The Cutler Saga: Accountability or Scapegoat?
Dec 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) passes during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field. New Orleans won 31-15. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Usually, this is where I would be writing my Behind Enemy Lines weekly piece on what the Chicago Bears’ opponent’s websites and local media are saying about the matchup. However, I’ve decided to forgo this week’s behind enemy lines post because I think we all know what the opponent’s think of our football team in Chicago: they think the Bears are a joke. Not to mention, I’m angry and embarrassed towards this organization. Instead, I want to talk about the benching of Jay Cutler and whether this is Mr. Trestman’s attempt at holding someone accountable for once or simply the coach pointing the finger away from himself as well as everywhere else and at the quarterback.
First lets look at the definition of accountability:
"An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions."
"A person or group that is made to bear blame for others."
The action we are speaking about is the play of the quarterback where Marc Trestman has made it clear that this is a position that is under performing. Therefore, the quarterback is being held accountable by losing his starting position. There may be some other factors involved, but from what we’ve heard out of Halas Hall, this is the reason for the change. I think we can all agree that the play of Jay has been bad. So let’s take a look at the other areas and personnel on the team…..
Aaron Kromer: This individual broke the code of every coach and player at any level of team sports by criticizing one of his players to the
Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
media while not even having the guts to put his name behind it, remaining anonymous. This is wrong at all levels. In so many words, this guy is a traitor. Not to mention, this is the leader of an offense that’s 18th in the league and has severely underachieved with pro-bowl proven talent. Has he been held accountable for his actions? NO.
Joe DeCamillis: Since special teams is so hard to rank, Football Outsiders came up with a formula to rank each special teams unit in the NFL. This looks at things like each field goal to the league-average percentage of field goals from that distance, field position, ability to cover, etc. Do you know where the Bears ranked? I do – 25th. Even without statistics, anyone with neurons can see that this is one of the most inept and undisciplined units in the NFL. Last week, this unit tried to fake a punt missing one of their players on the field. Not to mention, the Bears are at the bottom of the league in return averages and have had 3 blocked punts this year. Has anyone on this unit been held accountable? NO. (I stand corrected, they released Shaun Draughn in week 2 for missing a block.)
Mel Tucker: Do we even need to discuss this? The unit that this man is responsible for has given up 29.2 points per game which is dead last in the NFL. This so-called “defense” has also given up 382 yards/game which is 30th in the NFL. In 2013, his unit gave up 29.9 points per game (30th) and 394 yards/game (30th). This is absolutely inexcusable. People then wonder why I am angry towards this organization. If I hear another person talk about injuries and lack of talent to defend this guy, I’m going to start throwing tomatoes. There are several playoff teams with far worse injuries on defense. If I hear another person talk about how the defense has to stay on the field too long, I may need a case of tomatoes. They stay on the field too long because they CAN’T STOP ANYONE. Has he been held accountable for his actions? NO.
Shea McClellin, Brock Vereen, Jordan Mills, etc. etc.: I know that there’s no comparison between a quarterback and the positions that these players play. However, these are 3 guys that would not make 28 rosters in the NFL, let alone start. Every one of these players has shown nothing but incompetence yet still get rolled out to the field every week. Shea McClellin missed the first quarter of the season due to injury and when he got back, was placed in the starting lineup. Why? What has this man done to earn a starting job in the NFL? Did he have to earn his starting spot back? No. There was one game this season where I witnessed good linebacker play and it was against Atlanta. Interestingly enough, the top 4 linebackers on the depth chart were out due to injury and when they got back from injury, were plugged right back into the lineup. It’s not their fault that they’re not very good, they are trying their best – trust me. It’s the coaches and leaders that continue to let these incompetent players embarrass themselves who should have the blame. Have any of these players been held accountable for their actions? NO.
The fact here is that no one has been held accountable for their actions except for Jay Cutler and Jay Cutler alone (sorry – I forgot Shaun Draughn). Of all the widespread problems on this team, Marc Trestman is making a statement (to me at least) that Jay Cutler is the reason for the 5-9 meltdown in 2014. Everyone else gets a pass.
I’m sure Mr. Trestman is a nice man so this is nothing personal towards him. However, this is an attack on his lack of leadership and blind loyalty to people that have really not earned any loyalty. Marc Trestman is a weak leader that can’t face his players, is afraid of saying what needs to be said and most importantly…..has failed to hold ANYONE accountable after one of the most embarrassing seasons in Chicago Bear history, except for one man: Jay Cutler. If I see this coach walking the sidelines for the Chicago Bears next season, I’m not sure I will be able to watch.
In so many words, Jay Cutler is nothing more than Marc Trestman’s scapegoat. Let me make it clear that I am not satisfied with the play of quarterback Jay Cutler, but I also understand that the problems of this season run much deeper than the play of Jay Cutler.