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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Jay Cutler not focused on deal

ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Tuesday he won't be distracted by entering the last season of his contract, and he doesn't plan on discussing the topic publicly once the season begins.

"I haven't thought about it in a while, actually," Cutler said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I'll probably address it once in training camp, once before the season and that's kind of it. I'm not going to talk about it.

"That stuff takes care of itself. As long as we're winning football games and I'm playing well, hopefully they keep me around. If that doesn't happen, we'll see how it plays out. I'm not going to be distracted by it. I can't worry about it. I've been in this league long enough. I've seen guys come and guys go. It will work out the way it's supposed to work out."

The Bears traded two first-round picks and a third-rounder, as well as Kyle Orton, to the Denver Broncos for Cutler and a fifth-round pick in 2009, and then signed Cutler to a two-year extension that runs out after this season.

Statistically, Cutler has posted some of the best numbers in the history of a franchise devoid of many elite QBs, but he's led the Bears to only one playoff win. A lack of consistent offensive success was one of the reasons given for the firing of Lovie Smith.

Second-year general manager Phil Emery brought in offensive-minded Marc Trestman to replace Smith. Emery then drafted guard Kyle Long and gave left tackle Jermon Bushrod the largest free-agent contract for an offensive lineman in Bears history. He also signed Matt Slauson from the New York Jets and added tight end Martellus Bennett to give Cutler the most potent offense since he joined the Bears.

"I think we can be a very good offense," Cutler said. "I think Phil and those guys did a great job of getting us better offensively, defensively, special teams. I think this is the most talented team [physically] that I've been on in Chicago. So there's a lot of upside to what's happening with the Chicago Bears.

"But three years from now, if we're still in this offense and still have the guys around us, we'll clearly be farther along than we are this year. With that being said, there's no reason for us to go out there and not be competitive each and every game."

Cutler knows that if things don't work out this season, there's a chance he won't be around next season. The Bears have missed the playoffs in five of the past six seasons, and expectations are high.

"We still need training camp [to install the new offense]," Cutler said. "There are still some kinks we need to figure out. I've got to get more comfortable with it. It's starting back at zero, starting a new language. Obviously, I've been through it a few times. When we learned last year's offense, it was a recap for myself, so that made it a little bit easier.

"But this is completely different verbiage, so it takes time, and unfortunately this is a game where you don't really have a lot of time so you have to find a way to make it happen."

Cutler said the transition to Trestman so far has been positive.

"It's been good," he said. "We've had a good relationship, a good base. It's going to grow from here. But he's an offensive guy, he understands the quarterback position, he understands the pressure we're under, he understands how to make it easier for us. He'll hold everybody accountable, not just offensively, but defensively he goes and meets with those guys.

"He's just change. We have a lot of change around that building, so it's not always a bad thing. So guys have to adapt to it and go with the flow and figure things out on the run."