Jay Cutler getting used to more time in the pocket

Jay Cutler getting used to more time in the pocket
September 16, 2013, 9:00 pm
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CSN Staff

By Charlie Roumeliotis

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was quick to commend the performance of the new-look offensive line last week on "The Jay Cutler Show" after they didn't allow a single sack to the Cincinnati Bengals in the season opener.

This week against their division rival Minnesota Vikings, Cutler did the same, but not before tight end Martellus Bennett invaded Cutler's show to acknowledge a three-word scouting report on Bennett's new quarterback.

"Cool, calm, collective," Bennett said on ESPN 1000 on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" Monday.

[MORE: Bears believe in new 'clutch' identity]

There's one 'C' that he forgot though: 'clutch.'

Cutler has now spearheaded game-winning drives of 81 and 66 yards in back-to-back weeks, both of which were fourth-quarter comebacks. He only had one fourth-quarter comeback in 16 games last year.

But a large reason for that can be pinpointed to the guys protecting the quarterback, which Cutler is still getting used to.

"The hardest thing right now is just stepping up in the pocket and not seeing ghosts because these guys are doing such a fabulous job protecting," Cutler said on ESPN 1000. "It's just getting used to being able to take my steps, take my appropriate drop and step up and go through all my reads. It's a good problem to have, but it's still something I got to get used to with these new guys."

[RELATED: The road gets tougher for Bears' struggling D-line]

The Bears allowed an average of 2.75 sacks per game in 2012, seventh worst in the NFL. In the first two games this season? Their opponents have gotten to Cutler just once against a pair of teams that combined for 95 sacks last year.

"I think we do a good job of protecting me early in the game so that I can get that trust level and can feel protected in there," Cutler said. "But the more I watch film and the more I'm with these guys, they are doing everything they can to protect me and I just have to be able to do my job back there and deliver the ball for them cause they're fighting their [tails] off."