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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Updated: May 21, 8:43 AM ET
Cutler throws at Bears' scrimmage

Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- After trying to catch a few of Jay Cutler's passes in practice Wednesday, Chicago Bears wide receiver Rashied Davis knew the team's offense will look different this season.

A pass from Cutler "comes fast and it's on you real quick," Davis said.

"Once you get used to running routes with him and catching the ball from him, it gets a little bit easier," Davis said. "But he throws the ball pretty hard and the heat is still on the ball 20 yards down the field."

Cutler's in Chicago

NFL.com Video

New Bears quarterback Jay Cutler speaks after his first practice with Chicago.

The Bears began the transition to their new quarterback when organized team activities started at Halas Hall with a healthy dose of passing drills, seven-on-seven and full-squad, non-contact scrimmaging.

Several receivers had to adjust to Cutler's arm, including tight end Greg Olsen, who had trouble hanging on to one throw, and Devin Hester, who dropped a short screen pass.

"We've got a lot of young receivers and they've got to get used to the way I throw the ball," Cutler said. "I thought Day 1 looked good."

No one complained, especially offensive coordinator Ron Turner.

"Just his arm strength, I've never been around anything like that before," Turner said. "And he's shown very good accuracy the little bit I've been around him." The Bears acquired Cutler on April 2 from Denver along with a fifth-round draft pick for two first-round picks, a third-rounder and quarterback Kyle Orton.

Cutler threw for a franchise-record 4,526 yards, 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with Denver in 2008. In his 37-game career in Denver, he completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 9,024 yards, 54 TDs and 37 interceptions.

He and some Bears receivers worked out on their own during the team's conditioning program. He also has spent a lot of time memorizing the playbook and going through film cutups of the offense.

"We've looked at a lot of stuff that Chicago has done in the past couple years," Cutler said. "We've looked at some of the stuff we've done in Denver. A lot of terminology is the same. With the West Coast system, just a lot of memorization, and we might call something 'A' and they call it 'B.'

"It's a little bit different, but the way we line up and get guys to different places, it's all the same."

The Bears and other NFL teams are allowed 14 organized team activity workouts before training camp starts. The highlight from Wednesday's first workout was easily the bomb Cutler threw to Hester to beat strong safety Kevin Payne for a touchdown.

Cutler called it a benefit to be working with some players he knows. Wide receiver Earl Bennett lined up at a starting spot opposite Hester, and Bennett played with Cutler at Vanderbilt. Right tackle Chris Williams also played at Vanderbilt.

"I think anytime you come to a team that you're familiar with, and you've got some guys that I played with at Vandy, it makes the transition a lot better," he said. "And the locker room is full of great guys, and they've welcomed me with open arms, so it's been nice."

In July, the fun will turn more serious at training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill. Cutler knows there will be pressure.

"I knew coming into it anytime a team wants to make a trade like that and give up what they gave up, it's going to be a lot of pressure, a lot of high expectations, and I welcome it," he said. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be a good challenge."