Jay Cutler’s Play Making Adam Gase a Leading Head Coaching Candidate


When you’re the offensive coordinator in a Peyton Manning-led offense, you don’t get a lot of credit. Tom Moore was Manning’s offensive coordinator in Indianapolis forever, and he gets some credit for helping sculpt Manning’s football IQ, but as an older coach, he never was really considered for head coaching positions.

This season, Adam Gase has proven he’s one of the top offensive minds in the country.

Fast-forward to Manning’s Denver Broncos days, Mike McCoy was his first OC and McCoy eventually got a job as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers, but his offense has been less than inspiring since his arrival proving many people’s suspicions that the Broncos’ offensive success was Manning and not McCoy.

Adam Gase took over for McCoy and although he was mentioned as a head-coaching candidate, he was never really close to getting any jobs last season. Perhaps it was because of the Manning factor or perhaps it was due to something else, but either way that opened the door for John Fox to keep him as his offensive coordinator and bring him to Chicago.

This season, Adam Gase has proven he’s one of the top offensive minds in the country.

Nov 9, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase looks on before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Gase has worked spectacularly with Jay Cutler. He has turned Cutler into a viable NFL QB. We’ve been hearing about Cutler’s potential ever since the Bears traded for him in 2009 and Gase is finally turning Cutler into the QB that everyone thought he could be.
Cutler is playing the best football of his career. It may not be the gaudiest stats he’s ever produced, but he’s never been smarter with the football. Gase has him playing within the offense. He’s showing awareness in the pocket and moving well to create more time to throw, and he isn’t throwing the ball foolishly into coverage. Cutler will always be prone to turnovers, but they are coming far less often, and most of the ones from this year (sans week one against Green Bay) have been far less crippling.

What’s also great to see is how well Cutler has played in the fourth quarter. Cutler’s career fourth quarter passer rating is 83.8, lower than any other quarter. This season, Cutler’s fourth quarter passer rating is 91.5, far better than it’s ever been. Cutler has become clutch. If it wasn’t for Cutler, the Bears could be winless, his fourth quarter play was that good in all three of Chicago’s victories. Only one thing has changed- Adam Gase.

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Gase is going to be a hot commodity when teams start looking for head coaches in the offseason. Perhaps Indianapolis will want him to help turn Andrew Luck into one of the greats of all-time. Perhaps Jacksonville will look at him to see if he can help develop Blake Bortles. Perhaps even the Chargers will take another run at a John Fox offensive coordinator. Who knows which teams will come knocking for Gase, but trust me, they will be knocking.

It will be a shame if the Bears lose Gase after one season. When you start a rebuilding project like the Bears have this season, you’d like to see the coaching staff stay together for the first few years to help develop the team, but you can hardly blame Gase if he leaves for a head coaching job. Maybe the sun will shine brightly on the Bears and Gase will be the runner-up in a couple places and the Bears can keep him for one more season.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s great to see what he’s done with Cutler and just imagine where he could take him with a second season. The unknown is scary. If Gase leaves, who knows how Cutler will play under a new offensive coordinator (maybe even Mike McCoy). Cutler seemingly has had to learn a new offense every season, and another change at the OC spot would be tough to swallow.

Cutler is playing better than he ever has, and he has Adam Gase to thank. The Bears have one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL and it would be a shame to see it broken up after one season. The unknown is always uncomfortable, but for Bears fans, if Gase leaves, it will be uncomfortable for a very good reason.