Tuesday, August 25, 2009
McDaniels: Facing Cutler not special
Denver Broncos first-year coach Josh McDaniels said Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears carries no extra meaning, despite the return of quarterback Jay Cutler.
The public rift between the rookie coach and Pro Bowl quarterback ultimately resulted in Cutler being traded with a draft pick to the Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton and draft picks.
The Bears visit Denver on Sunday night.
"No, it is just another great opportunity for us to fix things that we haven't done well," McDaniels said Tuesday, when asked if the game carried extra significance. "We are trying to go out there and fix some things that we made mistakes on [against] Seattle today.
"This game is another step in our process of getting ready for the regular season. If you try to make too much of the game or the opponent in the preseason, I think you are kind of missing the point. The point is it is an opportunity for us to go out there and improve, and that is what we are going to treat it as."
Denver fans likely would disagree about the game not being more significant. Cutler ruffled some feathers during an Aug. 4 interview on ESPN 1000 when he talked about the passion of Bears fans, who numbered 20,000 for training camp.
"In Denver, we didn't have this many fans at all," he said on the "Waddle & Silvy" show. "We weren't even able to accommodate that many fans [at practice]. That's Chicago Bears fans for you. They're proud of their Bears.
"It's a lot [different]. Denver's like a six and Chicago's like a nine. It's quite a bit different. Just the fans and how passionate they are, that's probably the biggest difference."
Cutler and Orton are both coming off strong performances, and both will want to keep their focus on the game.
"It'll be a lot of fun, are y'all going?" Cutler joked with reporter after Saturday's win over the New York Giants. "It's a preseason game -- obviously there's going to be a little bit of drama wrapped around it, but we just have to focus and keep moving forward as an offense, and keep doing the stuff out there on the field that's going to help us in the future."