For the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at a season preview for the Chicago Bears broken down by position, beginning first with the quarterback situation. When Jay Cutler was brought to Chicago from Denver in 2009, fans were relieved that the Bears had finally found their franchise quarterback. Some of those fans have backed off a bit as Cutler hasn’t exactly put up the numbers that they had hoped for. But don’t be quick to blame the gun-slinger out of Vanderbilt.
Cutler hasn’t had a lot of protection since coming to Chicago. In fact, he has had one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Aside from being chased out of the pocket seemingly every drop-back, Cutler hasn’t exactly had stellar receivers in his time as a Bear either. Until last year, when the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, Cutler did not have an elite target to throw to. Now with Marshall and last year’s second round draft pick Alshon Jeffery, who hopes to remain healthy this year, Cutler has a more supportive receiving crew.
With new additions on the offensive line, which we will get into in a couple weeks, the Bears hope that Cutler will have some additional time to read through his options and thus make better decisions – he was sacked 38 times last season, the fifth most in the NFL.
The biggest addition to help Cutler, however, may not even be someone wearing pads. New head coach Marc Trestman has worked with some very successful quarterbacks in his past as an offensive coordinator, including hall-of-famer Steve Young. Trestman’s knowledge of the game is something that will strongly benefit the free-throwing Cutler’s decision making. The two have both expressed their excitement about working together, which shows that they are committed to each other.
With an improved offensive line, better receivers, and a coach who is willing to get the very best out of his quarterback, Jay Cutler is primed for a big season. Look for him to cut down on the turnovers and continue to improve his decision making. Assuming everybody stays healthy, Cutler has the chance to be one of the league’s better quarterbacks.
While the starting position is set in stone with Cutler, the backup situation might get ugly if an injury were to happen. Last year’s backup, Jason Campbell, didn’t turn out the way the Bears had hoped. When he played, he was not very good. He finished the season with a 23.5 quarterback rating and four turnovers compared to two touchdowns. He was not brought back this season and instead the Bears brought back Josh McCown for his second stint with the team. He will serve as the primary backup this year, followed by Matt Blanchard, who has yet to play in an NFL game. Bears fans better hope Cutler can stay healthy, or else things could go downhill very quickly.
Jay Cutler Stats