In his first season in Marc Trestman's system, Jay Cutler threw for 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, with a career-best 89.2 passer rating, in 10-1/2 games. Those numbers were 19 and 14, and 81.3 in 14-1/2 games, respectively, in 2012.
While a certain degree of the offensive jump came from the improved offensive "village" around Cutler, he needed to buy into the fundamental work necessary for him to pair with all the physical tools he brings to the table. It's something he didn't do with thee different offensive coordinators and three different quarterbacks coaches in his first four years with the Bears. Having that consistency and belief in the offensive minds tutoring him certainly helps. So should a second year within the system without a lot of personnel turnover. And finally, if Cutler remains healthy, or misses just a game or two like two years ago, it's curious to think what kind of numbers Cutler can put up. His top three touchdown-passing campaigns were his last in Denver and his first two here. His TD-to-INT ratio was 75-to-60, while starting 47 of 48 regular season games.
While Trestman and Aaron Kromer have a greater oversight of the offense, the assistant in the trenches every moment of every day, cleaning up those fundamentals, is Matt Cavanaugh.
"I've seen incredible progress," the quarterbacks coach said last week during minicamp in Lake Forest. "When we got in here last year & evaluated him we had a real good conversation with him about certain things that every quarterback should do. We said, 'Jay it might not be natural, but we want you to try it.' And he did
"To his credit, he’s taken every suggestion we’ve given and he’s embraced it. From how he holds the ball to how he lines up in the`Gun’ pre-snap to how he drops back, to his throwing base to his follow-through. Every little fundamental we’ve talked to him about, he’s embraced, and it’s like night & day."