Jay Cutler better watch Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers very closely because there will be a quarterback playing in the game who, this season, has done exactly what Cutler needs to do in the 2013 campaign. No, it’s not 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, though I’m sure there will be plenty of positive observations to make about his performance on Sunday.
It’s Joe Flacco. Yep, that Joe Flacco.
It hasn’t been pretty for Flacco and the Ravens during their playoff run, but somehow and someway Flacco gets the job done and has done so in each of the five years he’s been a pro. He manages games well while minimalizing turnovers. He’s able to scan the field and has the arm strength to beat teams deep when he needs to do so. He rarely seems to get rattled and maintains a very calm and composed demeanor even during the most crucial of game situations. Most importantly, perhaps, is that Flacco has not missed a single game during his career.
Cutler, on the other hand, does very little of any of that — including suffering injuries in his last three seasons as a Bear.
But beyond Flacco’s success on the field and physical capabilities as a quarterback, there’s a much bigger aspect to his game that Cutler needs to take note of — the way in which Flacco has handled his contract situation with the Ravens.
Flacco and the Ravens could not reach a deal before the start of the season and may have to place the franchise tag on the 5th-year quarterback. But you won’t hear him complain about it. Not one bit. Bears fans better hope that the same can be said about Cutler before the start of and during the 2013 season as he will enter the final year of his current deal.
Mike Tice is gone and can no longer bog down Cutler and the Bears offense. Marc Trestman is in, who has been praised for his offensive prowess and ability to get the most out of his quarterbacks. Brandon Marshall has already established himself as a reliable No. 1 receiver for Cutler. And with some salary cap room and several talented free agents on the market, the Bears have the ability to add some starter-worthy players if need be. There are absolutely no more excuses for the Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler.
Cutler doesn’t need to take notes from the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Those quarterbacks are in an unreachable category for him. But he does need to take notes from Joe Flacco.
If Jay Cutler has been waiting for something to click, then the sound of a pen about to ink a new contract better do the trick in 2013.