LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The body language police focuses on Jay Cutler's every move, often coming to the conclusion the quarterback doesn't care.
Despite how Cutler may come off during news conferences, that's truly not the case, according to one NFL assistant who keeps in contact with the quarterback and described him as being "down" lately due to what's transpired with the 3-6 Chicago Bears.
That's part of why it didn't come off as just hollow talk Thursday at Halas Hall when Cutler talked about the need to improve, and the pressure he's feeling as the face of the offense to not let "those guys down" Sunday when the Bears host the Minnesota Vikings.
"We're not doing exactly what we should be doing," Cutler said. "We're not making plays on offense when we should be making them. It starts with me. I've got to play better. I've got to put these guys in positions to make some of these plays. We talked about that yesterday, just getting some energy out there. If things aren't going well on Sunday, someone's going to have to say something. If we have to say something in the huddle and get some guys going because we've got some good guys in our huddle. We like our group, we feel like we should be able to move the ball better, so whatever we need to do."
As he said on multiple occasions Thursday, it all starts with Cutler.
Coming off a three-turnover game in Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, Cutler has now committed 15 turnovers, leading to a total of 65 points by opponents. Cutler is now 8-12 under Bears coach Marc Trestman.
"I think in football in general there are going to be mistakes, and you have to be good enough to overcome those mistakes at times," Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer explained. "Sometimes things just work out and sometimes they don't. It's been more they don't [work out] than they have this year, and I think we can right that. We can make that correction. So guys miss blocks or guys don't catch a ball, and then you have to overcome that. I think it happens at times. It happens with Jay."
It doesn't have to continue.
"Like most games that you have success in, you're creating turnovers, you're taking care of the football, you're making explosive plays, making plays in special teams," Trestman said.
The quarterback is typically operating at a high level, too, which is what Cutler needs to do against the Vikings. At this point, it's unlikely the Bears will turn around the season. But a strong outing by a quarterback can help the Bears erase the memories of the three consecutive defeats, including two losses in which the club gave up 50-plus points.
"I think it's important for more reasons than just that," Cutler said. "Just to get this locker room, get these guys back into the groove of wining things. Like I just said, whenever you're winning and [making] good plays, you can get on a roll. Whenever you're losing, you can get on a roll that way too. So, we've got to get out of the rut and try to string together some good plays, some defensive stops, some good special teams plays, and try to close in the fourth quarter."
That all starts with Cutler. He knows it, and regardless of what you might think, he cares deeply about it.