CHICAGO (AP) — Jay Cutler realizes time is not a luxury for the Chicago Bears. They'd better be quick studies or they'll be in trouble.
Cutler looked shaky again and the defense came through, harassing Philip Rivers early on and setting the tone for the Bears in a 33-28 preseason victory over the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night.
All eyes remain on the quarterback after the Bears made some big changes on offense in the offseason, hiring coach Marc Trestman to replace Lovie Smith and revising their line.
"There are certain plays we're running for the first time against a live defense other than the Bears'," Cutler said. "There are certain things you just have to experience. Sometimes you make mistakes, and sometimes it's going to go off without a hitch. When I was in Denver, we ran that offense for three years. Year 3, I think all of us had a great grasp of it. We don't have that luxury right now."
So far, the results are mixed at best. With that in mind, here are five things we learned from the game:
1. THE BEARS' OFFENSE REMAINS WORK IN PROGRESS: The Bears hoped Trestman could invigorate the offense and get the most out of their quarterback.
Through two preseason games, the results are mixed. Cutler played a quarter and completed 4-of-5 passes for 38 yards and a touchdown, but the only receiver he targeted was Marshall.
Field position played a role in that, as did the Bears not wanting to show too much of their playbook. Still, that's not a good sign for a team that wants to distribute the ball more evenly this year. Nor was Cutler getting intercepted trying to hit Marshall in double coverage.
On a more positive note, Matt Forte ran for 74 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts after carrying just once in a loss at Carolina in the preseason opener.