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Old 30.04.2015, 10:01 AM
matthew.bolous matthew.bolous is offline
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Default Jay Cutler

Just been thinking about all the negative criticism towards Jay Cutler and wondered what peoples opinions were on him. I do agree that last season he had a pretty poor season, however this is generally reflective of the Bears as a whole. Seemingly dysfunctional, lacking any leadership from the coaching staff or senior players, so clearly a large portion of that blame should lie with Cutler.

You hear so many writers slate the Bears for sticking with Cutler, but I really don't see any better options. Yes the contract they provided him with was excessive, and kind of means they are stuck with them, but who else is there.

One of the main issues with Cutler is his body language. This is especially highlighted with how he handles the media. Yes I do believe it gives of a bad message however this shouldn't be a defining factor. Obviously his toughness is questioned, the 2010 NFC Championship game highlighted this (although nobody apart from the player can really say if he should have played on - maybe he though he would really hurt the team if he played), especially when you compare that to Philip Rivers a few years prior who played through a partially torn ACL. But as a player I don't think he's as bad as people make out. Since being with the Bears he has played with a shocking O Line, and some whacky Offensive Coordinators. Mike Martz wanted him taking 7-step-drops behind a terrible line and he took a ton of sacks and hits. People point to Trestman as some sort of Guru, after his first season, but the seconds season showed maybe the system wasn't all that. Josh McCown played well that year, but after last year nobody is suggesting that the run he had was anything other than a hot streak. Chicago's defence has also strugghled since that mid-2000's defence began to break apart.

When you look around the league I could name the following teams who would probably be upgraded if they had Cutler:

Bucs (although that would change with Winston)

Raiders and Jaguars have young passers who MAY turn out to be better, and right now you would probably take their situation over Cutler, but it still shows how many teams would benefit from Cutler.

The guy has a decent arm and is accurate, probably more so than 50% of the starting QB's in the league. Yes he throws picks, but so did so many good QB's. In this day and age with QB's such as Rodgers, Brady, Manning etc now throwing so few picks that this has become expected. The guy has taken the Bears to the playoffs and NFC Championship Game, so lets not forget he knows how to win.

Really don't understand all the huge negativity around the guy, but that's just my opinion. Stick him on the Jets, Bills or Texans and they are in the playoffs.
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Old 30.04.2015, 10:28 AM
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Diamond_Bomb Diamond_Bomb is offline
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Cutler is ok but the disliking comes from the fact he's an average at best QB being paid like an elite one.
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Old 30.04.2015, 11:15 AM
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goodkarma84 goodkarma84 is offline
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they might want him but that contract is a pain.
i think the hate often goes too far as he's often good (maybe often is a tad strong.)
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Old 30.04.2015, 11:44 AM
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GiantMackem GiantMackem is offline
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He has one of the best arms in the league, however his decision making and attitude is questionable.
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Old 30.04.2015, 12:24 PM
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olig23 olig23 is offline
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I could write a book on this topic, but I suspect it would be a rather boring read so I perhaps will refrain. This post will be long though....It's something that irritates me a great deal, with regard to how he is portrayed in the media and by fans, including Bears fans.

One of the most irritating things when discussing Cutler is that you have to write the paragraph I am writing now. Which is to say, that people mostly occupy one of two extremes. Either you're a committed critic of Cutler or you're an apologist. There doesn't seem to be much room for measured and sensible discourse. Perhaps that is a broader reflection for how sports is discussed in general. Broadly speaking it is reactive, fickle and, ultimately, hyperbolic.

I think Cutler is a solid Quarterback. I would rate him somewhere between the top 12-16 QBs in the NFL. That's not a bad thing. It's a good QB, but one with flaws.

Many people like to focus on his contract. I find that many of those people are simply opportunistically using that as justification for a pre-existing bias. Cutler was widely criticised and disliked long before he got paid. The contract has merely given his critics more ammunition. That said, I'll address the contract issue.

