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Cutler Allows Bears To Open Up the Playbook


There is nothing overly new or exciting about this article, but some interesting stats to read when looking to get excited about this upcoming season.

Even last year, when the perception was that the offense was as conservative as George Halas' fedora, the Bears passed the ball 56.6 percent of the time in the first half of games, when the score usually is not a major consideration in calling plays. That was 14th-highest percentage in the NFL, according to STATS.

Three pro scouts said Cutler's arm is the second-strongest in the NFL after Oakland's JaMarcus Russell. The Bears figure to try to take full advantage of Cutler's long throws, assuming someone can catch them. 

The two areas in which Cutler has a significant edge over Kyle Orton are deep balls and quick feet. Cutler had 55 completions of 20 yards or more last season -- second in the NFL, compared with 34 for Orton. On attempts of 20 or more, Cutler had a passer rating of 77.0 while Orton's was 49.3.

Cutler also had 151 more rushing yards than Orton, but his mobility is more valuable as a passer than a runner.

Turner has studied how the Broncos used Cutler, and he plans on picking the brain of former Denver coach Mike Shanahan.

"Jay has been everything we want him to be," Smith said. "He has come in on a mission to be one of the guys and get accepted in the locker room. He has done a super job with that. He has been in the trenches running every sprint, being helpful, moving into the leadership role."