As many of my fellow Bears fans here on WCG, and the casual observers from the web have all observed, I am a staunch supporter and fan of one Jay Cutler. To me, he represents more than just the starting QB of a franchise that's never been known for big-time play from it's man-under-center. He, to me, represents a man that has met incredible challenges throughout his career, and never backs down against them. If you think this is a post that bodes a farewell type tone to it, then you're dead wrong.
The news heard around the league the past 2 days: Jay Cutler out with groin injury. This is the 4th straight year in a row where the embattled QB will miss at least 1 game due to injuries. From suffering multiple concussions, to breaking the thumb on his throwing hand (right), and now tearing muscle in his groin (ouch), he's never caught a break. A good reason for his injuries, is the lack of a competent supporting cast. Yet with this injury, it's a freak accident. I personally thought he would be okay after a little rest on the sideline, boy was I wrong. Being a man that is said to not like showing pain, he definitely appeared to be in a lot of pain headed to the tunnel. I can relate to this, as I too refuse to admit pain, and I can only imagine what's going on in his psyche right now.
In seasons past, the defense would get a lot of credit for the winning record the Bears would command. And normally, I'd agree to that principle. This season, is completely different, as the offense has become a major reason why they're remotely competitive. The leader of that offense: Jay Cutler. He was on pace to shatter all major passing records held by Erik Kramer since 1998, thanks to a revamped protection scheme and a deep receiving corps. Now, those records appear to be safe once again, to the dismay of fans everywhere. Yet, something tells me he's not done playing his best football yet, not by a long shot. Then again, that could also be the country fried steak I had for lunch earlier today.
Alas, it is now the Josh McCown show in Chicago, a back-up I find to be more than capable of holding his own until Cutler arrives healthy again. Additionally, it may not even matter if the defense doesn't perform an about-face in it's performance. But, Jay Cutler is one tough SOB, and I know he will do everything in his power to return this season provided they're still in contention. This offense is the most complete group I've seen in all my life as a Bears fan, and the sky is the limit with Cutler taking snaps and making the calls.
Moving ahead, the Bears will have a tough decision on their hands in the off-season. Is Jay the future of the franchise? Can he win the Super Bowl? Is there someone else? That, is ultimately up to Marc Trestman and the rest of the front office managed by Phil Emery. With an anticipated QB draft class this deep in talent, it seems likely a future successor will be taken at some point in the 1st two days. Despite the likelihood of that scenario, Jay Cutler appears set to return at least for 1 more season in Chicago. "Why bring that bum back", one fan may ask in the comments below. Fairly simply: he's the best QB available on the market. Unless you honestly believe the Giants are considering trade offers for Eli Manning, there are no other starting caliber QBs expected at a reasonable market. No, QBs do not grow on trees, and there is such a thing known as the salary cap. And, above all else, rookies do require time to develop properly. Bring Jay Cutler on a "team friendly" type deal, and then draft a prospect to groom or even compete with him. That's the easiest, and the best way to have any success in the future.
We're not going to "tank" for the top overall pick. We're not going to sell the barn for Eli Manning, or whomever else you think the Bears can grab at QB. We're not a team that's desperate for a total rebuild. We're a team that has almost all the pieces together to be a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl, at least on offense. Shoot, crazier things have happened, there have been teams to have lost their starting QB for an "x" amount of time, only to reach the playoffs. A good example of that, is the 2005 Chicago Bears, when Kyle Orton filled in for the injured Rex Grossman. Marc Trestman, at the moment, has an adequate plan in place to win now. Seeing how they're not giving up the season and place Jay Cutler on IR, shows how much faith they have both in themselves, and in Jay Cutler. If Marc Trestman and Comp. have faith in Jay Cutler, then so should us all. After all, he is by far the Bears MVP.
As my signature states, "Jay Cutler is our QB, and I for one am damn proud of that."