When you attempt to measure Cutler's contract you can approach it in numerous ways. The most obvious being in relation to talent vs pay. That begs the question, who are his peers in terms of on field play? If you think guys like Andy Dalton, then yes he is overpaid, massively. But I think that is utterly ridiculous. For me, I'm looking at Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill and Cam Newton as his relative peers. Also, for contractual purposes lets throw Colin Keapernick into this discussion.

For me, Kaepernick is not a good NFL QB. I doubt he ever will be either. Cutler is much better. Kaepernick. Kaepernick's contract is a interesting benchmark for two reasons. Firstly, It paid a similar sort of amount to Cutler's. Based on much less proven production. It is worth nothing though that this deal is not a bad contract. In fact Kaepernick's is a great contract, because it's incentive laden and is essentially a series of 1 year deals. The 49ers did really well. Thus, secondly, this deal is important to the discussion because it introduced the idea of not being as tied to players. There was no benchmark on previous contracts.

Going back to another QB in his range of talent, Joe Flacco, his contract is also massive. Signed before Kaepernick's and so is more of a typical example. I know some Raven's fans get a little touchy when I say this (because the Ravens are perfectly run), but it's a bad contract. We all understand they had no real choice too. Why? Because Flacco is good enough that you cannot afford to move on from him. It's simple as that. This introduces the third point you need to consider when looking at Cutler's contract. That is value vs replacement.

I think fans and the media perpetually fail to appreciate just how tough it is to get good QB play. It's incredibly hard. Moreover, there is a standard whereby you need to be at that level to remain the starter. Reach that level or above and you will get paid, not in relation to your peers but in relation to the market. I will call that line the "Dalton line" He's about the point at which you're not a safe starter and teams start thinking about benching you. Personally, I'm tempted to raise that line because I think Dalton is too poor to be a starter, so we might call it the "Alex Smith line" Whatever you want. The point is that above that a team doesn't want to replace you. Then it's all about your agent getting a price that matches the recent standards on the market vs what you would get in Free Agency.

Cutler's deal was a reflection of those facts. As we saw in the earlier Free Agent Guarantees game we played, not everyone gets that it's rarely just about how good you are. It's about market forces. Cutler simply hit free agency at the right time and was not bad enough that the Bears were willing to let him walk. Cutler's agent did his job. At the time few people complained either.

Fast forward one season. Cutler had undoubtedly a poor season. He posted his best passer rating in Chicago. He also threw the ball ball way more than most QBs in the NFL. But he made a lot of bad throws (accuracy wise) and was at fault for numerous fumbles. Was he Dalton bad? Was he worse than Alex Smith? No. Not. At. All.

We obsess over certain things as fans. Wins. Interceptions. Weapons. If I had a quid for every time I've heard the he had weapons argument trotted out, I'd be a rich man. Those things are factors, of course. But they are given too much weight in the discussion. The Bears had, for me, the worst defence in the NFL last season. Certainly down the stretch. Having a terrible D is a QB killer. Why? Because once you are down by two scores in the NFL it is very difficult to run the ball. Thus your offence is one dimensional. Thus the opposing D is less reactive because they can better scheme and predict to stop the pass. This in turn creates more turnovers and less success. This was huge part of why the Bears were terrible last year and why Cutler was poor. Why does Cutler have such a terrible record vs Green Bay? Because they're always ahead of us! They have Aaron bloody Rodgers! It is also why Trestman started dialing up screens so much. To try and take away some of that predictability. Bears fans got on his back for it, but it's worked for the Saints one dimensional offence for ages under Brees. The big difference is that they were in a dome and often playing in the lead.

Injuries on the o-line (Slausen) and poor play at Tackle (Bushrod and the horrific Mills) and injuries to Marshall all played their part too. But he still made more inaccurate throws and held the ball too long, causing fumbles. The final part is that the scheme Trestman wanted to run did not suit Cutler's strengths. This happens all the time with coaches inheriting QBs and not adjusting their scheme to the play of the QB. Cutler has always struggled with crossing reads. I think it's because anticipation is not a good skill for him. He is more of a see it, hit it type of thrower. Of course that's a weakness, but 95% of QBs have flaws. You work around them. Cutler is at his best hitting guys in vertical schemes. Trestman, to his credit did change that halfway through the year but we only had Jeffrey who could exploit it.

