May 23, 2012; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler during organized team activities at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Have the Bears Given Jay Cutler Too Much Power?


Empowerment is one of those buzz words you hear around the office in corporate America.  It’s what happens when your boss stops micromanaging you and gives you some autonomy; the ability to make some decisions for yourself.  He’s not looking over your shoulder; not scrutinizing every decision.

There’s a fine line between empowerment and over-powerment. First, let’s listen to Jay Cutler’s comments after Wednesday’s OTA.

 

It seems like the Bears have handed the keys to the Caddy to Cutty and just asked him to fill it back up with gas before he returns it.   I like my players relaxed and at ease, confident but not cocky.   I am getting a little nervous that the Bears may have over-corrected a bit after the Mike Martz experience.

Giving Cutler input on the offense is great.  The ability to check out of a play was sorely needed.  Getting him some bigger targets at wide receiver?  Long overdue.  The Bears brought in Jeremy Bates to be his quarterbacks coach.  Cutty and Bates are old buddies from Denver and they have a great rapport:

“I think Jeremy has a really good feel of what I like to do and what I don’t like to do,” Cutler said. “There were plays out here today that I told him I don’t like, let’s think about getting rid of them. He’s fine with that and Coach Tice is fine with that.”

What I hope to avoid is Cutler getting too comfortable.  Comfort leads to complacency and that doesn’t lead to Super Bowls.  I like my players to be held accountable, not to be dumping plays out of the playbook.  I like my players to be a little hot under the collar.  I think they play better when they’re pushed; when they’re challenged.

David Haugh alluded to the idea that Cutty could get a new contract before Matt Forte gets paid.  Will that keep his intensity and focus?  Everyone wants to laud the Cutler-Marshall-Bates triumvirate.  You know what they did when they were in Denver?  They finished 8-8.  That’s not going to get it done in this division.

Make no mistake about it, this is Jay Cutler’s team now.  It’s not Brian Urlacher’s or Julius Peppers’ or Lovie Smith’s. Those guys are still keys to the Bears’ success, but the pendulum is swinging from a defense-first, we’re going to beat you 13-10 type of team to a we’re going to outscore you 31-21 kind of team.

Besides that whole offensive line thing, the Bears have gone out of their way to put Jay Cutler in a position to succeed for the first time since he joined the team.  The moves the Bears have made this offseason were to put the power in Cutler’s hands.   To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  Can Cutler handle the power?

 

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  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    Does Peyton Manning have too much control? What about Drew Brees? Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning or Tom Brady? Now I know that these are top tier guys that Cutler has yet to play to that level or that class. But these guys are uper tier guys who have the control you speak of. If we want Cutler in that class why not treat him as such? Excepting input from the franchise’s most important player is a sign the Bears are learning how to be a successful NFL franchise. Why make him play against his strengths? Do what you do best. A prime example of this is Devin Hester trying to make him a number one receiver when he is a complementary player that will thrive when he is not asked to do too much. This is a huge step in the right direction for the Bears. A move that may put Cutler in the conversation with the players I mentioned at the beginning of my rant. Just sayin

  • AaronT.Starks

    You wer on point until you made the silly ‘Denver finished 8-8′ line. Its not that long ago. Denver had one of the worst defenses in NFL history. I believe they set some kind of record for giving up 4th quqrter leads in consecutive games. It was Cutler’s fault that their defense was giving up 4 TDs a game!

  • Mr.Pickles

    Honestly, I like it.  He’s the franchise guy they wanted so why not.  Look at the first game against Detroit last year.  Cutler was the only bright spot in that game, he was running for his life the whole night and still managed to put up some decent stats and had some impressive plays.  If he’s capable of pulling a decent performance out of that mess imagine what he can do if he has a hand in building an offense that plays to his strengths and comforts?  After trying to conform to the Martz offense the last couple of years I suspect Cutty has a pretty good idea of what a play that won’t work looks like, so I have no problem with him cutting things out.  I also don’t think you need to worry about him not being “hot under the collar”, just ask that photographer that was snapping him walking the dog.

  • AaronT.Starks

    14, 38, 32, 33, 13, 24, 41, 26, 30, 20, 31, 17, 17, 30, 30, 52. Those were the points given up by the Broncos in each game of the 2008 8-8 season. That’s around 450 points at a 28ppg clip. It’s a miracle they won 8 games!

  • hateyourads

    i like your blog but i hate youur ads, everytime i visit they seem to get worse If you dont make some changes I will not be visiting anymore> 

  • UCF_Bear

    Yes, I agree.  Jay Cutler has way too much power.  Instead of listening to him as Emery did and give him an “X” in Brandon Marshall, that power should be vested in the wisdom of such contemporarily irrelevant sages as Mike Martz who brings in a Roy Williams to be an “elite player that should catch 70-80 receptions” for the season.  Yeah, revoke the vested interest in our franchise!  What a TERRIBLE MOVE TO MAKE.  Sorry boss, I’m not jumping on the bash Boomer bandwagon but I hope the ridiculousness of my statements expresses how I feel about that question.  A question I realize was meant to stir up the Bear nation and give us something to get our blood going since we’re still months away from kick-off ;)
     
    I see your wager and raise the stakes (hypothetically of course): If the Bears could net FOUR 1st Rd draft picks in trading Lach and Briggs, Tillman or Peppers or any combination of the 2…would you be in favor of it?

  • BearGogglesOn

     @AaronT.Starks Good point and thanks for following up with some stats to back it up. 

  • BearGogglesOn

     @Beardownone All fine points, but a couple of quick counters.  All of the guys that you mentioned have rings.  We all hope Cutty is on his way to doing the same for the Bears, but he hasn’t done it yet.  Let’s not forget that this is the same guy that many wanted run out of the city when he didn’t finish the NFC Championship game, questioning his leadership.  (I don’t count myself among them, for the record).  I am fully behind Cutler and want the Bears to put him in a position to succeed, but I just hope that he can handle the power that he’s been given before he’s truly earned it.

  • BearGogglesOn

     @Mr.Pickles When I said “hot under the collar” I meant that I like him to be challenged.  I think he performs better when he’s got something to prove. 

  • BearGogglesOn

    I hate them too, but that stuff is out of my hands.  I’ve forwarded your complaint up the ladder and hope to get a handle on some of these ads.  Thanks for your readership and hope you stick with us. @hateyourads 

  • BearGogglesOn

     @UCF_Bear I hope you’re right.  And by the way, if given four 1st rounders for any combination of two of ‘Lach, Briggs, Peppers and Tillman, I’d have to give that some serious consideration.  Look how old those guys are.  You could rebuild your team and be set for the next decade, assuming you can draft worth a damn.

  • http://www.beardownone.blogspot.com/ Beardownone

    @BearGogglesOn Good points but some of the players I mentioned garnered that power before having a ring. Peyton Manning and Drew Brees come to mind. I don’t know about you but I would like to know now if Cutler can handle it. Let’s find out if we have a player of the caliber of the ones I mentioned or if he is indeed just a middle of the road player that may or may not take us to
    The promise land