By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — New Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman was trying to learn all he could regarding quarterback Jay Cutler in the early going.
So why not ask Mike Shanahan?
Trestman had a chance at the NFL combine this past spring and required advantage. Now, Cutler’s having their best season in years, and the Bears are tied for the NFC North lead heading into Sunday’s game against Shanahan’s Washington Redskins.
How good has Cutler been?
His rating this season is 95. two, compared to 84. 0 for their career coming into this season, and it’s already been below 90 in just one video game so far. With 1, 630 back yards, he’s on pace to toss for 4, 347.
He has twelve touchdown passes and six interceptions, the best ratio of his career, and it looks like the Bears are getting the answer they wanted to one of the biggest questions coming into the season: Can Trestman get the most out of his quarterback?
So far, the solution appears to be yes.
Trestman had a couple of questions of his own for Shanahan, who coached Cutler in Denver. It was a short but encouraging discussion.
“We talked in generalities, and basically Mike said, `You’re really going to enjoy working with Jay. He’s a smart guy, he wants to work, he wants to learn. He’s coachable, “‘ Trestman said. “It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was comforting to hear it from him. And I didn’t have any reason to consider that he wasn’t going to tell me precisely what he thought because I’ve in no way known him to do anything apart from that. ”
Shanahan said his experience was “nothing but positive. ”
“I’m a big fan of Jay Cutler’s, ” he added.
Shanahan was Denver’s coach when the Broncos drafted Cutler out Vanderbilt with the 11th pick in 2006, and the quarterback with the rifle arm set up the biggest numbers of his career below him.
After starting five games as a rookie, he threw pertaining to 3, 497 yards in 3 years ago and topped that the following 12 months by throwing for 4, 526.
Then, Shanahan got fired. Cutler clashed with new coach Josh McDaniels and wound up getting exchanged to Chicago before the 2009 season.
With the Bears, it hasn’t been the smoothest ride. There were issues with the supporting cast, particularly when it reached protection, and big questions more than whether he is actually coachable.
Aside from the feud with McDaniels, Cutler did not exactly mesh with past Bears offensive coordinators Ron Turner, Paul Martz and Mike Tice. He or she even got up and walked away when Tice took a seat next to him and started talking during a game against Based in dallas last season. Two weeks earlier, he or she shoved offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb after some poor blocking, incidents that didn’t exactly help their image.
The Bears hired the offensive-minded Trestman to replace Lovie Smith, hoping he could get through to their skilled quarterback.
So far, it looks like he or she is.
“Him and Mike have a large amount of similarities, ” Cutler said. “They like to really protect the quarterback. A lot of stuff that we do offensively is to make sure that we’re successful and may complete a pass and we’re shielded. ”
The biggest difference Shanahan views now is the supporting cast.
These people added a go-to receiver a year ago when they reunited Cutler with Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery is certainly paying off in a big way this season after being taken in the second round in 2012. The offseason addition of tight end Martellus Bennett offered Cutler another big target, and with four new starters on an overhauled line, Cutler isn’t running pertaining to his life the way he did in recent years.
The ball is also taken from his hands quicker, which takes some pressure off his blockers. And when Shanahan looks at Cutler right now, he sees more than a familiar face. He sees a familiar outcome.
“That’s the way he played for me personally, ” Shanahan said.
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