Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman says that quarterback Jay Cutler, 30, has added muscle size and weight during the off season in order to be more resistant to the big hits that he’ll likely be taking in 2014. Cutler. 6’3”, 233lbs, was plenty big last season, but he looked weak and fragile when throwing and running with the football. With a body that seemed older than his 30-years, Cutler ended up suffering a couple of injuries that limited him to 11 games.
Even that statistic was misleading because he didn’t play in 11 full games, as he had to be pulled I two of the games due to injuries.
“Jay has really worked hard in the offseason, and he has always been a hard worker in his conditioning and his training, but he has really amped it up,” Trestman said. “He’s bigger, he’s stronger than a year ago, and he has really focused on staying physically well for the entire season. That’s No. 1 — we’ve got to keep him standing, keep him safe. And we see the improvements he’s made in working on different issues in his mechanics, and I think he’s feeling very comfortable back there in Year Two.”
Cutler has always had a problem in holding onto the ball for too long before letting it go, and this in turn has resulted in him taking a lot of hits. He’s always done a great job of going through his progressions and making his reads, unlike San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin “One-read” Kaepernick. But Cutler’s habit of holding onto the ball has led to him getting nailed way too much for his own good. Earlier in his career he was able to get away with this due to his youth. He could take the hits and still keep playing, but at 30, Cutler’s body is no longer holding up to the hits, and he’s falling apart.
The Bears might have made a big mistake in giving Cutler a big 7-year, $126 million contract based on his limited play last season because he’s not been effective enough in his previous seasons to get that kind of money. For example, in 2011 and 2012, Cutler didn’t even complete 60 percent of his passes for the Bears. It wasn’t until last season where he finally played good in completing 63.1 percent of his throws, and even then, he was outplayed by backup Josh McCown.