It’s a short week-I’ll be unable to post on Thursday and Friday with the holiday. But I have some deep thoughts for once on a couple of issues in the limited time we have this week.
I’m beginning to develop some complex thoughts on Jay Cutler. They’re not necessarily negative, but I am questioning the whole thing a little more than I’ve done at any point over the seven months he’s been a Chicago Bear. I’ve given him nothing but unflagging support through the Eagles game, but there’s a little more to it than that.
Bottom line, I still think (hope, pray) that Jay Cutler will end up being the best Chicago Bears quarterback since Sid Luckman when all is said and done. I believe we have four or five more years to find out (this season has become such a drag I can’t even remember the terms of the deal signed when the Bears were 3-1.) But at this point, I’m becoming afraid of a few things. A) Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith, and/or Ron Turner and/or a combination of the three will ruin him in Chicago. B) Constant berating by impatient fans that don’t understand the talent around him sucks and contributes to his issues will ruin him. C) He’s going to get killed from getting knocked on his ass every play because his offensive line sucks.
I was ecstatic when Jerry Angelo pulled off the trade to land Cutler in April. I’ll never back down from that. I thought Cutler would most certainly improve everything around him: the offensive line, receivers and running game. Up to this point, I was totally, totally wrong. The offensive line is playing horribly. I can’t remember a worse line. Possibly 1993 in Dave Wannstedt’s first year, but probably the pre-Mike Ditka lines of the late 70′s and early 80′s. This is partly the reason Matt Forte is having a fraudulent sophomore season, but I think Forte himself has regressed terribly. And while there have been some bright spots with the receiver play, they’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes and don’t generally get separation.
So by thinking that Cutler would magically elevate everyone’s game, I was completely wrong.
We were sold a bill of goods by Angelo, Smith & company (throw Ted Phillips in there while we’re at it) that by adding Cutler, shoring up a couple of positions on the offensive line, adding Rod Marinelli and having his defensive brilliance Smith call the plays was the path to success. Not necessarily winning the Super Bowl this year, but they had us believing the window was still cracked with the core of talent that is here. And I bought it, and I was wrong, wrong, wrong to do so.
In the 2007/2008 offseason, I confidently wrote that to match Minnesota’s $42 million offer to Bernard Berrian would be madness, because paying a slightly above average receiver that kind of money without having a quarterback to throw to him would be putting the cart before the horse. I can’t believe it, but I’m beginning to think that trading away what was given up for Cutler when the rest of the talent on the Bears is marginal and fading was not the right thing to do. And it’s getting more and more obvious that the complex nature of our quarterback requires some pieces around him rather than being the type to rally poor talent.
But as many say, and I very much agree, Angelo would most likely have squandered the two first rounders given up for Cutler anyway, so it’s a wash. At this point I have absolutely no confidence that Angelo has the ability to improve the level of talent around the best quarterback the Chicago Bears have had in 50 years. And we’re stuck with Angelo for another four seasons after this miserable one. I fear that the fans constantly booing and harassing Cutler are going to break him without understanding it’s not all on the quarterback when he has poor talent all around him.
To sum it up? Pretty standard year for Chicago Bears fans.