This is a no-brainer. The Chicago Bears will only go as far as Jay Cutler takes them. From NFL.com's Most Important Players article:
There's no reason to think outside the box here: Cutler is everything to the Bears. Chicago hired head coach Marc Trestman to maximize Cutler's immense talent and help foster better leadership skills.
Even the Score guys have Jay on top in their Most Important Players list:
For the second straight year, Jay Cutler is the unanimous selection as the most important player on the Bears.
So there's no drama or intrigue in my selection either , Jay Cutler is the Most Important Chicago Bear for the 2013 season.
The NFL is a passing league, and the Bears just brought in a head coach known for his passing offenses, and his ability to get the most out of his QBs. We're yet to see all the details of the Marc Trestman version of the West Coast Offense, but it's a scheme that Jay Cutler has some familiarity with. I expect good things from Cutler this season.
More From WCG: How has Jay Cutler fared in the West Coast Offense?
I think I've expected good things from Cutler every season, and I've said as much in each Most Important Bears #1 post the last four years.
In 2012 I wrote this, "I think 2012 will see Jay Cutler have the single greatest season ever by a Bears QB."
In 2011 I wrote this, "I think the Bears have enough weapons for Cutler to thrive."
In 2010 I wrote this, "I think Jay Cutler will take his play to a level he's never seen before."
In 2009 I wrote this, "Can Jay Cutler be a Super Bowl QB? Yes."
For those of you new to Windy City Gridiron, you may now think of me as an optimistic Bears homer, and a Jay Cutler apologist. I assure you I've taken a critical stance on him through the years when warranted, but the off season is a time of hope, and the Bears have done a good job spinning us the hope line ever since Jay Cutler was acquired.
The last four years, statistically speaking, Jay Cutler has been a middle of the road QB. You can jump to his defense all you'd like, but his numbers scream average. Yes, I realize his offensive line has been all kinds of crap since he's been a Bear, but it is what it is. Yes, I realize former GM Jerry Angelo failed miserably at putting a skilled offense around him, but it is what it is. His QB rating, his yards, his attempts and completions, his TD passes, all scream average. You can't simply throw out a woulda, coulda, or shoulda in regards to the last four seasons and make that your big pro-Cutler argument, because the fact is that the Bears have had mediocre offenses since Jay Cutler has been in town.
The only positive stat that you can point to in regards to Jay is wins, and some people discount that. Cutler is 34-22 in his four years in Chicago, and he's 1-1 in the post season. Not world beating numbers, but the thinking is that with GM Phil Emery giving the offense some weapons, and upgrading the offensive line, and bringing in an offensive coach, that Cutler will be able to take his play to another level, and thrive in the new offense, and get this team to a Super Bowl. Now where have I heard that before?
You can recap all 10 Most Important Bears by clicking on the Story Stream.
More from Windy City Gridiron:
- The Bears Den: July 24, 2013 - Offseason news and notes
- The 10 Most Important Bears of 2013 - #2 Marc Trestman
- Cutler Still Has Plenty to Play For in 2013
- Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond
- The Chicago Bears' Most Pivotal Games of 2013
- Which Non-Headline Bear Needs to Have a Great Season?