I've been a Bears fan since I could remember which would be about 25 years. I'm from the X generation, a generation too young to truly remember the '85 Bears and the progression of that team from contenders to Champions. But yet old enough to remember the years after that and the mediocrity that would follow. I've felt the frustrations of never having a Franchise Quarterback but I'm here to tell you that this is the moment we've all prayed for. What's that moment you ask? The moment in which this organization as a whole will be forced to change it's philosophy of doing business.
The addition of Jay Cutler has finally stripped away all the old myths and cliques that this organization has been able to sell to its fan base for decades. Things such as Bear Weather, Monster of the Midway, Getting off the bus running. All of these labels were fed to us fans as a crutch and as a facade to blind us from the real issue. The issue that we have not been able to acquire and develop the most important position in all of sports...The Quarterback position. As long as we could be proud of our team's rough and tough brand of football, we could ignore the QB position and almost take pride in the fact that we could win without it. Well finally the gig is up.
In Angelo's attempt to save his job by sticking his neck out to get Jay Cutler, he may have created an organizational change from top to bottom. I mean changes reaching as far as replacing Ted Phillips and the rest of management on down, to as simple as replacing the field grass. Because see when you invest 20 million dollars into a Franchise QB, the old way of doing business just won't do. So you want to play with the big boys and make big offseason moves? Then you're going to be opening yourself up to the type of criticism that gets management fired and fans less interested. You can't have it both ways. You just can't go get the Ferrari but then decide not to get the tires. Everything has to change.
QB development and Fan patience:
I'm going to bring up a name that will upset a lot of people. Everyone has their own reason to hate this guy. But I'm telling you right now that learning from the mistakes made with this guy and his development will be the key to getting Cutler on track... Rex Grossman. I know, I know, you'll say: "He sucked and he threw so many picks and he always threw off his back foot, he was weak minded, and I just plain hated that guy". Are you sure we're still talking about Rex? Because what I've seen from Cutler in the last two games was everything I saw of Rex in '06 after the Arizona game. The only difference between the two is that Cutler had a proven track record before coming here. Unfortunately I got a feeling that we'll see more of the same if there isn't a change in this coaching staff and also a certain amount of patience from us fans.
Whether you think Rex would've been great is a discussion for another day, but our inexperience as fans of watching a QB grow into a franchise QB may be part of the problem as well. Jay Cutler is a 26 year old QB who until this year, got better each season he's played but he isn't a finished product. He may be entering a crossroads in his career where we actually may be watching this guy regress along with his popularity in this town. I'm a Cutler fan and I think he's the goods but watching him lose his greatest asset, his confidence like Rex did is startling.
My point of this post is to say that great organizations develop their talent so that they can reap the benefits of their investments, we need to demand that from this franchise as oppose to running another player out of town and just assuming that he's the sole issue. Going to get Holmgren or Shannahan would be a step in the right direction. This season may be painful to watch, but Cutler's struggles may actually be the very thing that gets this organization to conduct business as if it's the 21st century.