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Monday, February 20, 2012
Jay Cutler praises Jeremy Bates hire

ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Monday he's excited the team hired Jeremy Bates as its quarterbacks coach, and Cutler said he hopes the revamped front office will add some offensive weapons.

Bates was Cutler's quarterbacks coach with the Denver Broncos from 2007-08. Cutler made his lone trip to the Pro Bowl after throwing for a franchise record 4,526 yards in 2008.

"Very happy, very happy," Cutler said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I've been a fan of him since I left Denver (in 2009), and when I left Denver I told him, 'Somewhere down the line, I hope we get to work together again.'

"This is a good situation for us both."

Cutler said he's been in contact with Bates and plans to meet with his new coaches in mid-March. The Bears elevated Mike Tice from offensive line coach to offensive coordinator and hired Phil Emery as general manager.

"I think (coach Lovie Smith has) done a very good job of being very selective and taking his time in putting together this offensive staff, and making sure that we get it right this time and we get the guys that not only are going to help me but help everyone else around us," Cutler said. "And find matchups for everyone and make everyone successful on the offensive side of the ball."

Cutler was asked about Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall, who played with him in Denver, and praised his playmaking ability. He's hopeful the Bears can add to their offensive weapons.

"I would hope so," he said. "I think every quarterback in the league wants that. We're not happy unless we're getting offensive guys year in and year out. More toys to play with.

"I think (Emery is) going to do a great job. He's going to be judged pretty hard on his first free agency and draft. If that's fair, that's debatable. We went out and hired the best guy, and we got him so hopefully he'll get some guys for us to play with."

Cutler also was asked about Vincent Jackson, who may become a free agent.

"Anyone really over 6-2 at this point is going to look good," he said.