Caleb Hanie #12 and Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears share a laugh during a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on Aug. 6.
If you're headed to Soldier Field for Thursday night's game because you are excited to see Jay Cutler, you will get to see him. On the sidelines. Wearing a hat. Maybe even a headset. Definitely no shoulder pads.
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz is giving Cutler Thursday night off after he was so impressed with the QB throughout training camp.
"He's playing very, very well right now," Martz said. "His last two games were exceptional games. So I'm very pleased with where he is.
Looking at Cutler's numbers from the pre-season games, you may wonder what Martz is thinking. He scored a QB rating of 76.8 with no touchdowns and an interception. Those numbers says "middling," not exceptional.
But, that's looking at Cutler's pre-season through the very narrow lens of games only. Martz and the other coaches see the whole picture. They see a Cutler who is slimmed down, and who showed up in camp days before he was expected to.
They see a Cutler who organized lockout workouts with his receivers. They see a Cutler who still hates interviews, but who will praise the offensive line for their progress. They see that Caleb Hanie and Nathan Enderle could use the snaps more than Cutler.
They see all that, and say what the heck. Give the man a night off.