Bears GM: 'We have extreme confidence in Jay Cutler'

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has worked his way back into the hearts and minds of the Bears' brass.

The mercurial passer had a pretty good season under offensive coordinator Adam Gase and head coach John Fox, and despite the mounting charge against him before the season, the team now seems happy to be going into the offseason with Cutler penciled in as QB1.

"I think Jay played really well this season," general manager Ryan Pace told the team's website. "I was happy with his performance, especially with a lot of injuries to our skill players. I think he kind of persevered through that. Jay played well."

Of course, the concern is that Cutler again dips after showing promise. Cutler was brilliant under former head coach Marc Trestman for a season ... until he wasn't the year after, leading to sweeping changes and yet another offensive coordinator for the quarterback who has seen many come and go.

Now Gase is almost certainly coaching elsewhere in 2016, emerging this winter as one of the top three head coaching candidates on the market.

"We have extreme confidence in Jay," Pace said. "I wouldn't say that's the case at all. If Gase leaves or not, we can do a lot of things similar offensively too. In regards to staff leaving and coaches leaving, we're always going to try to hire the best human talent. When guys are leaving here, that's going to happen when we're doing good things. It's up to us to find the best replacements."

Pace is right in that the Bears can replicate the system, though it will just put more on Cutler's plate. Gase earned his reputation for being a manic gameplanner after keeping up with Peyton Manning for two seasons. He treated Cutler the same way.

It will be interesting to see who Gase takes with him from the Bears' offensive staff to his new job, and what is left for Cutler to work with.

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