What Gets Me Off Of Hiatus And Back Into The Game?

This guy.

jay-cutler-bears

Must ... avoid ... sack ... so I can ... throw ... interception ...

So let’s get this out-of-the-way first — I’m back updating the blog, but it’ll be on a somewhat limited basis (maybe once to twice a week tops), as the great unfinished novel is still — well — unfinished (but tantalizingly close to completion).  To anyone who’s still been patiently checking me out during the hiatus, I appreciate the visits, and I look forward to getting some new stuff up for your perusal in between working on chapters of the book.

Meanwhile, what are we to make of our good buddy Jay?   My thoughts on Cutler — the way he forced his way out of Denver and the impact I thought he’d make on the Bears — can be found here and here.  And now that the NFL season is slightly more than halfway over?  Those concerns haven’t changed a bit.

A few stats to chew on:  Cutler now leads the NFL in interceptions, with 17.  Cutler is the first Bears quarterback in almost forty years (since the immortal Billy Wade in 1962) to have thrown four or more picks in more than one game in a season, and with last night’s stink bomb, he tied for the most picks in a game by a Bears quarterback since the equally-immortal Zeke Bratkowski threw seven in 1950.  (In all fairness, I bet we didn’t have to give up a ton of draft picks to get the Zekester that year, though.)

Pretty much since Opening Day — and Cutler’s backbreaking four picks in a game that they easily could have won against Green Bay — the Bears feel like they’ve morphed into a team that looks to pass first, and run second — a transformation that can be laid directly at the feet of the coaching staff (both Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Ron Turner).   I can guess that Turner and Smith, thrilled with the acquisition of their new “toy”, felt that the Bears best chance to win was to utilize Cutler and the passing game more — except for the inconvenient truth that, not only have the Bears never won that way (dating all the way back to Papa Bear and the infant days of the franchise), but the team doesn’t have the personnel on offense to even try (Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and Johnny Knoxville don’t add up to the talent level of Brandon Marshall).

Granted, the Bears running game has struggled all year.  But to establish the run, often a team has to stick with the run — and having watched most of the Bears action this year, there’s never been an effort for the team to even get into a rhythm moving the ball on the ground.

And why?   Cutler’s temperament — the same one that led to him writing his ticket out of Denver because his feelings were hurt — makes me wonder if Bears coaching believed they wouldn’t be able to bring Cutler in successfully unless the Bears offense was retooled to make him the focus on offense, personnel be damned.   And if the case, then it’s pretty much what I suspected would happen way back when the trade for him was first made.

I’ll repeat what I said back in April:  Cutler simply isn’t going to be a winner in the NFL, no matter how gaudy his numbers look or how strong his arm is.  I’m not backing down on that until I see something to the contrary.  Watching more of his antics on the sidelines yesterday — my favorite was when, on the sidelines, he started barking at Greg Olsen — ironically the one Bears receiver who is as good as anything the QB had in Denver — following a pick.  It’s a familiar pattern for Cutler — blame the offensive line, the receivers, the refs — anything but himself, when game-costing mistakes are made (even in the post-game press conference, he made sure to blanket the rest of the offensive with the blame for the loss, rather than man up and simply say “I threw five picks — we lost — and I just can’t do that if we’re going to win”).

bears fanIf Kyle Orton — or another unsexy “game manager” had been behind center last night for Chicago, the Bears win.  Just like they would have against Green Bay.  And Atlanta.  Would that type of QB have still led the Bears to wins in Seattle or at home against Pittsburgh the way Cutler did?  While all of this is just speculation, this Bears fan wishes we could have found out.  As it stands, I’m preparing myself for a lot of turnovers — and excuse-making — in my team’s immediate future.  The Bears are a team without identity, trying to be something they’re not and being led by someone who, to paraphrase Denny Green, isn’t who they thought he was.

It’s going to be a long rest of the season.

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One Response to “What Gets Me Off Of Hiatus And Back Into The Game?”

  1. […] list.  I already railed on Cutler’s crybaby act before he was traded to Chicago — and it’s only gotten uglier as the season’s gone on.  On the bright side for Bears fans like myself, it can’t get […]

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