Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Jay Cutler dispels rumors of illness
By Michael C. Wright
In addition to acknowledging his role in the Chicago Bears' 40-32 loss on Sunday to the Detroit Lions, quarterback Jay Cutler dispelled rumors that illness factored into his performance.
Cutler committed four turnovers -- three interceptions and a fumble returned for a touchdown -- as Chicago had its first loss of the season on Sunday at Ford Field, with the quarterback completing just 27 of 47 passes for 317 yards and a passer rating of 65.6.
"I felt good. I felt fine. Do I look all right?" Cutler asked Monday on ESPN 1000's "The Jay Cutler Show". "I wasn't sick. If I [were] sick, I wouldn't say anything. It didn't happen. Nothing had any impact on the way I played. I missed some throws; wish I could have three or four of them back like we talked about. But we can't. So it only counts as one game, just like the other ones."
Cutler entered the game with his average pass traveling 3 yards through the first three outings, but he threw 45 percent of his passes more than 10 yards downfield against the Lions, with the average pass traveling 12.3 yards. That, not to mention Detroit's pass rush, played a role in Cutler committing four turnovers and converting only one third down in 13 attempts.
Bears coach Marc Trestman said Cutler made good decisions, but failed to throw the ball accurately on too many occasions. By attempting longer passes, Cutler increased the level of difficulty on his throws. During the first three weeks of the season, Cutler opted for more high-percentage attempts (shorter throws) which increased his completion percentage.
Cutler acknowledged the true test for the team now is how the Bears rebound against the Saints after the difficult loss at Detroit.
"I think that's fair," Cutler said. "That's how this is: You never really are in the present in the NFL. You're either talking about what's coming up or you're talking about what just happened. You're never really living in the moment and talking about the now, and ‘What can we do now to get better?' That's what our job is as players, and that's the perspective we've got to keep. Obviously you've got to look at what's ahead of you. But after that game is over, you've looked at it, it's over with. The only thing right now that we can control is getting ready for the Saints. I think we learned a lot about our team already in the second half of that Detroit game; the way that offensively we kept fighting."
Trestman said Cutler "expressed his sense of accountability" for his performance Monday during meetings at Halas Hall.
"I'm encouraged," Trestman said. "I see him do so many things in practice, moving his feet and doing the right things. But he's got to hang onto the ball on the quick throw he had to the left backed up. He dropped the ball down. He put it in one hand. He's got to have it in two hands, and he's got to throw it away or move on. He was trying to make something happen late and he let his fundamentals go. These are things he's done better this year, and we're going to work at them. We're in Game 4 and know we've got to get better. That's what we'll attempt to do this week."