That much is clear after just four games. The formerly mercurial Chicago Bears' quarterback was downright jovial speaking to the media Thursday, despite discussing not only a loss, but one in which he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.
Cutler even admitted he felt responsible for the loss.
"Sometimes it's hard to walk into that locker room and know that I was responsible for four turnovers, Cutler said after Thursday's practice. "It makes you feel bad because I thought the defense played their butt off, the offensive line did a great job. It just puts everything in perspective of how important my job is to take care of the ball and I put ourselves in position to win each week."
That sounds a whole lot like a quarterback who's grown up a bit this season. And also one who has things in the proper perspective to succeed. Cutler's right, he can't continue to turn the ball over like he's done in the past. Not with the talent the Bears currently possess on offense. But it doesn't mean Chicago becomes a "dink-and-dunk" offense either.
"You have to take calculated risk out there. There are going to be times when we definitely want to push the ball up the field, and there are going to be some tight throws," Cutler said. "Hopefully we keep getting better and better each week. I think we're definitely better than we have been in the past with new offenses."
It's hard to argue that logic, and at 3-1 the Bears are still sitting pretty after the first quarter of the 2013 season. But Sunday's challenge might be the team's greatest yet, hosting the undefeated New Orleans Saints. The Saints defense has made a complete 180 degree turn from last season, rising from the worst defense in the NFL to one of the best. So that means Cutler will have to continue finding ways to keep the Bears' offense diverse.
"We've got four or five guys that we like. We can't really worry about the structure of the play or the defense, whoever is open is open. It's going to be a merry go round and whoever it stops on that's where it's going to go," he said.
Sounds like a plan.
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