To his credit, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler didn’t look lost in his first mini-camp practice. And when he wasn’t taking snaps, Cutler was next to new offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
Both men are trying to look forward, not backward, which might explain why Martz didn’t review film of the 2009 season with his new starting quarterback.
“We just started the new stuff. We definitely talked about last year, and what happened, and what didn’t happen, and what should have happened, and all that stuff. We’ve been down that road. We’ve talked about it,” Cutler said. “But, right now, our eyes are forward, just moving on.”
Here are other highlights from Cutler’s post-practice press conference.
On if he watched film of Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger running Martz’s offense: “We’ve watched a lot of that stuff. And whenever it’s clicking, it’s very, very, very hard to stop. It’s very unpredictable. Guys in a lot of different spots. That’s one of Mike’s strengths, being able to dissect defenses and find the weaknesses, and he’s able to expose you in a hurry.”
On Martz’s play-calling: “We got a good idea, but Mike does a great job of mixing things up and keeping defensives off balanced, and putting guys in match ups where they can win. So it’s exciting.”
On throwing to spots: “It’s going well so far. It is a little bit different. It’s a high-paced, high-octane offense. Guys are flying around, and quarterbacks have to make quick decisions. And you have to be really accurate with the ball. It puts a lot on the quarterback, it puts a lot on the receivers. But it’s going well. The guys are picking it up and receptive to it.”
On working with Martz: “It’s been a real joy, working with Mike. He’s like a lot of the other great coaches I’ve had. Very, very smart. Knows how to interact with players, especially quarterbacks. Knows how to give you a lot of information but not overloading you. We’ve been meeting every day, one on one. Talk through plays, talk through football.”
On the first practice: “It went well. It’s something to build on.”
On his receivers: “It’s the same guys, just a little bit older, little bit wiser.”
On the role of tight ends, who caught a lot of balls this morning: “They caught a few balls out there today. That’s just all speculation. Nobody knows what we’re going to do offensively. We’re still kind of molding that, to the guys we have, and see who can pick it up and who can’t, and see who fits the system. But right now, all the guys are doing great. We’re going to spread it around and get everyone touches.”
On if he’s talked to Warner yet: “Yeah, I’m going to. He’s reached out. We’ve exchanged a text or two, but I’ll probably wait until after the summer, until I can digest everything and really great my own take on it and then talk to him. But everything that everyone has said about the system that has been in it and been successful is that they love it and I can see why. It’s very quarterback friendly, and it puts you in a position to be very good.”
On Martz being open to his quarterbacks: “Everything he does is to put a quarterback in a good position to be a successful. He’s not going to call plays, he’s not going to install stuff that is very stressful for the quarterback or something they can’t get done. Everything that we’ve done, he’s made sure I’m comfortable it. If not, then we adjust it, or find some medium ground to make it work.”
On how complicated the new offense is: “Anytime you get a new system, it’s going to be complicated. It’s different from everything everyone is used to. It’s just a different system. It’s not more complicated. It’s not harder. When it is rolling, and Mike does a great job of keeping defenses off-balance.”