Cutler 'sorry' he couldn't help Smith more

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Cutler 'sorry' he couldn't help Smith more

Jay Cutler found himself in an awkward situation Monday morning, as news of Lovie Smith's firing went public while Cutler was on air for his weekly radio show onWMVP-AM.
Cutler did not seem too surprised by the news -- perhaps he was informed of his former head coach's fate in advance -- but he did give his initial thoughts on the public news.
"It's a sad day at Halas Hall," he said. "I have a lot of respect for the guy, he's made friends with a lot of the players; he was a player's coach and I've been very lucky in my seven years to have two great coaches."
When asked if he had any personal words for Smith, Cutler expressed an apologetic tone for the Bears' inconsistent offense, surely a factor in Smith's fate.
"Sorry offensively we couldn't do better for you," he said. "I blame a lot of this on the offense and our inability to perform week in and week out. Defensively they've been carrying us for a while."
A couple of names have been thrown out for consideration to replace Smith, but Cutler wouldn't bite on showing any preference to an offensive-minded coach coming in.
"I trust management. They're gonna make best call. You just have to trust them."
Cutler also said yesterday was stressful for the team, listening to the Packers-Vikings game on the team flight home and then watching it on the team bus. Blair Walsh's last-second field goal knocked the Bears out of the final playoff spot, but Cutler said he doesn't blame anyone but himself and the team for having to rely on another team.
"We shouldn't have been in that position. It's tough when things are taken out of your own hands and you rely on other teams," Cutler said. "Win 11, 12 games and you won't have to worry about this.
Cutler said he and the offense could have been better limiting turnovers and performing in the red zone, and that there's little room for err when trying to win games in the NFL. He praised wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a solid year, but noted there was not enough consistency to form any kind of rhythm.
"We had 1 guy that had a great season and other than that it was kind of a rocky road, up and down, never really any consistency," he said, "and in the NFL to be good, great, you have to be consistent week in and week out and we only got it from 1 player.
"You always can build, find the good and try to weed out the bad and fix the problems. I'm sure we'll get some new additions offensively to help us out. We have talent, just have to figure it out."

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Austin O'Connor

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Austin O'Connor

Four years, four state championships. 

That's what St. Rita senior wrestler Austin O'Connor accomplished over the past four years, becoming the 15th wrestler in IHSA history to do so. The Mustangs' grappler went undefeated this season and finished his IHSA career with a record of 181-4. 

O'Connor is planning on continuing his time on the mat at the University of North Carolina next season. Learn more about O'Connor in the video above. 

In the Gym at EFT: Vertical jump training

In the Gym at EFT: Vertical jump training

In the latest installment of In the Gym at EFT, performance specialist Kerry Neal teaches some valuable techniques to improve an athlete's vertical jump. 

Former Western Michigan Linebacker Grant DePalma gives an assist by demonstrating the drills. An athlete's vertical is an important tool and can be the difference during evaluation.

Learn some valuable tips above and be on the lookout for the next edition of In the Gym at EFT.