Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Known for being aloof and distant at times as member of the Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler finally seems comfortable with where he is—not only in life, but on the football field.
Despite struggling through injuries in 2013, Cutler appeared to be both a different player on the field, as well as different guy off of it.
While his demeanor and attitude can still be off putting to some, Cutler appears to be somewhat of a changed man.
"Looking back at my younger days in Denver and even when I first got here, you do some things that are foolish and you regret, and I think anyone does that," a retrospective Cutler told the media after a minicamp practice last week, via David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
While he sounds like a changed guy off of the field, he is fully aware that—despite the success the team had on offense last year—there is still room for them to improve, telling the media, via Hub Arkush of ChicagoFootball.com:
We did OK last year, for the first year. We have the same guys we had last year, which is always good. Talent-wise, it’s hard to top our O-line and some of the guys we have on the outside and Matt Forte, who is hugely underrated. Talent-wise and being in the system two years and the way the guys work, all that adds up.
In order for the offense to succeed, Cutler will have to prove he can stay healthy this season.
Cutler started all 16 games in 2009, his first with the team, but he hasn't been able to replicate that feat since. He missed just a start each in 2012 and 2010 but missed five starts last season and six in 2011.
In order to try and prevent himself from having another injury-riddled season, Cutler has worked on getting more flexible and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh has taken notice, telling Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune:
[Cutler] spent a lot more time with flexibility, a lot more time in the weight room. He looks stronger. One of the things we talked about was getting real strong from the waist down. To play this position, you've got to have a good base, and that has definitely changed. He's built up his upper body some, too, to be able to stand out there strong and be able to deliver a ball and take a hit.
As long as Cutler can stay healthy, his new-found maturity off of the field may lead to him being a better quarterback on it in 2014.