- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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In an effort to speed up Cutler's release time, Bears coach Marc Trestman kept a verbal running clock on the practice field every time Cutler or the other two quarterbacks on the roster dropped back during 7-on-7 or 11-on-11.
Trestman wanted to drill into Cutler's head the importance of making quick decisions, as opposed to sitting in the pocket patting the football while waiting for a play to develop down the field. Cutler has always been considered a quarterback who prefers reaction over anticipation.
"I just want them to have a sense of urgency up there making the calls, assessing the defense, those types of things," Trestman said Thursday. "We'll have a clock in training camp so it will be easier on the voice. But I want them to get to the line of scrimmage. It's like any other quarterback in the league, time is of the essence. We've got a lot of work to do before the snap. It's the same everywhere. We just want to make sure we have that sense of urgency with every single play."
Cutler is not responsible for the bulk of the 148 sacks he's taken over the past four seasons, but the Bears are convinced the quarterback can do a better job helping out the overall pass protection.
"One of the things we emphasized when we got here was that we wanted to protect the quarterback," Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh said. "Protecting the quarterback isn't just the line's responsibility, or the protectors, it's the quarterback's responsibility too. He can't hold onto the ball forever.
"We've stressed that we want the ball out. There's a rhythm to what we do. He appreciates that, and he knows if he's getting the ball out he's not getting hit. We're all involved in it and everybody is responsible for it. Since we said Day 1 that's our No. 1 goal, we've got to live up to it and make sure we are not holding onto the ball forever."
So far, Cavanaugh said Cutler has embraced the Bears' philosophies on offense.
"He's open to whatever we are asking him to do," Cavanaugh said. "He's working very hard at it which is very encouraging. It was expected, to be quite honest with you. We knew we weren't getting a guy who didn't want to work hard. He's out there competing every day and trying to make himself the best that he can be and help make his teammates better."