Coach Marc Trestman and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh did extensive film study of Jay Cutler’s first two years as a starting quarterback for the Broncos to decipher what pass plays worked best for him.
That’s a likely factor in Cutler’s excellent start, but that approach to coaching is not unprecedented.
“When I first got here, I know Ron Turner looked at some (Broncos) stuff,” Cutler said of his first offensive coordinator in Chicago. “Then they brought in Jeremy Bates (who was on Mike Shanahan’s staff in Denver), and he looked at some stuff.
“(Trestman) looked at the Giants (film) for Martellus (Bennett). He looked at the Denver and Miami (film) for Brandon (Marshall). He looked at Matt (Forte’s) first couple of years here when he was rushing a lot. I think he went player by player, really dissected (each) as a player, and saw what they did well and what made them successful. And (he said) ‘Let’s see if we can incorporate that here.’”
Cutler’s 95.2 passer rating would be his career best for a single season. Bennett is on pace for 83 receptions and 928 yards, which would shatter his personal bests, and Forte is on track for 1,179 rushing yards, which would be his best total since his rookie season in 2008. At his current rate, Marshall would have 107 catches, 1,240 yards and a career-best 13 touchdowns.
In three previous seasons with Jay Cutler as his quarterback, two in Denver and one in Chicago, Brandon Marshall has averaged 108 catches and 1,366 yards.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was the head coach in Denver when Cutler and Marshall began their NFL careers, so he was asked why they’ve always had such a strong connection.
“Because Brandon can catch the ball,” Shanahan said. “He’s very physical. He’s going to beat bump coverage. He’s going to go up for the ball and make big plays.”
In the first game of their second season together as starters (Sept. 14, 2008), Marshall caught 18 passes for 166 yards against the Chargers.
“Right from that time,” Shanahan said, “you knew they were going to have some great chemistry together.”
The last time the Bears and Redskins met, on Oct. 24, 2010, Jay Cutler was intercepted four times — by DeAngelo Hall. And all 4 picks came in a 21-minute, 16-second stretch in the second half of the Redskins’ 17-14 victory.
Cutler’s comments on Hall? “He’s another player.”
Any thoughts on that previous meeting?
Robbie Gould is tied with Vikings kicker Blair Walsh for the longest streak of consecutive field goals of 50 yards or longer in NFL history with 12.
Gould has hit 78.9 percent of his career FG attempts of 50 or longer, third best in the league behind Walsh, who is 12-for-12, and George Blanda, who was 8-for-10. Gould is also third all-time in FG accuracy at 86.17 percent (218 of 253), just a fraction behind former Charger Nate Kaeding (86.18). Former Colt and Cowboy Mike Vanderjagt is No. 1 at 86.5 percent.
Everyone except linebacker D.J. Williams, who suffered a season-ending chest injury in Week 6, practiced on Thursday, although cornerback Charles Tillman (knee), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe), tight end Martellus Bennett (knee) and linebacker James Anderson (back) were limited.
Safeties Major Wright (knee) and Anthony Walters (hamstring) were back to full participation.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.