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Bears' Trestman impressed by Jay Cutler's growth

The biggest question facing the Chicago Bears last summer was whether new coach Marc Trestman would come out of the season believing in Jay Cutler as his franchise quarterback.

We got our answer when the team signed the passer to a seven-year, $126-million deal while allowing Josh McCown to flee to Tampa Bay in free agency. Trestman says the decision to hitch his wagon to Cutler was a no-brainer.

"The number one thing from my standpoint is the way that he has invested in the Chicago Bears," Trestman told Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. "Jay has been emotionally and selflessly invested in ways that he wouldn't talk about. But he really cares about this organization and every day he's a very, very observant person and he's a very proactive person in terms of inserting himself in all areas of this building to help this organization get better. ...

"It has been very, very impressive to watch how he has worked intelligently and selflessly to do that."

Trestman also pointed to the analytics study general manager Phil Emory compiled on Cutler's play, while touting his quarterback's ability to grasp offensive concepts from the neck up.

"I have great respect for Jay's football intelligence and his skillset. When we came in here, we knew he had the skillset," Trestman said. "The issue was, 'Could we work together on a daily basis?' because we both love football and we want to help our football team. And the answer to that question was a clear yes."

Cutler's arm strength and athleticism have never been questioned. The occasional drift in performance has come from too many on-field mistakes, a tendency Trestman has focused on with his 31-year-old starter.

Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh said last month the team has seen "incredible progress" in Cutler. We're not surprised to hear that.

Cutler was a different passer under Trestman's guidance before an ankle injury threw his season off course and paved the way for McCown's breakout relief performance. If he can stay on the field, the outstanding coaching Cutler has received is bound to translate into better numbers.

The money they handed him tells us the Bears expect nothing less.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" invites Bucky Brooks in-studio for a team-by-team AFC training camp preview.

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