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It’s All Jay Cutler’s Fault

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Bears fans thought the horror was over. They thought they had seen the last of the nightmare. What they didn’t understand was that there are some terrors that can’t simply be waived.

NFL: Washington at Chicago Bears Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s all Jay Cutler’s fault. Some people want to blame John Fox or Ryan Pace (or maybe even the McCaskeys), but it should be obvious to even the casual observer that everything currently wrong with the Bears is due to Jay Christopher Cutler. In fact, it would be reasonable to suggest that the man from Santa Claus, Indiana is little more than Chicago’s own personal Krampus.

Let’s begin with the very obvious talent deficit on the Bears.

Despite Ryan Pace’s claims that he wanted to build through the draft, only 37 percent of Bears’ game starts during Pace’s tenure went to drafted players. By comparison, from 2012-2016, the Patriots were at 58 percent and the Packers were are 75 percent. Sure, some people might blame the ineptitude of Phil Emery and Pace at drafting (using Kevin White’s dismal showing as a scapegoat), but true fans know that the real problem is the two first-round picks traded away in 2009 and 2010 in exchange for Cutler. True, the number of games started from the draft is down from 2012 (58 percent), at 42 percent for Pace’s entire tenure, and that trend is more indicative of bad drafting after 2011, but there is a vague chance that Jerry Angelo would have drafted players who would have had exceptionally long careers.

It’s ridiculous to think that even with teams as reliant on free agency as the Denver Broncos (with 47 percent of their five-year game starts being home-drafted) and the Cleveland Browns (53 percent) blowing past Pace’s numbers that somehow effective management of the roster would make a difference. Clearly, the talent shortage from the draft is Cutler’s fault. Forget the “math” that suggests that even if both of those first-rounders resulted in players who had uninterrupted eight-plus year careers, the Bears would only hit a Jaguars-like 49 percent. As surely as a Chris Conte interception, the inability of the Bears to draft and field players is due to Cutler.

However, it’s even more insidious than that.

Think about the real struggles of the Bears. They transcend the roster or having Mike Glennon as the highest-paid free agent on the team. This is, after all, a team in the midst of a coaching crisis. Who is the head coach of the Bears? John Fox. The same Fox who used to be with the Broncos, just like Cutler! More importantly, this is the same Fox who was only coaching the Broncos because of the failures of Josh McDaniels. Why was McDaniels such a failure? Probably because he got off on the wrong foot with his Pro Bowl (alternate) quarterback - one Cutler.

Sure, some people would suggest that Ernie Accorsi is overrated as a consultant and that he pushed Fox on the McCaskey family, or that Pace was too incompetent or inexperienced to find a decent coach on his own. But the truth of the matter is much simpler. Fox was fired from the Broncos because he could not get even a Peyton Manning-led team to a Super Bowl championship. And remember, there was only an opening at quarterback for the Broncos because Jay Cutler got traded. It’s all back on Cutler.

Finally, there’s the problem at the top. Why would a team in desperate need of a turnaround hire the Director of Pro Personnel of the New Orleans Saints, of all organizations? The Saints are an organization one Brees-related injury away from irrelevancy, not a well-built team that maximizes pro scouting. Well, the simple fact of the matter was that the team was desperate, and it was desperate because of the poor quality of management up until that point. Some might blame Emery or even Angelo for that, but it actually goes all the way to Ted Phillips. How is this Cutler’s fault?

Back in 2011, on ESPN 1000, Phillips said this about Cutler:

"I'm excited about Jay...I love his ability and what he's bringing to the team in terms of leadership. I think he grew a lot last year, and I think he's going to continue to surprise his -- if he has any doubters -- he's going to surprise them this year."

Clearly, Cutler so totally deranged Phillips’ ideas about what it meant to be a leader and a football player that the poor man was left without direction when it came time to arrange Chicago’s front office. Cutler’s game play left Phillips with an emotional concussion, and that has led the Beloved to their sad state today.

Finally, it’s clear. None of this is the fault of Pace, Fox, Emery, or even Marc Trestman (go Alouettes...er...Argonauts). Nope, it’s all Cutler’s fault.

Happy Holidays to the man from Santa Claus. He’s the gift that keeps giving.