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updated: 1/19/2011 10:28 PM

Bears' Cutler can use his feet, too

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  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler looks for running room in the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Seahawks. Cutler finished with a career-high 43 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns.

       Bears quarterback Jay Cutler looks for running room in the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Seahawks. Cutler finished with a career-high 43 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Both quarterbacks bring the mobility dimension to Sunday's game, and Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers are athletic enough to escape the rush and run for important yardage, turning a negative play into a positive one.

For the Bears, Cutler's 43 rushing yards last week against the Seattle Seahawks were a career high.

For the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers' 356 rushing yards for the season were second only to Philadelphia's Michael Vick.

"His impromptu … his decision to take off and go without the hesitation is big," said Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz of Cutler. "He makes plays with his feet. I haven't had a quarterback like that before.

"He's made some really big plays for us. He's kept us in games and got us in position to score. Last week we had a couple plays for him in the game plan that we actually designed to run in the playoffs."

Cutler usually chooses not to protect himself by sliding feet first, but the Bears are more likely take a risk in the playoffs.

"He's just such a gifted athlete with the ball in his hands, and he is a threat," Martz said. "The more you look at him on tape, the more you realize he does have some real speed."

Cutler has 12 runs of 10 yards or longer this season, second on the team only to Matt Forte. That includes last week's 21-yard scamper along with touchdown runs of 6 and 9 yards. His 232 rushing yards this season were a career best.

Cutler said there are times when yardage is there for the quarterback's taking, and he's not afraid to run for it.

"You can't (as a defense) account for a quarterback like that, especially on third downs and in serious passing situations," he said. "When you can break the pocket and keep the play alive, it just gives your guys another opportunity to make a play, and Aaron has (also) done a fabulous job of that this year."

As proficient as Cutler has been as a runner this season, Martz would prefer to have him stay in the pocket. He doesn't mind a little improvisation by his quarterback when the time is right, but he'd also just as soon not think about it.

"We don't coach the impromptu at all," Martz said. "We'd just as soon he not do that, to be honest with you. If he doesn't run at all, I'd be a happy guy.

"That means that things are going great and everything comes out clean, boom, you complete the ball, the ball's out of there.

"We don't talk about it a whole lot. We don't discourage him, but we don't encourage him either. It's just kind of a fine line there. He's very smart about it. He just doesn't break and run (for no reason).

"He does a real good job with that. He's not careless about it at all. I just don't talk to him about it a lot really."

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