Bears' Cutler, Trestman a fascinating study

  • Sunday night's prime-time matchup at Philadelphia will give Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to show he can rise above "the noise" that often surrounds the team.

    Sunday night's prime-time matchup at Philadelphia will give Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to show he can rise above "the noise" that often surrounds the team. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Updated 12/21/2013 8:13 PM

Jay Cutler sounded like a completely different person after last Sunday's win over Cleveland.

Given the chance, he explained Thursday that he felt the need to be more open than he's been before, at least during his five years in Chicago.


Asked why he acknowledged the previous week's "noise" outside Halas Hall, Cutler said, "Because you guys asked about it. I think it would be foolish just to lie and say we weren't aware of it. That's unreasonable. Everyone's human in this building.

"Another reason to acknowledge it is the guys did such a great job of handling it. We were able to hear it, deal with it in our own certain way and move on and get the job done on Sunday."

That was Thursday. Just seven days before, however, Cutler was asked what he thought about the quarterback debate, to which he responded, "I haven't. I've been worried about Cleveland. That has kind of been where my mindset has been since Monday night, after I got cleared. I can't get involved in that (QB debate)."

So there you go. It was foolish to pretend the Bears weren't aware of it, but the same questions the week before brought full denial.

I gave Cutler a lot of credit last week for displaying a humility and likability after the Cleveland game that Bears fans are unaccustomed to, but it was also after a victory when he had experienced the lows of the first half and the highs of the second.

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This past week brought more of the same from the Bears' top QB, but, as always, it remains to be seen how long this Cutler lasts and whether the same guy will appear after his next defeat -- especially now that he's dealing with prosperity, expectations and playoff ramifications in Philadelphia.

Expecting the worst

Marc Trestman continues to be a fascinating study, even if you don't always agree with his decisions or applaud the outcomes.

Several players spoke about the way in which Trestman responds to negatives, and the way in which he wants the players to approach difficult moments within a game or season.

"(Trestman) and all the coaches are always preaching that something bad is going to happen. We don't know when it's going to happen, but it is going to happen," said rookie tackle Jordan Mills. "When it does happen, you just let it go and move on to the next play.

"The team has responded well in those situations. He says it's not what happens, but it's how you respond to it and move on from it that matters."

Not many coaches will even allow for that kind of process before a game, believing any negative thoughts are bad thoughts, but it's a realistic approach and it gives players a method for preparing and then recovering quickly.


Minny kick

The second-down kick in Minnesota that went awry seems like months ago now, but it's worth noting that in Cleveland the Bears -- starting from the Cleveland 24 -- took a false start on fourth-and-1 when going for the first down, and then took a 46-yarder off the board when Corey Wootton was sent to the box for hooking, good for 15 more penalty yards.

That series would have gotten more attention last week had the Bears lost the game, but it lends a bit of support to the Minnesota decision.


Philly quarterback Nick Foles was asked what it would be like facing the Bears, and what followed was a truly sad attempt to say something nice about the visitors' defense.

"They're talented in the pass game," Foles said. "They really don't want you to get them deep. They want their safeties deep. They want everything underneath to where they can tackle and get you down.

"They're a talented team. They play well together. It's gonna be a really tough task for us. I'm excited to play them."'

Well, the last part you can believe.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

If the Blackhawks win the regular-season points total and the Stanley Cup this season, they'll become the first team to capture both in back-to-back seasons since the Islanders in 1981-82, which was the third of four straight Stanley Cup championships.

The list

When Alex Ovechkin scored his 400th goal Friday night in his 634th game, he reached the plateau faster than all but five players: Wayne Gretzky (436 games), Mike Bossy (506), Mario Lemieux (508), Brett Hull (520) and Jari Kurri (608).

The quote

Kevin Youkilis, on playing next season in Japan: "I was almost to the point where I was like, well, if I don't have to play and I can be around my family every day, then I'll do that. And then my wife and daughter said, OK, let's just do one more year, play one more year, have as much fun as you can and really enjoy this whole year of baseball."

The tweet

NOTSportsCenter: "BREAKING: Due to controversial remarks, Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson suspended by MLB because Bud Selig thinks he plays for the #RedSox."

And finally

Congrats to former Cubs manager Mike Quade, who's been hired by the Yankees as roving outfield, baserunning and nickname instructor.

•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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