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Did Cutler change play on Bush TD?

Posted Sep 25, 2012

Larry discusses whether Jay Cutler audibled on Michael Bush's TD run Sunday, if the Bears were offside on the play that Major Wright returned an interception for a score and more

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

It looked to me like Jay Cutler changed the play at the line of scrimmage on Michael Bush's touchdown run against the Rams. Did Cutler audible out of a pass?

Matt G.
Oceanside, California

It is my understanding that Jay Cutler changed the play from one run to another run based on what he saw from the Rams defense. It was a very heady decision by Cutler. In some situations in first-year coordinator Mike Tice's offense, Cutler calls two plays in the huddle and then goes with the one he feels will work best once he gets to the line of scrimmage and surveys the defense.

I hate to be a killjoy, but I was at Sunday's game against the Rams and thought I saw a Bears defensive linemen jump offside on the play where Major Wright intercepted the deflected pass and returned it for a touchdown. What did you think?

Steve S.
Freeport, Illinois

I had the same fear when I watched the play live and was relieved that no penalty flag was thrown. Bears analyst Tom Thayer chose the interception to break down on his "play of the week" feature on our website, so I watched it in slow motion several times with him and it looks to me like Stephen Paea just got a great jump off the ball and was not in fact offside on the play.

After seeing Jay Cutler's pass sail just over Devin Hester in the corner of the end zone Sunday, I couldn't help but wonder why the Bears didn't use a taller receiver such as the 6-4 Brandon Marshall or the 6-3 Alshon Jeffery on that play?

Reece L.
Boulder, Colorado

The play you're referring to is actually not really a true corner route. It's more of a post-out where the receiver runs toward the post and then makes a flat cut toward the sideline, not the corner. In terms of body control, it seems to me that it's much easier for a small, quick receiver such as Devin Hester [or Johnny Knox when he was healthy] to make that type of move across the face of a defender than it is for a bigger receiver like Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery. I'm guessing that's why the Bears utilized Hester on that play.

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