There's an almost palpable feeling of excitement at Halas Hall. The big arm has the big coordinator, and all is right with the world.
Or at least that's what they're hoping you'll think. it's what I'd like to believe myself.
Over at chicagobears.com, they're beginning to work on building our anticipation for the 2010 season. Says Cutler:
"I felt very comfortable with him," Cutler said. "The results of his offense speak for themselves."
Truer words were never spoken. When it's on, it's on. When it's not...well...luckily Cutler's pretty resilient.
Cutler on learning the Playbook
"I haven’t run his system, but I am familiar with it. I’m anxious to start digesting the playbook and getting back on the field."
That's good, that's pretty much exactly the thing you need to say. You should have that binder, and any applicable film in your hands right away. From my personal viewpoint, the two people who know that playbook better than anyone else on the field should and will be Mike Martz and Jay Cutler.
Mike Martz offenses require a lot from the quarterbacks--it requires knowing where the receiver will be, the exact nanosecond to release the ball, and the ability to bounce back from being knocked down. I know Jay has some of that, and can be taught to do the others.
Martz speaking about Cutler
"The connection that we had on really I guess more less an intellectual level was so much fun for me," Martz said. "His expectations for himself are extremely high, and that was one of the great things about meeting with him. This guy’s all about winning now. He’s frustrated he’s not at an elite level and he can’t contribute to helping that football team win."
I really believe this is a good thing to be hearing, even if it is PR speak. One of the knocks about Cutler has always been that he seems really "pouty", as if he's an emo teenager, running around listening to My Chemical Romance, talking about the girl who likes the other boy.
But what if it really is stemming from the fact that he's just frustrated he's not better? Perhaps by working with someone with Martz' level of offensive play, he can get to that next status. He's certainly got the physical tools to be a QB, and if he can pair that with a really strong mental edge, there's no reason he can't be elite for years to come.
This is the time for Jay to step up and earn that money, especially that extension. Devote yourself to making this offense be the best it can be, regardless of whether you think the OC will be around in 2011 or not.
About that whole "Jay doesn't get it" thing
A main concern that was voiced as the Martz signing became eminent was the "Jay will refuse to come to OTA's if Martz is hired" rumor. That rumor was based in plain fact--Cutler's demeanor is again, often thought to be whiny and pouty. Martz, on the other hand, is very confrontational and often doesn't hold back when he has something to say.
So when Martz criticized Cutler earlier in the season, everyone thought this relationship was doomed from the start. Not so, say the two of them.
"I addressed that immediately with Jay," Martz said. "The thing I told Jay—and I said this a few days after that show—the thing I felt bad when I watched that was I felt like I knew who Jay was. I met with him when he was coming out in the draft [in the 2006] for quite some time up in Detroit.
Again, this is the exact thing we need to hear. If Cutler is as smart as I'd like to think he is, he has to realize he had a pretty underwhelming year, and Martz was just doing his job. If they were able to spend a day together, have dinner, be cordial, and were willing to come out and talk about it, I think they're going to be just fine.
As the title suggests, I know a lot of this is lip service, pandering to fandom to make sure we know all is well at the Hall that Halas built. Still, I think it does help put to rest the rumors that they don't get along. At least for now, they get along. It's hard to say what a slow start will bring, but they both bring pretty spectacular stuff in their respective departments.
Now hopefully we can find some fat athletic guys to stand in front of Jay, and we'll be well on our way.