Football Outsiders writer Doug Fararr breaks down what's going on with Jay Cutler, the offensive line, and Ron Turner. He spoke with Greg Cosell from NFL Films and ESPN's State Farm NFL Matchup about Jay. A sample from the article:
while I have no clue what's going on in his head, the tentative throws I'm seeing indicate a shell-shocked player in a situation that doesn't work for him at all.
HT to Hatchetm for the link
Please read the whole article, it is very informative. I'll highlight a couple of relevant quotes.
I think you’re seeing the cumulative effect of a lot of things. One is an offensive line that is probably the worst in pro football.
He's waiting for the pressure. He's perceiving the pressure now when it's not there because it’s happened so often, he’s just expecting it to happen. He’s always been a tight window thrower. That’s one of the things that makes him different and that’s an attribute I think you have to have in the NFL, but he needs receivers who are bigger, who are more physical, who attack the football, who can make contested catches -- he doesn’t have one receiver like that in Chicago. And I’m not talking about tight ends, I’m talking about wide receivers. He’s got receivers who are runners. They don’t attack the ball; they don't make contested catches.
He’s an unbelievable talent that needs to be harnessed. Arguably, the two most gifted quarterbacks, in terms of pure, physical gifts, are Roethlisberger and Cutler. No one throws a ball like Cutler. He’s unbelievable.
I was astonished to see Pace get no help with Allen on any of those plays. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner managed to combine the protection leakage of wide sets with the inflexible non-production of a quick-screen-only offense. It was mind-blowing.
When you're facing a line like Minnesota's, and you have no protection, your only hope is that your deep receiver is faster to the completion of his route than Jared Allen is in knocking your head off.