Raise your hand if you’re surprised that no fewer than TEN former coaches doubt the Chicago Bears can win with Jay Cutler at quarterback. Me neither.
"At least 10 former Chicago Bears staffers from the Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman regimes said recently they believe the team can’t consistently compete for championships as long as it fields a lineup with Jay Cutler under center."
I can’t imagine that I’d speak too kindly about someone who had a hand in getting me fired either. When I read Michael Wright’s article for ESPN, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Bears sent out a little survey to the coaches on their mailing list like the surveys you often have to fill out. Go ahead and play along:
Another former coach thinks the Bears could win with Cutler, but only if they limit him:
"One more former staffer said the Bears could win with Cutler as long as the coaches handcuff him to the system.But that’s precisely what the staff did when Mike Martz served as offensive coordinator during the 2010 and ’11 seasons, according to another former coach, and Cutler and Martz were often at odds."
Cutler and Martz were at odds?
What’s the point of keeping Cutler around and paying him a king’s ransom to handcuff him? At that point, you might as well go get Jake Locker or Mark Sanchez for pennies on the dollar and give Cutler the boot and save some cash.
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I’m not surprised that former coaches would doubt that the Bears can win with Jay Cutler. Coaches have big egos, so naturally, if the Bears were unsuccessful, it couldn’t possibly be their fault; it has to be Cutler’s fault. Marc Trestman successfully used Jon Gruden and the ESPN Monday Night Football crew to throw Cutler under the bus and blame last season’s failings on Jay. His self-preservation mode helped him land on his feet in Baltimore.
But here’s the really damning nugget from Wright’s article:
"Two teammates, who also asked to remain anonymous for this story, characterized Cutler as a divisive figure with whom they’d rather not continue to play."
The only thing worse would have been if the teammates put their names behind that sentiment. Then again, with the major overhaul set to take place at Halas Hall, they might not be teammates regardless of what happens with Cutler.
GM Ryan Pace and John Fox were very measured in their assessment of Cutler at the Combine recently. They’re still doing their homework and cramming like it’s Final Exams. They said they’re not on a deadline, but they really are. They’ve got to decide what to do with Cutler before the league year opens or trigger another chunk of money for 2016.