Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been preparing to lose offensive coordinator Adam Gase for a while now. He understood from the get-go that a good season by him could result in Gase moving on to be a head coach.
“The good part is that we stole his system from him, so we have kind of the foundation for it,” Cutler said in an interview with the Sun-Times on Monday. “We’d have to take the next step without him, which I don’t think is impossible. That can be done.”
And Cutler said that Gase’s system — a blend of various offensive influences from Mike Martz to Josh McDaniels to Peyton Manning to the West Coast system — is the best he’s been in his career.
Cutler finished the season with a career-best 92.3 passer rating despite being limited at receiver and tight end all season because of injuries. Cutler threw only 11 interceptions, his fewest since having seven in 10 games played in 2011. His 18 interceptions last season were tied with Philip Rivers for the most in the NFL.
“The system is really good,” Cutler said. “This is the best system I’ve been in in my entire career. Denver was really good, a little bit different than this one. Defenses have changed. Adam’s system has kind of changed and kept up with the times of what’s being presented defensively and how to take advantage of those types of things.”
Ideally, the system won’t change if Gase leaves the Bears, Cutler said. But he has plenty of confidence in quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains if he were to take takeover.
“This would be the best [system] for a lot of quarterbacks,” Cutler said. “I don’t think there’s many quarterbacks that would come into this system and complain like, ‘Hey this is a bad system.’ It’s just not. I’ve been in quite a few. I feel like I have pretty good perspective on good systems and bad systems.”
Over the next several weeks, Cutler will look back at the highs and lows of this season. But he credits everyone — coaches, receivers, running backs and linemen — but himself for his improved passer rating.
“I was just open to what Dowell wanted to do, to what Adam wanted to do,” Cutler said. “They’re very smart football coaches. Their very creative, innovative. They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re after. And they’ve got a lot of energy to them, a lot of positive energy. It was easy for me to come to work every day and be excited about working with those guys because they had one mission: to win football games and help me get better.”
Check back later for more from Jahns’ interview with Cutler.