Yes it's anticlimactic. Yes it's cliche. Yes I put Jay Cutler at the top of my 'Most Important Bears' series for the 3rd consecutive year. Deal with it, it's a QB-driven league. For every Trent Dilfer riding along with the Ravens to the championship, you have 15 Super Bowl champs that are led by the quarterback. I've said all along that there are no rights or wrongs in this series, but the Bears have the best chance at winning a title with Midway Jay at the helm.
In 2009 Cutler led the NFL with 26 interceptions, and his 4.7 interception percentage was 5th highest. In 2010, with less attempts, his 16 picks ranked 8th in the NFL, and his Int% of 3.7 placed him 7th. Cutler still had his 'you gotta be kidding me!' moments last year, but he did take care of the ball better. One would think he's maturing as a QB, and in the second year in the same system for the 1st time since 2008 (his lone Pro Bowl year), one could also think he'll improve on those numbers.
A lot depends on the #2 Most Important Bears and the other members of the o-line, but if they take a step in play, Cutler could have a career year. And yes, that's with or without a newly signed tall wide receiver. I think the Bears have enough weapons for Cutler to thrive. A reliable tight end and a top tier running back. Two speed wide outs to stretch the field and a possession receiver to work underneath. And for those that crave a tall guy, the new CFL transplant should scratch that itch. That's not to say I wouldn't be all for a new player for Jay to throw to, I just don't expect the Bears to do it.
Here are my 10 Most Important Bears for 2011, just click for the pop-able link: