BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is trying to be a more efficient passer in an offense that demands it.
No stranger to learning new offenses, Cutler believes the attack he is becoming more familiar with each day at training camp can take the team down a different path — even though it's been slow going against a strong defense each practice.
"Any time you go to a new offense, guys are going to be in similar positions on the field," Cutler said. "It's just learning the verbiage and being able to spit it out."
Cutler is looking at his fourth Bears offense in five years and a fifth different offense in six years overall. He has never had a passer rating higher than 88.1 as a full-time starter, and as a Bear his average rating is 81.9. The latest offense is one requiring high efficiency and ratings of 90 or higher.
New coach Marc Trestman is often associated with a traditional West Coast style offense, but the Bears new offense seems to be a blend, with parts borrowed from new coordinator Aaron Kromer and his former team, the New Orleans Saints. There's even a CFL influence from Trestman's time as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes.
"I think that what we did up north was we played the game like it's played down south, played in the NFL," Trestman said. "We put the same system of football in there. We had a little more fun with motions and we had a little wider field and a little more space."
The offense requires a quick release of the ball, usually on five-step or three-step drops. Trestman takes issue with the premise that Cutler is just now developing a quicker release.
"I don't know that we've seen a quicker release — he's got a quick release," Trestman said. "I think he's practicing very efficiently, he's throwing the ball away (when receivers are covered). There's nothing wrong with that with the defense that we have. ... We're working hard every day to just try to continue to become more efficient at our mechanics and fundamentals, and to develop and distribute the ball the way he has is good at this time."
Cutler credits his performance so far to working daily under Trestman, Kromer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
"They're quarterback friendly and they want to make it as easy as possible on myself and the other QBs," Cutler said. "So it's fun to work with those guys. They understand offense, they understand what we're going through and they want to put us in a position to be successful."
The basis of the offense is to get the ball quickly to tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.