Listening to former Bears QB Jim Miller on the Comcast post game after the Eagles loss, it became even clearer, the Bears are simply not coaching Cutler up. Miller questioned what's being taught to Cutler, both the mental aspects of the position and his fundamentals. To paraphrase Miller, ‘you can't trade for a good QB and expect him to be good without constant coaching', or something to that extent.
He called into question both Ron Turner and QB coach Pep Hamilton, while reflecting on his time in New England spent under then QB coach (and current Denver Bronco head coach) Josh McDaniels, and then Patriot offensive coordinator (and current Notre Dame head coach) Charlie Weis. Every QB meeting he had in N.E. was spent with these two coaches along with head coach Bill Belicheck. Compare that brain trust to Turner, Hamilton, and Lovie Smith.
I can't honestly say I know that much about Hamilton other than his bio, but I've never seen him described as a "wonder kid", "up and comer", "future head coach material", or stuff like that. He very well could be a burgeoning offensive mastermind, and I hope he is, but looking around the NFL and all the publicity surrounding many young coaches prior to them getting a head job you have to wonder if Hamilton were that good, wouldn't there be someone singing his praises by now? Josh McDaniels, Mike Tomlin, Raheem Morris, Eric Mangini, Todd Haley, and Jim Schwartz were all heralded as hot young coaching commodities before getting their big break. Does anyone have Hamilton on a hot potential coaches list?
Jay Cutler is a 26 year old talent that needs to be coached up to reach his full potential. I feel last year in Denver he merely scratched the surface of what he'll eventually become, but he'll need the right offensive coaches surrounding him.
Getting back to Miller, the particular play that got Miller all riled up was the missed TD on the Greg Olsen overthrow in the second quarter. First off, shouldn't Olsen have dove for the ball? Antonio Gates makes that catch. Tony Gonzalez makes that catch. As does Vernon Davis. If Olsen wants to be an elite tight end then at least give an elite effort. But it wasn't the miss by Olsen that Miller didn't like, it was Cutler not throwing to Jason McKie in the flat. He pointed out that as soon as the Eagles blitzed from the right side his immediate hot route should have been the fullback in the flat. There should have been no back foot throw, there should have been a simple set up and toss to a wide open McKie.
Miller also wondered if when the play call is coming in from Ron Turner, if Turner drops some tidbits of info with the play. For example, after the play call does Turner mention; "OK, it's 2nd and 10, if the play isn't there throw it away" or the occasional, "We're in the Red Zone, don't force anything, we'll take the 3 points!", I guess no one really knows except those with access to the radio feed, but we have to wonder.
If the right coaches aren't surrounding Jay Cutler, and some offensive stability isn't put around him, I fear his play may continue this trend to mediocrity. Get a system in place next year that fits his talents, and stick with it. It's pretty much a given that Turner can't be allowed to come back next year, and with the way the Bears have operated in the past in terms of Lovie Smith and his coaching hires, you have to wonder if the new offensive coordinator is on the current staff. Could Pep Hamilton be promoted? If so I'm all for Jim Miller as the next QB coach.
And by the way... Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!