Jay Cutler: 'I have to get better'

ByMichael C. Wright ESPN logo
Thursday, November 13, 2014

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler agreed with coach Marc Trestman's assertion that he needs to play better, and admitted "you can definitely feel the pressure" mounting at Halas Hall from the team's disappointing 3-6 start.

"We have to get better, I have to get better," Cutler said. "That's just kind of the focus right now, finding every little thing I can get better at to try to win a ballgame."

Cutler completed 22 of 37 passes for 272 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, including one that ricocheted off the helmet of Kyle Long into the hands of Casey Hayward, who returned the pick 82 yards for a touchdown. Cutler also fumbled on a strip sack by Julius Peppers that led to Aaron Rodgers' fourth touchdown pass of the second quarter.

In the club's 55-14 loss to the Packers, Cutler produced his worst passer rating of the season (68.8).

Cutler has also committed 15 turnovers (10 interceptions and five fumbles) in nine games, leading to a total of 65 points by opponents. He is 8-12 under Trestman.

"Whenever you're losing, your confidence is going to be a little bit lower," Cutler said. "I think earlier in the week and throughout the week, you've got to gain confidence for the game. If you go into the game with low confidence, you don't have a chance in this league. We probably, as an offense and as a whole, have to get some plays going, get some drives going, and we can build on that for sure."

Cutler recognizes his responsibility in helping to lead that charge. Often criticized for negative body language, Cutler is even paying extra attention to that as well as communication and interaction with teammates in his search for ways to help the Bears dig out of their current rut.

"You have to look at everything," Cutler said. "You have to go with a fine-tooth comb and just nitpick on every little detail. Nothing is too small, nothing can be overlooked. The finest little step, how you interact with your teammates, communicating more during the week so that there aren't any miscommunications. Finding energy on Wednesday when everyone's still a little down and trying to go out and have a good practice. You have to do all those little things to try to dig yourself out."

Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer thinks the Bears need to start slow and gain momentum one play at a time.

"Success is going to breed success, and failure is going to breed failure," Kromer said. "What we have to do is we have to have a good play. We have to have a good block. We have to have a good play, then another good play, then a good drive, then a touchdown drive, then do it again."

Cutler agreed and recognizes his responsibility in the team's current predicament brought about by his turnovers and inconsistency. Cutler said "the only way to remedy" the negative criticism he's receiving is to win.

Cutler's sense of accountability toward teammates, he said, helps him to keep fighting through what's been a difficult season thus far.

"You know, I think most of the guys in the locker room, if not all the guys, like the position they're in, like their teammates, love football, and that's what kind of propels you through it," Cutler said. "I love playing with the guys in my huddle. So that's what gets me through it; not letting those guys down, and each day coming to work and knowing they're doing everything possible for us trying to win a ballgame. So I need to do the same."

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