Despite the fact that the Bears had the #2 scoring offense in the NFL last season, ex-NFL QB and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski ranked Jay Cutler as just the 19th best QB in the NFL and former Bears backup Josh McCown 25th on his QB big board that was posted on Monday. Jaworski ranked mediocre QBs like Andy Dalton and Alex Smith ahead of Cutler and a bum like Matt Schaub (38th out of 42 QBs on PFF) ahead of McCown.
There are two widely recognized statistics that rank overall quarterback play, QB Rating and QBR. QB Rating has been around longer but has its flaws which inspired the creation of QBR by a team of ESPN statisticians and former QBs including none other than Ron Jaworski himself. So Jaws helped create QBR but apparently doesn’t think it is very accurate. If he did than Josh McCown who finished the season #1 in the entire NFL in QBR (85.1), ahead of even Peyton Manning (82.9),would be ranked higher than 25th on his rankings. Jay Cutler was no slouch either according to QBR finishing 8th overall in the league, ahead of 12 QBs that Jaws ranked higher than Cutler on his big board. As for QB rating, McCown finished 3rd and Cutler 13th, both well above where Jaworski ranked them.
It’s an ESPN Insider article so I can’t give away too much, but Jaws mentioned sloppy footwork and throwing balls up for grabs as his biggest knocks on Cutler. He does mention that Cutler is a top 10 talent but also insinuates that his success last year was a product of Trestman’s offense. Strangely enough Jaws doesn’t even mention Trestman in his blurb about McCown. He has nothing but nice things to say about McCown including that he should excel in Tampa. Then why rank him 25th after guys like Schaub, who had a mental breakdown last year, and Sam Bradford, who has never had a season as good as McCown’s 2013?
The Bears continue to get little respect this offseason. Whether it’s Vegas setting their win total at only 8, multiple NFL writers from major publications picking the Bears to miss the playoffs, or Jaws calling Cutler a bottom-half QB, it seems that few people believe in the Bears this year. It could be a sort of tough schedule (15th), one of the best divisions in football, or memories of their awful defense last year. Hopefully the Bears can use the lack of respect to their advantage, come out with a chip on their shoulder and rally around the “nobody believes in us” idea. Whatever happens, I’ve lost whatever respect I had for Jaworski’s opinion on NFL players.