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Friday, July 12, 2013
Road To Bourbonnais: Make/break for Jay

By Jeff Dickerson

Marc Trestman
Jay Cutler's future in Chicago likely will depend on the success of his relationship with Marc Trestman.
Editor's note: Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson will preview the top storylines heading to the Bears training camp.

How will Jay Cutler, Marc Trestman and Matt Cavanaugh get along throughout the season? Cutler has had strained relationships in the past with some coaches. Will that be the case again in 2013?

For the first time in four years, Cutler lacks the upper hand over the coaching staff.

In the past, Cutler could simply tune out former offensive coordinators Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice because the quarterback had the security of a lucrative, long-term deal. Then there was the issue of compensation -- the Bears surrendered a pair of first-round picks and a third-rounder to acquire Cutler from Denver -- making it even more difficult for the organization to go in a different direction.

But that golden parachute is gone.

Trestman is a lock to be here in 2014. Cutler is not.

Ex-general manager Jerry Angelo is the one who engineered the Cutler trade. Phil Emery did not.

Cutler's talent is undeniable. To blame the quarterback for all the problems on offense in recent years would be unfair. Cutler has had some moments of brilliance.

Just not enough.

For this relationship to really work, Cutler needs to place a larger emphasis on working hard, toeing the company line behind the scenes, embracing the new style of offense and accepting the coaching of Trestman and Cavanaugh.

So far, the relationship between the three men appears to be fine.

But of course, we've seen this all before.

The true test will come during the season when the offense begins to face adversity and Cutler absorbs a couple of hits in the pocket. If the quarterback can maintain his composure and stop showing up his teammates on game day and on the practice field, the Bears could be a much better offense in 2013.

And if the Bears thrive on offense, Cutler will no doubt earn a monster new contract that will average somewhere in the range of $17-$19 million per year.

It's a win-win for everybody.

All three men have the incentive to make this work, but none more so than Cutler.