<
>

Cutler reaps benefits of coordinator's time coaching Peyton Manning

play
Jay Cutler looks like a different quarterback (2:02)

ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson explains why Jay Cutler's performance coming out of the bye week could determine his future with the team. (2:02)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler thinks offensive coordinator Adam Gase's history with Peyton Manning has contributed to his improved play.

"When he first got here, he went through his relationship with Peyton and how it worked throughout the week and in the offseason and what Peyton liked, what Peyton didn't like," Cutler said Thursday. "You're talking about a lot of experience there and a lot of success. I think Adam had a good feel and picked his brain pretty clean over the last three years. That's been able to help me too."

Cutler, in his seventh season in Chicago and playing in his fifth offense, appears to be comfortable in the same system Gase used in Denver with Manning from 2012 to 2014.

"Every once in a while I might make a comment about something [we did in Denver]," Gase said. "A lot of the only examples that I have are of what we did in Denver. So I know sometimes it probably gets old to some players, but I think our guys do a good job of at least respecting what we tried to do there and the success we did have.

"I don't think anybody really looks at it like, 'Aw, he's talking about this again.' I think they look at it and try to learn from it and they try to emulate what we did there."

Cutler said he and Manning have not discussed Gase in person.

"That's probably something for after the season," Cutler said.

Gase denies that coaching Manning to three straight AFC West titles and a Super Bowl berth spoiled him. The Bears have reached the postseason once (2010) and have seen two general managers, two head coaches and four offensive coordinators be fired since Cutler's arrival in 2009.

"I think it was a great overall experience just to be with that group of players," Gase said of his time in Denver. "Now, the group we have right now, we've got a different group of guys and some different type of players, so it's been fun trying to get us to kind of get up to speed. When you're in your first year, it's not going to happen; we're not going to be what we were in 2014. I see a lot of things the same as it was in 2012. We made some mistakes. Then as the season went on, we got better."

Cutler also credits the influences of Gase and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains for helping revitalize his career after former head coach Marc Trestman benched him in Week 16 last year for performance-based reasons. Cutler finished 2014 with an NFL-high 23 turnovers.

"Every relationship is different with every person," Cutler said. "I have a comfort level with Adam. I've known Adam for a long time. I've known Dowell for a long time. We have that going for us. I just think he does a really good job. I think the whole offensive staff does a good job of making sure that each week we have what we need to be successful. I think we have what we need to adjust in game and coming up with some solutions for some of the problems we see."

Gase added: "I guess I didn't have the perception a lot of other people had [of Cutler] coming into this job. I did not realize how competitive he was. I didn't realize how intense he was in practice and in meetings, and obviously anytime you are a coach and you see a player that is in it as much as he is, that is what you really want, that is what you ask for, and he has shown that to me, and he showed it to me early, and I think our players see that."