Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cutler's a Bear ... so now what?

Bear Country denizens have been waiting forever to see their heroes get a franchise quarterback. Now that they've gotten one - Jay Cutler - who am I to voice any concerns?

A born skeptic am I, that's who.

Cutler is a diva who whined himself out of Denver. He also is a mistake-prone passer who lost more NFL games than he won as the Broncos' starter even though he was mentored by Mike Shanahan, one of the top offensive minds in recent league history.

That being said ... Cutler reminds me of a young Brett Favre. If he becomes even 80 percent the QB that Favre was, the Bears will forget quickly about Kyle Orton, who was sent to Denver in the deal (along with two No. 1 draft picks and a No. 3).

Like Favre, Cutler is so confident in his arm he often tries to throw it through defenders, leading to interceptions. Unlike Favre, who made his teammates better even at a young age, the 26-year-old Cutler has yet to lead a team into the playoffs and has a spotty record in late-game situations.

Historically, giving up so many high draft picks for one player ends up hurting the team that got the player. Herschel Walker is the most famous example, but there have been numerous others. Maybe Cutler will be the exception. One thing for sure: He'll face a ton of pressure; Chicago fans have taken to booing their QB at even the slightest miscue. 

Also under big-time pressure: offensive coordinator Ron Turner. He had a built-in excuse with the limited QBs he had to work with: Orton, Rex Grossman and Brian Griese. Turner now has been given a hunk of clay - a talented, expensive hunk of clay - to mold into a masterpiece. We'll see.

Jerry Angelo said a few months ago that his No. 1 priority was to "fix" the QB position. He should be congratulated for getting the best option available. But his work is not done. 

For starters, the Bears' receiving corps is an embarrassment. As it stands now, Orton will be throwing to far better players in Denver than Cutler will in Chicago. The Bears' line is inadequate, too. And those upgrades will have to be made without the benefit of a No. 1 draft choice.

Still ...

For all of Lovie Smith's hot air that the Bears were "close" to championship contention, they weren't going to win anything with what they had. Now they've added a young Pro Bowl QB with a howitzer arm. Were I a Bears fan, I'd be very excited today. 

I'd be plenty skeptical, too. But hey, that's just me.


  1. damn you are good...thought i would get the chance to scoop you on the last post..proving you haven't lost your touch...hope ap notices..

  2. Remember, this is Chicago. What makes anyone think that the Bears have any abilty at all to correctly utilize Cutler's talents and make good. They are already being picked to win the NFC North!

    I am still gald I sold the PSL seats this year.

  3. I dunno, I thought the Bears problems were on the offensive line, parts of the defense and the lack of a number 1 WR. Devin Hester, despite what the mob screams, is not an NFL reciever. He's an excellent kick returner and serviceable defender and that's about it. Olin Kruetz is getting old, they just signed Orlando Pace (who has missed...well, a lot)...I guess everyone forgot that when the Bears got Jay Cutler. (my question he really worth two first round picks, a QB who did pretty well last year (and has a sweet neck beard) and a possible third rounder? I'm not 100% sure...

  4. Well, I believe it is a great deal for the Bears. It will be fun to watch, anyway. And they might pick up a free agent receiver who otherwise wouldn't have considered the Bears. I think Cutler is a tremendous upgrade. It definitely changes everyone's perception of the Bears. I'm still SHOCKED that Angelo pulled this off. I'm glad they were willing to try this. Now let's see if it pays off.

  5. At first I thought that Angelo paid too high a price for Cutler, what with giving up a pair of first round picks. But it's not like the Bears have been hitting home runs on their first round picks.

    Of the 9 first rounders they've drafted since 2000, only 3 have proven to be worth their salt (Olsen, Harris, Urlacher). Five others (Terrell, Columbo, Grossman, Haynes, and Benson) have been busts. And the jury's still out on Williams. Although a left tackle with chronic back problems probably isn't a good bet for the Pro Bowl any time soon.

    So I'm happy they got a QB upgrade and only had to give up something they'd most likely squander anyway.