He sees immaturity. He sees missed opportunities. Now, he sees a chance to get it right.
"When I look at film now, I think we were terrible," he said Wednesday.
Seems hard to believe. After all, the numbers during their three seasons together in Denver were nothing short of eye-popping.
There was Marshall earning the first of three Pro Bowl invitations in 2008 after finishing with more than 1,200 yards receiving for the second straight year. Cutler had his most productive season with a career-high 4,526 yards in his final season there, and the offense ranked second that year.
Sounds good, right?
"We were just young and immature out there on the field, not understanding the big picture of the offense and the game itself," Marshall said. "To see where we're at now, where our football mind is now, it's going to be really dangerous. I'm excited to really fall into this offense with a new mind."
Marshall was their biggest prize in a busy offseason, and they believe they're poised to make a run after two big season-ending injuries derailed them last season.
That certainly wasn't what the Bears had in mind after making the NFC title game the previous year. Now, they're aiming high again, and a big reason for that is the 6-foot-4 Marshall.
"He's a guy that I've missed," Cutler said. "It's good having him back. He's a little bit different guy than he was in Denver, in a good way. He's a really good influence for those younger guys."
Knox hopes to be ready for the opener even though he realizes he could miss a big chunk of the season - if not all of it - after the injury during the game against Seattle in December. He said he's lifting weights on machines, riding bikes and jogging. He's in no hurry, though.
"There's really no timetable," Knox said. "We're all taking our time on this. I'm taking my time. I'm just focused on rehabbing right now."
He spent more than two months in a brace and lost 30 pounds after the operation. He said he has since gained 10 pounds to 165, and is pain-free. But clearly, he has a long way to go.
"I want to get back out there at the beginning of the season," said Knox, who hasn't seen a replay of the hit. "But who knows? We'll see how that turns out."
The offensive line remains a question mark. Forte's status remains up in the air, with the team slapping the franchise tag on him. But the Bears settled several big issues in a busy offseason.
But the biggest hole? They believe they filled it when they acquired Marshall.
"It changes things - where you can throw the ball, when you can throw the ball," Cutler said. "Those guys are getting better and better each day. Devin Hester I think is probably having the best camp of all the receivers. So we've got a lot of weapons."
Notes: The Bears agreed to a one-year deal with DT Nate Collins. He appeared in 13 games over the past two seasons with Jacksonville. ... Chris Williams was splitting reps at left tackle with J'Marcus Webb, last season's starter. ... Marshall had high praise for Hester, saying, "I honestly think he's going to have an All-Pro year this year at wide receiver, and I'm just going to ride along and enjoy it with him."