Cutler looks to improve in Saturday outing
BOURBONNAIS - Jay Cutler will get more playing time Saturday night at Soldier Field against the Giants than he did in last week's preseason opener, and he wants to accomplish much more than he did against the Bills.
"We've got to put drives together," Cutler said after Wednesday's night practice. "We've got to get in the end zone. We've just got to execute this offense."
In four possessions against the Bills, the first-team offense ran just 14 plays, accumulated only 71 yards, and Cutler completed 5 of 10 passes for 64 yards. The first group will play at least into the second quarter vs. the Giants.
"We've just got to go out there and do what we've been coached to do and what we've learned in the classroom and done out here," Cutler said. "I think we pressed a little bit in the first game. We just need to relax and go out and play."
Cutler looked sharp in seven-on-seven Wednesday night, completing 10 of 12 passes, flashing his exceptional arm strength. Tight ends Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen each caught 3 passes.
But Cutler wasn't as effective in 11-on-11, completing 9 of 18. In the red zone session, Cutler was picked off near the goalline by rookie safety Al Afalava, who continues to impress. From the five-yard line, though, Cutler zipped a TD pass over the middle to a diving Earl Bennett.
Earlier in 11-on-11, Cutler drilled a ball deep down the middle to a leaping Devin Hester, who held the ball despite taking a hit from Corey Graham. Cutler was asked if the reaction to his comments regarding Hester after the Bills game bothered him.
"I didn't read it," Cutler said of the stories that made him seem critical of Hester's ability to go up and get the ball. "I talked to Devin as soon as I was notified about it. He's fine, I'm fine. Things get taken out of context and blown out of proportion all the time. He's done a great job. He's a No. 1 receiver, and he's done a heck of a job on the field and in the classroom."
Asked to clarify what he originally meant, Cutler said, "He's a go-down-the-field-and-get-the-ball guy. It was a bad ball. I didn't give him a chance. I've got to throw it down there and let him run under it. We're going to work on that in practice, and I've got to get it out there for him."
Cutler also said Brett Favre's signing with the Vikings will make for a better NFC North.
"But I think it's good for the league," he said. "Obviously it helps out the Vikings, makes this division a little bit tougher. It's going to be fun to play against him again."