I would like to see Jon Fox focus on the D. Get the front 7 right. Get the O-line right. Run the ball with Forte. Then use play action to get Cutler rolling out. He's great at making things happen on those plays and the reads are far simpler. Usually three layers. West-coast timing based schemes do not work with him.

If the Bears get things right I think Cutler has a higher ceiling than Stafford (who's never impressed me over an extended period) and a similar potential to Flacco. I think Cutler's been a better player than Flacco, until last season where Flacco elevated his play for a whole year. The big difference beig that the Ravens build their team from the front 7 and o-line out meaning they're rarely putting the team on Flacco's back. If Fox gets things right the Bears can do just that with Cutler. I don't see either ever reaching the level of, say, Matt Ryan or Phil Rivers. But both could be worth their money, in the right team.

The question is though, what if we're awful again? Then I think it's tough. Personally, I think you cut Cutler and tank to get a shot at an elite guy. But that won't happen. because the Bears are usually well run enough to avoid the basement. So if you don't have a shot at a blue chip prospect... well you may as well keep him.


Attitude: Complete myth. It's all media driven stuff. All of his team-mates seem to root for him. Theere were some issues down the stretch last year. But Trestman was trying to save his own job and they hung Cutler out to dry. I think bad seasons create tension. But the whole leader thing is so over blown. Eli's not exactly a becaon of great body language. nor is Cam Newton. Nor is Matt Ryan. Hell, I've seen Brady do things that people would have killed Cutler for doing.

Cutting him: The contract is not as bad as many think. We can cut him next year. It was three year deal with a two year option.

Last edited by olig23; 30.04.2015 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 30.04.2015, 01:00 PM
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alonso11 alonso11 is offline
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Stafford - Cutler with good PR

he is not the best but the way the media talk about him they make him out as he is the worst qb in the league

but yes his contract is far to big.

wouldnt get rid of him for the chance to draft Mariota though
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Old 30.04.2015, 01:22 PM
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beneaththetides beneaththetides is offline
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Originally Posted by Diamond_Bomb View Post
Cutler is ok but the disliking comes from the fact he's an average at best QB being paid like an elite one.
This is true but also his attitude and body language really suck for a supposed leader. Ignoring cap/contract issues and looking only at on-the-field factors, IMO his time for any success there is done and both club and player would strongly benefit from parting. Now I've said that, just watch John Fox turn it all around
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Old 30.04.2015, 05:58 PM
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BuffaloG BuffaloG is offline
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He is destroyed by his contract. If he was paid like he played ie. Like a mediocre mid range QB then no one would care, he would be just another anonymous QB like Smith or Tannehill. But he is paid like an elite QB and judged as such. It isn't his fault.

As a player, he has a big arm and no head. No point having arm talent if you don't have the mental skills to use it
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:32 AM
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Bearsfanathalashall Bearsfanathalashall is offline
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The Cutler topic from a Bear's point of view is massively over done and very tedious. I wont go into to much detail as Olig has summed it up very neatly, so Kudos there.

What I will say however is, if you dive deeper the majority of guys who have played with Jay say he is a great leader.

Only this week he was the first to meet with White and his parents before making dinner reservations at an exclusive Chi town restaurant...the media unsurprisingly didn't pick this up.

The media hate on Jay because Jay hasn't got time for the Media.
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:44 AM
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HSTDriver HSTDriver is offline
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Apparently the bucs 2nd name on their draft sheet was Leonard Williams.

Creating a completely made up situation in which the bucs had taken Williams over Winston, and somehow traded remaining picks and nabbed Cutler - I think the Bucs would be in a better situation than they are now in with Jameis.

I am one of the few who root for Cutler, think he gets a hard time which is often undeserved.
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