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Bears' Cutler stresses task at hand

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 7:29 p.m. CDT

(MCT) — Jay Cutler figures general manager Phil Emery will let things settle at the end of the season before charting a path for the Bears organization, but right now the quarterback says the only focus is on the Cardinals.

The best chance for the Bears (8-6) to make their way into the playoffs as a wild card is to win out and catch some help along the way. Having lost five of their last six games, it might be more difficult to win Sunday at Arizona and Dec. 30 at Detroit than to get a break or two elsewhere.

Cutler and the offense are failing to do much other than pile up big statistics for wide receiver Brandon Marshall, proof that a one-dimensional passing attack won't take you too far. The Bears run into a Cardinals defense that is fourth in the NFL with 32 takeaways and No. 1 in opponent's passer rating. "I told the guys we can't feel sorry for ourselves offensively," Cutler said. "You're not going to fix every problem in one week, so we just have to focus on what we have to do internally, offensively, to win one game and move on from there."

It sounds simple but doubt clearly has set in during a slump that threatens to bring with it sweeping change, although no one can say with any authority what Emery and Chairman George McCaskey have in mind.

"I don't think we can worry about that stuff now," Cutler said. "We have to worry about Arizona and whatever happens at the end of the season ... Phil's going to do whatever's right for this team."

It's not just that the Bears lost to the rival Packers on Sunday, watching them clinch the NFC North Division at Soldier Field; it's that they have been completely unable to shake their deep slump. The Bears scored 41 points in the season opener, racked up 501 yards at Jacksonville in Week 5 and scored 51 points at Tennessee in Week 9. It seems like an eternity ago.

"You sit there after the (Packers) game and you feel horrible and you feel like, what could you have done differently and better?" offensive coordinator Mike Tice said. "And you look at the last number of weeks where you're not scoring enough points. You know, what can you do better? . . . That's the approach I'm taking this week."

Heck, Marshall and Tice even have wondered if the wideout's franchise-record-setting season is hurting an offense that is worse passing the ball than it was a year ago.

"We're all searching right now," Tice said. "He's looking at what he can do better. ... I'm actually glad he's soul searching and trying to find a way because it means something to him."

Cutler, on his third offensive coordinator in four seasons with the Bears, didn't want to speculate on what a coaching change would be like for him, calling that a conversation for after the season.

"Any time you lose games, you lose consecutive games, there's that feeling that sets in of what we can do differently, what we should have done," Cutler said. "That's anywhere in the league. Even when I was in Denver, you lose a couple games here and there and it's the end of the world.

"Once the season's over, this organization will ... figure out what the necessary steps are going forward, but as players we can't worry about it. It can't be in the back of our minds; it can't be anything we're concerned with. We can only have one concern right now, and that's Arizona."

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