Bears surround Jay Cutler with familiar faces

The Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

QB Jay Cutler and QB coach Jeremy Bates were together for Cutler's three seasons in Denver, but Cutler's best year in 2008 was Bates' only season calling plays for him.

So this makes Bates the world's foremost authority on Cutler the quarterback, and arguably the most capable being on the planet to cull the best from No. 6.

Bates has been studying tape of that 2008 season in an attempt to take Cutler's game back to the future.

"We ran that system in 2008 and now we can grow from it and see what we can take advantage of," said Bates, who met the media for the first time as Bears quarterbacks coach Sunday at rookie camp in Lake Forest.

Bates' idea of a quarterback drop is different form Mike Martz's idea. Whereas Martz would have Cutler backpedal, Bates is more likely to have Cutler roll.

"In my opinion, Jay is very athletic," Bates said. "He was a great shortstop in high school. If you go back and watch the Vanderbilt tape, he was running all around the field making plays. We're going to use his feet. He's athletic, he can throw on the run, he can see down the field on the run. We're going to try to find everybody's strengths and use them to our advantage."

Fantasy Impact: 

In the 2008 season -- with Brandon Marshall as his main target and Bates calling the plays in Denver -- Cutler finished with 4,526 yards and 26 TDs. He also rushed for 200 yards and two scores, finishing the season as the #5 fantasy QB. The Bears are hoping this trio -- Cutler, Marshall and Bates -- can work their magic again. Bates isn't the offensive coordinator -- that title belongs to Mike Tice -- but he's going to have a heavy hand in the passing game. Cutler is currently the #15 QB coming off the board in the 9th round.

Filed Under: 2012, Preseason

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