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Coach unable to get most from Cutler

The Bears hired coach Marc Trestman in January 2013 in part due to how well he had molded quarterbacks such as Steve Young and Rich Gannon into better players.

Young led the NFL with a 97.2 passer rating in 1996, while Gannon was named league MVP in 2002 after throwing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns with a career-high 97.3 passer rating.


Jay Cutler confers with coach Marc Trestman during a Week 6 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Bears obviously hoped that Trestman would make a similar impact on Jay Cutler. And while the two had a successful first season together last year, Trestman acknowledged Wednesday that he has been unable to get the most out of the Bears quarterback in 2014.

"That's evident I haven't, up to this point," Trestman said. "Am I working on it? Yes. We've seen moments, but we haven't done it on a consistent basis. I can't hide from that. I haven't been able and we haven't been able to do the things that we want to get done.

"We're working towards that. But the answer to that is obvious. I'm trying to give you the most truthful answer and that is we've seen moments of it, but it's not where we need to go, It's not where we need to be. But it's not all about Jay. It's about our entire offense, working together to get it done."

This season Cutler has passed for 3,640 yards and his 66.1 completion percentage and 89.5 passer rating are career highs. But he leads the NFL with 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers.

Cutler struggled in Monday night's loss to the Saints, completing just 9 of 19 passes for 87 yards and three interceptions through the first three quarters. The performance led ESPN analyst Jon Gruden to suggest that the Bears replace Cutler with backup Jimmy Clausen.

Asked what it would take to bench Cutler, Trestman said: "It's always on an individual basis and how we go about doing things. We talk about those things at halftime at all positions, what we can do better. We make decisions at the time that are in the best interest of the team."

ESPN analysts Young and Ray Lewis also criticized Cutler after the game for his bad body language, which they insisted has a negative impact on his teammates.

"Well, I think that our whole football team right now isn't where it needs to be," Trestman said. "Nobody's happy about it; Jay's not happy about it.

"The quarterback's always going to be the guy to be looked at; no doubt about that. But we can all do better and to talk about one without talking about the group, it is a team sport. It's very difficult to do, so we all have to be mindful of that as we work through the day and work through these games."

Trestman conceded that Cutler "has an obligation" to display good body language due to the position he plays but thinks that had nothing to do with why the Bears lost to the Saints Monday night.

"We all have to work on that," Trestman said. "We're all subject to that type of criticism. When you're 5-9, that's where this thing is.

"Part of this discussion is all about the way we played on Monday night, and I understand that. [But] we didn't lose on Monday night because of someone's demeanor. We lost because … we didn't coach as well as we can coach and they played better than us.

"Those are the most important reasons. Certainly we want to focus in on the quarterback, but the reasons why we lost go far beyond interpretation about how somebody looks. When [you're] 5-9, nobody's happy about that."

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