“I don’t look at it. I don’t read it. I don’t listen to it,” Hutchinson said when asked about the media criticism of his performance against the Colts.
Six possessions with Hutchinson under center resulted in three three and outs, two interceptions and a fumble. The lone touchdown was setup by a turnover and carried by the running game.
“I went out and tried to do too much,” Hutchinson said. “Trying to show everybody that I was ready instead of just running the offense.”
Hutchinson will get his second start against the Buffalo Bills on Friday. A marketable improvement will be necessary to quite the critics and the chants from the Soldier Field faithful calling for rookie Kyle Orton.
“It’s over,” Hutchinson said. “I did the best I could. It wasn’t good enough that day, but it’s going to be good enough this Friday.”
Hutchinson came to Chicago without fanfare. The Bears signed him two days after Rex Grossman went down with a season ending knee injury.
With Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel ahead of him on the depth chart, Hutchinson looked like a knight in shining armor waiting to come off the bench. Despite a 1-4 record as a starter, much of the blame was placed at the lack of talent on the NFL’s worst offense. A patchwork offensive line and a receiving corps missing a No. 1 target gave Hutchinson some slack.
Those problems were addressed in the off-season, with the additions of Muhsin Muhammad and Fred Miller. The upgrade in talent was supposed to take pressure off Grossman, but now may put more focus on Hutchinson.
There is a perception that the Bears have enough ability on offense to succeed. In Ron Turner’s West Coast offense the quarterback is more like a conductor than a solo artist.
“It takes everybody to make this offense go,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson is not worried about losing his job with another poor performance because of what he deemed as “a great training camp.”
“No, it’s the preseason,” Hutchinson said. “You make mistakes, you learn, you move on. That’s why they call it preseason, it’s exhibition games. I’m going to get better and it’s a starting point.”
While head coach Lovie Smith preaches patience with his starting quarterback, he’s keeping his options open when it comes to the situation.
“We’re evaluating it right now,” Smith said. “Next week will be better than this week. But we still have time.
“We want to have our best team going into that final week before we play. As long as we’re making progress and we’re not making the same mistakes I’m fine with that.”
Before receiving a multimillion signing bonus with the Dallas Cowboys, the six-foot-4, 225-pounder faced the pressure of being a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Hutchinson feels being on the mound carries more stress than facing an opposing pass rush.
“You throw a hanging curveball and it gets hit out of the ballpark you can’t say, ‘well we didn’t make this block or we didn’t run this route, it’s all on me,’” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson will have to throw a mistake free game against the Bills, as he goes under the microscope on Friday. As the season approaches, his learning curve will have to improve dramatically for calls for Orton to stop.