Jay Cutler: Don’t panic, we’ll spread the ball around


Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw five passes in last Thursday’s game against the Chargers.

All five were in the direction of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught four of them, and that has led to some questions about how much the Bears will be spreading the ball around this season. Coach Marc Trestman has said that the Bears will have more balance in the passing game than last year, when Marshall caught 89 passes more than the next wide receiver on the list, but the other receivers only got looks in the preseason opener when Marshall wasn’t in the lineup.

While Cutler said no when asked if he was going to make a point of looking for receivers other than Marshall against the Raiders on Friday night, the quarterback also offered assurance that the passing game wasn’t going to be all Marshall all the time again this season.

“You guys are hitting the panic button after two preseason games and 30 plays,” Cutler said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “We’ve ran 30. Lot of runs. Yeah, we’re going to spread it around. We can’t just throw to Brandon and give the ball to Matt [Forte]. We have to figure out ways to get other guys involved. We had plays up, some of them worked, some of them got checked out of. So, it is just the way it goes.”

Cutler says he trusts the other options available in the offense, something that didn’t always appear to be the case last season when Marshall would seem to get the ball whether he was open or not. With defenses sure to focus on stopping Marshall, those other options should have opportunities to shine in 2013 if Cutler looks their way.

32 responses to “Jay Cutler: Don’t panic, we’ll spread the ball around

  1. First game Cutler spread it around, this was Marshall’s first game back, of course he was going to get increased action. The third game will be more telling.

    I expect a continuation of the vanilla offense, with more diversity. This is a non-sequitur, for now.

    I am very impressed with this Bears defense and the offensive line which were my two biggest concerns coming into this season.

  2. well last season they had no other options other than Marshall. it was take the snap and run for your life until he was open or close to being open. they had the worst o.c. in the history of football at any level calling plays and a coach who had no concept of what was or how to run one. they are learning a new offense and you want them to show everything now? they wanted to run the ball and they did and you want to complain? on the passes he threw Marshall was his first read and except the pick he threw he was open. if he hadn’t and thrown to somebody else you would have bitched he could not make his reads. relax already it’s pre season, if he is still the only option in November then go ahead and complain.

  3. I’m guessing what he means by spreading the ball around is that they’re going to line Marshall up at different positions and then throw him the ball.

  4. I think JC6 knows what he’s doing…people need to relax with these preseason PRACTICE games. When they start double and triple covering BM thats when Bennett’s 2.0 and AJ will open up.

    If you want to panic lets have this conversation in Week 4 or 5.

  5. He’s right, the way Jay’s propensity to throw to the other team also qualifies as “spreading the ball around”

    I laughed when the Bears traded for their “franchise” qb. He is a number of things, franchise QB is not one of them.

  6. To avoid panicking about Cutler’s singular focus on Marshall, Bears fans should look to the larger sample size of last year’s games. Oh wait. . . . .

  7. He hit the nail on the head with the panic button comment, the Chicago sports media has even less patience than New York’s at times, and the only thing Cutler hates more than a good pass-rusher is a bad reporter

  8. Most QBs have their one “binky, go to guy” to some extent. What that fan said further up about it being spread around when Marshall wasn’t there suggests that Cutler is still too much in the Marshall habit. Not that you don’t want to throw the ball to Marshall, because he is a talented player who makes great catches, nor do you want to spread it out just for the sake of it. But, here’s the thing…if you as a Qb are in that much of a habit and you do have other guys with some skill you could throw to, you don’t develop chemistry with the other receiving options. That may work ok for the regular season, but I can tell you that in the playoffs, the defenses will take that guy away somehow and if you have no one else to rely on you are screwed.

    Some of us Pats fans are sort of glad in one way that a guy like Welker, though he’s a great player, is gone bceause it forces our QB out of his “WW bailout” default and so far so good as in my eyes TB has looked better than ever throwing the ball to an all new cast for the most part. WW had been almost invisible in the playoffs because defenses by and large knew that if you took him away it was much harder for the Pats to move the chains last year when Gronk and AH were only on the field together for about 3 games and there was no other WR who could hurt a defense.

  9. Everyone begged the Bears to get Cutler a real #1, they got him, now they want to limit his targets. Marshall is a beast, feed him!

  10. Another media-driven feeding frenzy at Jay’s expense…Can’t believe some of my fellow Bears fans are upset ’cause the Bears haven’t revealed their entire new offense yet.

  11. They’re going to do what is necessary to win games. If that’s targeting BM 90% of the time, so be it. How much they spread it around will depend on the D’s ability to take BM away, &, the O-line. One thing’s for sure: we will glean more from what’s going on in practice than we will from exhibition games.

  12. I really want Jay to be better, but c’mon man he’s 30, if it doesn’t happen this year it ain’t gonna happen. For me it wasn’t just that he threw only to Marshall, but also that he stared him down on the TD and that pic was a horrendous decision. First and 10 from the 34 if no one is open throw it away! Yes, even in the preseason, because he has shown this propensity for poor decisions his entire pro career, even in Denver. In addition he continues to hold the ball too long. Cutler must improve at least a little in each of these areas or else the Bears are going nowhere with him. You can do it, Bear Down Jay!

  13. I will believe it when I see it.

    P. S. Don’t forget to plant your feet on the ground when throwing the football.

  14. If Marshall is open, throw it to him. Marshall being open means only one guy covering him.

    Should Palmer work on getting the ball to guys other than Fitzgerald? Think Alex Smith needs to look up someone other than Bowe? If Reggie Wayne is open, should Luck be checking to see what the fullback in the flat is up to?

    I can understand wanting everyone involved in the offense. I can see wanting to get value out of Jefferies and the Black Unicorn. If you have a guy that you know that throwing him the ball is going to result in getting a catch and converting on third down, do you want the ball spread around or the chains moved?


    This is the “rope a dope”. Throw to Marshall, throw to Marshall, throw to Marshall, so what am I going to do next. Nope, I going to throw to Marshall.

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