened. There was some frustration. General frustration, not his personal frustration."
Trestman said Cutler stayed in the game mentally when a couple drives died early due to mistakes.
"His demeanor was even-keeled and he didn't seem to get frustrated at all," Trestman said.
As for Cutler's leadership abilities, "they (teammates) elected him captain," Trestman said. "I think that says a lot right there."