Jay Cutler has appeared more relaxed and more inclined to share a laugh on the podium than he has been at times in the past. Then again, he hasn’t been sacked yet, thrown an interception yet or had any other kind of setback in a game that matters yet.
And so far, a lot of what coach Marc Trestman, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh have drilled him on is in line with what he did at the outset of his career under Mike Shanahan in Denver.
“Nothing really that different that I’ve never done before,” Cutler said. “(These coaches) want to get in a rhythm, they want rhythm passing. But when I was in Denver that was a lot of stuff we did. We want to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible.
“That’s just kind of been the focus, just staying in rhythm and let your feet tell you when to get rid of the ball and try not to hold onto it too long.”
Cutler “learned” in Denver. He was sacked 27 times on 494 dropbacks (excluding scrambles) under Shanahan in 2007; once every 18 pass plays.
The following year he was sacked 11 times on 627 pass plays; one every 57.
The Broncos offensive line didn’t get that much better in one year. Cutler did.
Premium on 'efficient'
Cutler has had stellar games in the past, sometimes followed by the exact opposites. He had some consistency issues in the San Diego game, then shook off Brandon Marshall drops to operate as planned at Oakland.
It is the Oakland performance that coaches are pointing to, not for any passing pyrotechnics by Cutler but indeed for somewhat the opposite.
He was notable for not being spectacular.
“I think Jay, just as we saw in the third preseason game when we really amped it up and ran our offense,” Kromer said. "I thought he did a good job with getting the ball off is what we said at the time, and the timing with which he did that and the way he ran the offense was impressive and he’s done it ever since so we feel good about entering this game.
“The efficiency with which we called the play, we got up to the line of scrimmage, we quickly diagnosed what the defense was doing, we pass protected and we threw the football effectively and guys were getting open quickly and so it was all an efficient process, and that’s all you’re looking for on offense is to stay efficient.”