- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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Colleague Rich Campbell over at the Chicago Tribune pointed out a recent interview with Marc Trestman in which the Bears coach indicates quarterback Jay Cutler is beefing up in an attempt to play through an entire 16-game season for just the second time during his Chicago tenure.
Trestman made the remarks last week in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio.
“Jay has really worked hard in the offseason, and he has always been a hard worker in his condition and his training,” Trestman said. “But he has really amped it up. He's bigger, he's stronger than a year ago, and he has really focused on staying physically well for the entire season. That's No. 1: We've got to keep him standing, keep him safe. We see the improvements he's made in working on different issues in his mechanics, and I think he's feeling very comfortable back there in Year 2.”
Based on the sessions of organized team activities (OTAs) open to the media, Cutler doesn't appear to have bulked up. During workouts, however, Cutler typically wears long sleeves under his shoulder pads, which would make it difficult to see whether he's actually added weight in his effort to last an entire season for the first time since 2009.
Cutler missed five games in 2013 and came out of two other contests because of injuries, but he suffered the fewest sacks of his entire tenure with the Bears. Trestman, per Campbell, still wants the team to improve in the protection department, and should have a better chance of accomplishing that goal by bringing back the club's entire revamped offensive line for the second year in a row.
The only concern regarding the offensive line headed into the season is Jordan Mills' recovery from surgery to repair a fractured metatarsal in his left foot. But Mills is expected to be fully healthy by the start of training camp.
Cutler suffered a torn muscle in his groin taking a sack last Oct. at Washington, which forced him out of one game. A sprained ankle less than a month later against Detroit led to Cutler missing four more games.
“I thought we took pretty darn good care of [Cutler],” Trestman told Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I think he would agree. We're going to try to do better this time around, but we're trying to get rid of those things. I can't speak for the past. I can only speak for the past as recent as last year. It was a really unique, awkward [groin] injury that he had. Hopefully we can get him through safe and get him to play a 16-game season. I know that's predominant on his mind. If we can keep him safe and healthy, we feel like we can be in every game.”