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updated: 9/14/2013 4:41 PM

Trestman not surprised by Cutler's leadership

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  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) was selected again to be one of five captains on the team. Head coach Marc Trestman calls Cutler a key leader.

      Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) was selected again to be one of five captains on the team. Head coach Marc Trestman calls Cutler a key leader.
    Associated Press

 
 

Jay Cutler's leadership qualities have frequently been debated.

But he has shown signs of becoming a more mature player, organizing extra practice sessions in the off-season and during training camp to make sure everyone was ready for the new offense.

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He was elected a captain again this season by his teammates.

"That says a lot," coach Marc Trestman said. "Leaders don't have to be captains; anybody on our team can be a leader, and I think we have a lot more than the five that were elected (including Patrick Mannelly, Roberto Garza, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers). I think Jay certainly has the respect of his teammates, and that's what's most important.

"That 'C' on his chest, I didn't give it to him. His coaches didn't. His teammates elected him. That says a lot about what he's done for this team during the OTAs, training camp and at the start of the season. It bodes well."

Trestman said the captaincy puts Cutler even more in the limelight, but that's nothing new for him.

"(When) you're a captain, you have to earn it every day," the coach said. "You have to lead every day because everybody's watching you."

Waiting for A.P.:

Middle linebacker D.J. Williams is looking forward to the challenge presented by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson today.

"You're in this position to go against the best," Williams said. "Right now, he's the best on paper. We're going to come in and try to eliminate him."

Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards last year, the second most in NFL history, in a season that started less than nine months after he had surgery for a torn ACL. He came back stronger, and last December in a 21-14 Vikings victory over the Bears, he rushed for 125 yards -- in the first half.

"You have to be gap sound when you play a back that's explosive like he is," Williams said. "One guy that's out of his gap, like you saw last week, it could be a 70-yard run. (But) you saw what happened when people were gap sound. You can contain him."

Showing up:

Second-year wide receiver Alshon Jeffery appears to be a player on the verge of stardom, and his performance in Game One impressed coach Marc Trestman, even though his numbers were modest (5 catches, 42 yards).

"A tremendous day," Trestman said. "He didn't have the numbers, but the quality of his catches was excellent. He caught a short throw, he saved an interception; he reached out and one-handed it. He made a great play on the five-yard-line on a back-shoulder throw on the ground. He had a chance to make a play on the sideline. I know he wants that one back. That's a play I'm sure he felt he could make. He said he could. We're very excited about him."

Odds and ends:

In just four games against the Vikings, Brandon Marshall has 36 catches for 437 yards and 2 touchdowns. ... In 13 Vikings games, Devin Hester has 4 kick-return touchdowns, 3 coming on punts and 1 on a kickoff.

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