By Dan Hanzus (Around the League)
The 2013 season was a bittersweet one for Jay Cutler.
The Chicago Bears quarterback made definite strides as a player, improving his fundamentals under the tutelage of head coach and noted QB guru Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. But the injury bug bit Cutler again, costing him five starts.
New season, new contract, new hope. Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh said Cutler continued his upward personal trajectory during the team’s offseason program.
“I’ve seen incredible progress,” Cavanaugh said at minicamp last week, according to CSN Chicago. “When we got in here last year and evaluated him, we had a real good conversation with him about certain things that every quarterback should do. We said, ‘Jay it might not be natural, but we want you to try it.’ And he did.
“To his credit, he’s taken every suggestion we’ve given and he’s embraced it. From how he holds the ball to how he lines up in the ‘Gun’ pre-snap to how he drops back, to his throwing base to his follow-through. Every little fundamental we’ve talked to him about, he’s embraced, and it’s like night and day.”
The Bears are all-in on Cutler, never more so than now. Cutler inked a long extension in January that included $54 million in guaranteed money. That’s star quarterback compensation. The Bears lost their security blanket when Josh McCown left in free agency.
The pressure is on Cutler to, at long last, put it all together.