New Bears quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates has known Jay Cutler for years, and he says there’s a lot more to like about Cutler than his arm.
Bates, who was an offensive assistant in Denver during Cutler’s three seasons with the Broncos, told reporters on Sunday that one of the priorities in Chicago’s offense this season will be to take advantage of Cutler’s gifts as an athlete and make defenses account for the way Cutler can move.
“In my opinion, Jay is very athletic,” Bates said, via the Chicago Tribune. “He was a great shortstop in high school. If you go back and watch the Vanderbilt tape, he was running all around the field making plays. We’re going to use his feet. He’s athletic, he can throw on the run, he can see down the field on the run. We’re going to try to find everybody’s strengths and use them to our advantage.”
The biggest concern about the Bears’ offense is whether the line can protect Cutler well enough that he isn’t forced to use his feet to avoid the pass rush every time he drops back. Bates envisions the Bears having an offense in which Cutler is using his feet because he wants to, not because he has to.