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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
BE: Cutler maturation a long process

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

Good morning, everyone. Here are some Bears Essentials to check out to get your day started:

-- Everyone, please welcome back Dan Pompei, former veteran Chicago Tribune NFL scribe, who is now writing for Sports on Earth. Here, Pompei puts together an outstanding feature about the maturation of Jay Cutler. In the journalism game, we call this shoe-leather reporting.

Pompeii writes:

“That they live about one mile from one another is symbolic. Trestman is a 57-year old coach getting his first chance to run an NFL team. And his livelihood may be dependent on him reaching a player who has been difficult, if not impossible, to reach. But Trestman has an interest in Cutler that is completely selfless. Trestman, who has helped bring out the best in quarterbacks such as Rich Gannon and Steve Young, is convinced he became the head coach of the Bears to help everyone around him self-actualize while expecting nothing in return.

“It’s Marc’s desire to have a real relationship with Jay, and the football is kind of ancillary,” Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown said. “When you have that authentic relationship, the football is enhanced and improved.”

Trestman, McCown and [Brandon] Marshall were among the guests who attended Cutler’s June wedding to reality television star Kristin Cavallari in Nashville.”

There are tons of good nuggets in this piece, and Pompei really digs in deeply to find out just what it is that has led to Cutler’s maturation. Take some time to check it out here.

-- ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson gives us his Stock Watch. Middle linebacker D.J. Williams' stock is obviously up after his performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dickerson writes: “[Jonathan] Bostic's time will come. The Bears view the second-round pick as a future starter and the first linebacker off the bench in the event of an injury, but Williams has solidified a spot for himself on the first team. It's hard to envision the Bears turning back to Bostic at MLB in 2013 unless Williams gets hurt.” 

-- Detroit receiver Nate Burleson breaks his arm trying to save a pizza. ESPN.com Lions reporter Michael Rothstein writes:

"Burleson leads the Lions (2-1) with 19 receptions this season -- including six for 119 yards in a 27-20 win over Washington on Sunday, his most productive game with the franchise. Matthew Stafford has completed 82.6 percent of his attempts (19 of 23) to Burleson this season, which is the highest completion percentage in the NFL for a quarterback-receiver combo (minimum 10 attempts), according to ESPN Stats & Info."

-- Jay Cutler has put together some strong performances at Ford Field, Mark Potash writes.

-- ESPN Stats & Information has been a great resource for us reporters over the last few years here at ESPN because of the group’s in-depth statistical analysis. Here, John McTigue explains how Chicago’s offense is finally catching up to the greatness of its defense.

Obviously, cutting the sack totals plays a big part in that.

McTigue writes: “From 2009 to 2012, Cutler was sacked on 7.6 percent of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the NFL. This season he’s been sacked on only 2.9 percent of his dropbacks, the second lowest rate in the NFL.”