PRO FOOTBALL

Cutler's 'coolness, calmness' the key factor in game-winning drive

2013-09-15T18:15:00Z 2013-09-16T15:12:05Z Cutler's 'coolness, calmness' the key factor in game-winning driveAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
September 15, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Got to hand it to these Bears. They are their own worst critics, which you need during their many Maalox moments this early season.

Jay Cutler, playing for a big payday, had three of his team's four turnovers in Sunday's lucky 31-30 win over Minnesota -- but partly redeemed himself with a game-clinching drive in the final three minutes.

"The defense did a great job. It’s hard to win a game with four turnovers. It just is. It’s hard to do in this league," Cutler said. "You can’t do it without great special teams play and a great defense. The defense stepped up when we needed them to step up.

"Offensively, we kept killing ourselves. I thought we had a great plan. The plays were there. Two picks on my part, one tipped. It was unfortunate. One fumble gave them seven. It’s hard to (win) without a lot of help and we got it."

Cutler's turnovers led to 10 Minnesota points but his calmness in the huddle on that final drive had the offense believing it could run through brick walls.

“They’re going to be as calm as I am and I try to stay relatively calm out there, especially in the fourth quarter," Cutler said.

"Kyle Long, he walks into the building fired up. He’s kind of our Energizer Bunny out there. Everyone else is pretty calm. We got a great group of guys out there. I think B (Brandon Marshall) said it, everyone cares for each other so much on this offense, even the whole team.

"We all want to succeed. Right now we’re making plays when we need to make plays.”

Running back Matt Forte added: "But we still have to capitalize more in the red zone, which we didn't do today."

Even so, Cutler has become a hero figure to rookie right guard Kyle Long. The winning drive helped.

“He’s so cool. I wish I was as cool as Jay Cutler. I was all fired up, and Jay was just like his heart was going two beats a minute and nothing is going on," Long said.

"He does a great job. He’s our leader on the offensive side of the ball, and we’ll follow him to the promised land. Today, that was the end zone.”

Cutler's three turnovers had to have made new coach Marc Trestman flinch just a bit, right?

"We told him forget about whatever happened and just keep playing the next play. And that’s football. And when the game’s over we’ll look at the scoreboard and see where it is," Trestman replied.

"We really haven’t had a conversation, a legitimate conversation, in two weeks on the sideline.”

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