Bears Offense Changes, But Will Jay?

QB's contract expires after the 2013-2014 season

Bears General Manager Phil Emery said it himself earlier this week: the Chicago Bears want to become a "Quarterback-centered team." 

With his contract expiring after the 2013 season Jay Cutler is auditioning to be the Bears franchise quarterback. Is he ready for opening night Sunday at Soldier Field?

"As ready as I'll ever be," Cutler said Thursday.

While Emery beefed up the Bears offensive line to cut down on the number of sacks Cutler has endured, Marc Trestman brought in a true west coast offense to improve on a unit that last year ranked 28th in net yards and 29th in passing yards.

Besides shortening Cutler's drops and speeding up his decision-making, Trestman is ready for the persnickety Cutler too: the one who grabbed his offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb and shook his shoulders during a game, the one who makes bored faces at the camera in press conferences, and the one who can walk past a coach without listening.

Trestman insists Cutler has been "even keeled" -- for now.

"We really won't know until some adversity hits," Trestman admitted. "He's a fiery guy don't get me wrong. And I think people know that."

Still, Trestman said Cutler is "a very tough guy and tough man and tough player, so I expect some of that to come."

How will Trestman handle his quirky QB then?

"His demeanor because he's the quarterback is critically important," said the Bears head coach. "I think there's going to be moments like that and that's just part of who he is and I'm not going to take that away from him."

Don't expect Trestman to pull a Ditka and get in his player's face.

"From my standpoint, you're not going to see somebody firing back," said Trestman. "I'm going to let him wear himself out and get it off his chest and then tell him to go back & play the next play."

The new Jay is unveiled starting Sunday.

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