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King on Cutler

| August 31st, 2009

Peter King writes extensively about the Chicago Bears today.  Don’t get used to it because, starting next weekend, you’ll notice PK’s columns have an awful difficult time not rotating between Brett Favre and the New England Patriots.  The entire piece is worth reading but this is the most interesting passage:

“You have to be pretty happy with what you saw from your offense, and what you saw from Cutler, tonight,” I said to Ron Turner.

“Sure am,” he said.

A
couple of minutes before I talked to Turner from the Chicago locker
room, he had gone over to Cutler (15 of 21, 144 yards, one touchdown,
no interceptions, one 98-yard touchdown drive that sucked all the air
out of the stadium) and told him this, in paraphrase: What I learned
from you tonight is you’re not going to force the ball when we’ve got a
good play called downfield but it’s not open and you’ve got to take the
checkdown. You could have been tempted to say, ‘I gotta take more, I
gotta take a shot downfield,’ but you weren’t. and if you didn’t do it
tonight with all the emotion in this stadium, then you’re never gonna
do it.

“It’s funny,” said Turner. “But this was actually a
great thing for our team tonight. It was so unlike any preseason-game
atmosphere. You can’t manufacture the noise, the pressure, all the
attention on a young quarterback trying to get to know his team. It’s a
great learning experience to be backed up all night and then have to
take the ball 98 yards in that environment. You learn something about
him, he learns about his teammates. So we couldn’t have asked for a
better situation than tonight, because this will help us get ready for
the real adversity we’ll face in big games this year. In our first
preseason game, at Buffalo, we went three-and-out our first times with
the ball, and I think everyone started pressing. Not tonight.”

The one thing about the Bears that’s going to be tough on passing downs is the checkdowns to Matt Forte.
If he gets in space, even a little bit of it, Cutler will find him when
he can’t throw it intermediate or deep. In this offense, especially if
Cutler stays disciplined and takes what the defense gives him, Forte
might catch 90 balls. He’ll be Roger Craig.  

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