‘‘He wants Jay to earn that in his eyes,’’ said Emery, who has called Cutler a franchise QB. ‘‘That’s OK, I'm good with that.’’
Cutler has one year left on his contract, and the Bears have to decide if he can lead them to the top. Since he arrived in Chicago in 2009, he’s taken a beating behind a struggling offensive line and lacked a go-to receiver until Brandon Marshall arrived this season.
He'll also be working in his fourth system with the Bears, with Trestman calling the plays and Aaron Kromer hired from New Orleans to replace Mike Tice as offensive coordinator and serve as line coach.
The Bears also brought in Joe DeCamillis from Dallas to replace Dave Toub as special teams coordinator. Now, they’re looking for a new defensive coordinator to replace Rod Marinelli after he decided not to return.
They also announced Thursday night that they were letting Tice, Bob Babich (linebackers), Jeremy Bates (quarterbacks), Mike DeBord (tight ends), Darryl Drake (receivers), Tim Holt (offensive line) and Tim Spencer (running backs) go.
On defense, it’s not clear if the Bears will switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 formation. Trestman is open to change, but he also realizes the Bears’ defense ranked among the league’s best this past season.
‘‘They have excellent football players and they've been well-coached,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘I don’t know the personnel on our football team right now. So to answer the question is premature. If you ask me 3-4 months from now, I'll be in a much better position to answer that question.’’
Another issue on defense: Brian Urlacher’s future. The eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker has an expiring contract and missed the last four games with a hamstring injury after being limited by a knee problem.
‘‘This guy’s been a great player for this team,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘I recognize, certainly, what he’s meant to this locker room and to the fan base of Chicago. When we get done here, we'll begin to try to answer some of those questions.’’
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