Homers and Angelo/Cutler apologists can stop reading now. Look away. Go hang out with the 4th Phase club or something – by the way, tell them they kept it real quiet for the offense, thanks, but you’re supposed to make hella noise when the defense is on. Prawn sandwich brigade.
We knew this week that the Packers game would be Cutler’s signature game – and that this would be the story he wrote - just didn’t expect it to be his resignation. Where to start ? I’m not going to labor on Cutler’s injury. I’m not Cutler. I’m not his doctor. I only saw him walk unaided off the field and not receive any treatment. His toughness in the heat of battle all year is enough for me to just leave that alone. His toughness is not in question - apparently his MCL is gone, or so I heard. I do remember Jim McMahon’s kidney getting lacerated against the Raiders in 1984 though. He finished that game. Crawled into the locker room and pissed blood. Regular season game. Lacerated kidney. I remember that all right. Jim McMahon was a winner. Always had been. High school. College. The Pros. Always a winner. Love me some Jimmy. No, I was going to rip into Cutler before his injury. His knee may have been a reason not to continue, but it certainly wasn’t the cause of his 31 QB rating. Quarterbacks don’t throw with their knees the last time I looked.
I was as happy as could be when we traded for Cutler, he came at a very high price, but I was sure glad we got him. Of course, I had no idea who Jay Cutler was. I saw a pro bowl to his name and a bunch of numbers put up by Brandon Marshall. But we had a new QB with an arm, a mobile QB that could get yards on the run. And that was as good as it got. After two years I think it's fair to judge the guy that we sold the farm for, the guy that our dreams lie with ... taking into account the poor offensive line play during that time, and a WR corps that only a Bear fan could be enthusiastic about. Your end of semester talking point comprising 100% of your year's marks :
Jay Cutler is a big, strong, mobile, inaccurate gunslinger with a big arm - one who shows poor mechanics, makes bad decisions, apparently cannot read defenses, and has shown no signs of being willing to change anything. Discuss.
I defended him staunchly his first year in Chicago, although the fifth and final interception against the Niners was incredible to watch. 'Going after' the Skins' CB DeAngelo Hall this year was another favorite. Saying that he'd do it again made you sit up and take notice - What did he just say? I made excuses for him the first half of this season. The line sucked we apologists said. True. The receivers suck. True. But then I’d see him stand in there for six seconds when he did get time. And he’d still get sacked, or he’d still force it in somewhere it shouldn’t be forced. Or he’d throw a dropped interception, we’d all take a deep breath and go “Phew!” … and then color me pink ... he’d do exactly the same thing on the very next play ... and again … and again. It was like he was a kid playing Defender with a bunch of extra lives and he just didn’t care, he was just passing the time., he'd just shrug it off in the pressers with that "Yeah, and?" look.
When does the excuse-making stop? At what point do we finally announce "The Emperor has no clothes!"
Not only is he an inaccurate passer, but his choice of ball placement is terrible – even when one of the receivers gets separation, as Hester did in the first half a few times, he doesn’t know to drop it out there for the receiver to run onto. Anytime the elevation of his passes goes over 30 degrees he is just woefully inaccurate, he's not in the same zip code. Cutler has been over-throwing receivers all season - not just in the first half against the Packers. How many receivers did he overthrow in one half of football today? Five, six, seven ? It’s not just the promise that never got fulfilled, it’s the attitude. When Collins was getting ready to go in, where was the leader, where was the first string QB helping him out ? Sulking at the end of the bench on his lonesome, that's where. Cutler’s been here for two years now, and it seems like all he’s done is find ways to drag the defense down. Occasionally puts in a good performance against the better teams : Eagles, Jets. Oh sure, he shines when we play the bottom-dwellers, great. Reminiscent of a mobile Rex in fact ....
At what point in your career do you say to yourself : "You know what, I need to learn how to throw a ball properly and trust my coaches. I need to throw it away more." I don’t know if there’s too much that can be done about his touch and accuracy … he's a fully grown man .... but the mechanics he could improve. Dealing with pressure and reading defenses ? They tell us he’s smart. He’s not football smart though. Not Jimmy Mac smart, that's for sure. Say what you want about Kyle Orton, but he could read a defense and adjust. Kyle didn’t kill us. Would I take Kyle and those two first round picks and a third back ? Well, not if Jerry Angelo is using them.
And there lies the rub.
The cancer at the core of this team : Mr. Jerry Angelo. If there are any Angelo apologists left, please do raise your hand … it’s going to be a very long off-season.
“But Jerry got us Cutler and Peppers !” He did what? He traded away two firsts and a third AND our starting QB for a stubborn, bad-decision maker with a cannon arm? Ah, okay. And ninety one million dollars for an aging pass rusher at the end of his career which ensured that we couldn’t address the secondary or the O-line in Free Agency? Forty million guaranteed is a lot to pay for a guy who gets held all the time, but they don't call the opposition on it.
NFC Championship. Packers and the Bears. Soldier Field. Who do you need to stand up and be counted? Your heroes, that’s who. The stars. And stand up they did. Take a bow, Briggsy and Urlacher, you guys never ever let us down wearing the GSH. Never in your careers. Not in Arizona that Monday night, and not against the Packers today. And it’s hard to be a Bears fan, we appreciate the little joy the Bears provide, but players with heart ... provide it they do. This is Jerry Angelo’s team, his roster .... and we got pantsed in our own house by a team with thirteen players on Injured Reserve at last count. They did it with a Running Back that our Jerry passed over in favor of Dan LeFevour– a guy who’s not even on our roster anymore. He was about to select him - had him ringed with a magic marker - and then thought, no, this guy LeFevour is The Man. Your GM Jerry Angelo, the cancer at the heart of the Chicago Bears, and he’s been breaking mine ever since he got here. Be gone.
What’s the difference between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears ? Lions fans get a shot at the good draft picks for one. They're putting together a good roster now, they'll be good and getting better. The Bears won a Super Bowl 25 years ago - that's the difference. We have a Lombardi, they don't. Lombardis are all that count. How many division titles do the Bears have ? The Niners ? Pittsburgh? Who cares? After Peanut, Izzy, Peppers, Briggs, Garza, Urlacher and Kreutz retire soon - where's the core of the team? Cutler? See above. Forte? He needs a line.
The Steelers are going back for their seventh Lombardi – no doubt they’ll get it too. They’re committed to winning. They surround themselves with winners, good Head Coaches and GMs. The Bears? When Kreutz, Peppers, Peanut, Briggsy and Urlacher hang it up, we are the Lions ...