Chicago Bears

15 on 6: Cutler taking charge due to run threat

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15 on 6: Cutler taking charge due to run threat

Sunday, Nov. 29, 2010
9:28 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

The one element of Jay Cutler's game that has jumped out at me the last two ball games has been his decisiveness.

The direct correlation in committing to the run game the last four games, I believe, has benefited Jay when play action passes are called. Plenty of play action passes have been dialed up by Mike Martz during the Bears four-game winning streak. If you are averaging roughly 30 run plays in the last four games, the opponent has to respect it.

Then, when play action opportunities arise, it causes a slight hesitation by linebackers and safeties which has cleared up reads for Cutler. The windows to throw the ball into are bigger and the QB has felt confident in what he is seeing to pull the trigger.

Awareness

Cutler has also been decisive in tucking the ball and running as well, which stresses out a defense. Normally the QB is the unaccounted man when it comes to running the football, but Cutler is quickly becoming a running threat defenses have to defend, much like the Bears defense had to account for Michael Vick Sunday.

Cutler has been uncanny in his awareness and ability to feel pressure and find the escape route out of the pocket. Most quarterbacks struggle with this element of the position because it really is a sixth sense of the game. I do not want you to recall the days of Rex Grossman, but he never had this type of feel at the position.

Do not compound the problem

Another area of awareness and good decision making displayed by Cutler on Sunday was not compounding the issues early by the offensive line.

The Bears gave up four sacks in the first half, which makes it is easy for a QB to panic or force a throw due to the pressure. Nobody likes negative plays, especially sacks where your quarterback is taking a shot, but Cutler took his medicine against the Eagles.

It is never the worst thing in the world to punt the football and allow your stellar defense to get back on the field. Cutler weighed the risk against the rewards and trusted the offensive line would sort it out in the second half.

Earlier in the year, Cutler panicked and threw costly interceptions when protection broke down (at New York Giants, vs. Washington). Now he is tucking and running or taking the negative play. He could always take it a step further and just throw the ball away when he knows there is not a fighting chance.

Overall, Cutler has been much better with his decisions in these last four games. He was exceptional today, completing 14 of 21 passes for 247 yards, with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Just clear up the sacks, because the last thing the Bears need is for Cutler to go down with an injury when everything is clicking offensively.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How close is Mitch Trubisky to starting?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: How close is Mitch Trubisky to starting?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Mark Carman (WGN Radio) and Jim Litke (Associated Press) join Kap on the panel.  Mitch Trubisky gets some reps with the 1st team in practice and he’ll play with the 1’s to start the second half on Sunday.  If he plays well, should he be the starting QB?

Kris Bryant’s hand is not broken after getting hit with a pitch in the 9th. Should he have even been in the game with the Cubs up 7? Plus that guys discuss who won the Cavs/Celtics deal.

How Mitch Trubisky and Mike Glennon reacted to the Bears’ change in first-team QB reps

How Mitch Trubisky and Mike Glennon reacted to the Bears’ change in first-team QB reps

Mitch Trubisky was asked, toward the end of his meeting with the media on Wednesday, if he feels like he’s ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

“That’s not up to me,” Trubisky said. “That’s a good question. You almost got me.”

Trubisky sounded confident but stuck to talking mostly about “control” after getting first-team practice reps for the first time in his nascent pro career. He didn’t entertain questions about if he, after playing well in two preseason games, created a quarterback competition with Mike Glennon, who’s struggled in those contests. Sunday, for Trubisky, is less an opportunity to unseat Glennon as the team’s starter — or Mark Sanchez as the backup — and more of a chance to better himself against the best competition he’ll have faced in 2017.

“I think it’s more of how I can make myself better each day, how I can be the best version of me and how I can make the people around me better,” Trubisky said. “That’s one of the things I can control and I’m just focused on what I can control: my effort, my attitude. Come out here, practice hard, get better every day and in due time, you’ve got to earn a spot. Every spot is earned. That’s what we’re trying to do, just create competition on both sides of the ball to make this team better.”

Trubisky added that he’s not changing how he’ll practice and play now that he’ll play with the Bears’ first-team offense on Sunday.

“Just keep taking the same approach I have been doing — I mean, that sounds good to me because I’m not going to change what I’ve been doing, I’m just going to come out here, work every day, it doesn’t matter what group I’m going with,” Trubisky said. “But yeah, they just want to see what I can do with a different group, I guess. So go out there, perform, do my job and get the playmakers the ball.”

Glennon had a similar message, though coming from a different place. He said he knew from experience in Tampa — which drafted Jameis Winston to supplant him as the starter in 2015 — this could be a possibility, and learned how to approach it then.

“Really to control what you can control,” Glennon said. “Outside of that, it just doesn’t do you any good to worry about other things. Just any of that. All I can do is prepare for Tennessee and treat it just like anything else.”

Glennon (and coach John Fox) said “nothing’s changed” regarding his status as the Bears’ Week 1 starter or his approach to having a top-picked quarterback stringing together good-to-impressive games behind him on the depth chart. The best thing Glennon can do on Sunday is accomplish what he sets out to do, which he hasn’t done yet in a game but could — at least temporarily — quiet the noise.

“I think ultimately, be kind of the commander on the field,” Glennon said of his goals for Sunday. “Get the ball in the playmakers’ hands. Get a lot of completions. Protect the football. And put together a few scoring drives.”