Tice, Cutler maintain open dialogue

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
7:40
PM ET

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice and quarterback Jay Cutler have been in constant communication throughout training camp, even if they can’t always understand one other.

[+] EnlargeCutler/Tice
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastJay Cutler will have more freedom at the line of scrimmage in Mike Tice's offense.

“He’s from (Indiana), and I’m from New York,” said Tice after Tuesday’s practice. “He doesn’t get all my jokes much or understand much of my English. Like the other day, I said we have a play that we’ve kind of expanded on, that we put it in. I said it started as a seed and now it has a codename. For two days, I’m wondering why nobody laughed. They thought I said, ‘C.’ I didn’t say, ‘C.’ I said, ‘seed.”

“So I’ve been trying to enunciate better. It’s not otto; it’s auto. Each day I get better.”

All joking aside, Tice, in his first season as the Bears offensive coordinator after two years as offensive-line coach, said he preferred for Cutler to communicate with him and express his likes and dislikes for what they’re doing offensively.

“I think it’s great,” Tice said of his relationship with Cutler. “We talk all the time. I talk to him about calling plays.

“We want to know what he likes. I think it’s very important to have a lot of communication with the quarterback and the running back and the receivers. Why call things they’re not comfortable with?”

Cutler has appreciated Tice’s open-door policy, and Cutler said he and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates have been utilizing it. Bates and Cutler previously worked together while with the Denver Broncos.

“They’re different,” Cutler said of Tice and Bates. “I’ve been with Jeremy before. He has a really good understanding of what I like, what I dislike. I don’t really have to say much to JB about a certain play. It’s just a look here or there.

“Mike, we’re trying explain everything to him, trying to give him everything that’s on my mind -- what I dislike, what I like, what I love, what I hate, what I think is going to work. That’s why he’s got a tough job. He’s got to take it all in and figure out what’s best for us offensively.”

As much as Cutler has enjoyed sharing his views, he doesn’t expect Tice to accept everything he says.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to do what’s best offensively for us,” Cutler said. “No matter if a rookie has the idea, Mike has the idea or Jeremy or me, whatever is going to work against a given defense, we’re going to use it.”

Aside from the open dialogue, Tice has also given Cutler the ability to call audibles this season. Cutler didn’t have that flexibility under previous offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

“I think it makes everyone’s jobs a little easier because we can put ourselves in a good play,” Cutler said. “If we have something bad and the defense is going to take it over, we can go ahead audible and get out of it and get into something that hopefully we can execute.”

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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