Tag Archives: Jay Cutler

Out Of Retirement

It’s been a while.  Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

Well, since I’ve last scribbled much has happened.

ND went to the College Football championship and got their ass kicked.  ND MLB T’eo was found to have a fake girlfriend so he got his ass kicked by the oh so righteous and ethical sports media.

The Cubs signed some free agents…zzzzzzzzzzz.  What was I saying?  I shouldn’t be so negative though.  If Nate Schierholtz doesn’t spell championship, I don’t know what does.

Lance Armstrong kind of, sort of admitting to doping and the world was NOT surprised.

And, finally, the Chicago Bears ended the not so offensive reign of one Lovie Smith.

The new coach IS….drum roll….Marc Trestman.  Silence.  Tumbleweed rolling across the floor.  Confused looks on the fans faces.

Actually the hire wasn’t all that bad.  Plenty of offensive experience in college and pro football.  Oh, and hey, he has head coaching experience up in Canada which has about as much credibility as a competitive rec league.  Seriously though, the guy is the QB guru.  And I mean THE QB guru.  I don’t know what it is but he has a knack for getting the most out of his thrower.  He also calls a good game and his offenses are ALWAYS at the top of any league.  This IS what the Bears need.

The remaining questions are…  Will Cutler buy into it?  I think so.  Will the aging, talented defense have one more good season under an offensive minded head coach?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Not sure if the guy from Jacksonville has the chops but we’ll all find out.  Will Emery open up the Bears tightly fastened coin purse and get several (meaning more than 2) offensive linemen on the free agent market?  That would surprise me but that is exactly what is needed to keep Cutler on his feet and throwing TDs.

Oh, and I don’t want fans demanding the Bears waste a 1st Round pick on lineman because we need one.  Stop it.  NFL teams almost always take the best guy on the board no matter what his position is.  Besides, drafting offensive linemen that are immediate contributors on an NFL offensive line is like finding a winning lottery ticket in the garbage.

Well, glad to be back writing.  I’m sure it will be an interesting off-season in the NFL.  There will be lots to talk about in the world of baseball.  The Bulls continue to do well without D. Rose or the Bench Mob.  The NHL is back in action and…well, so what.  I think the fans should boycott for the season.  Make Bettman sweat a little.

I might also start spewing about pro wrestling.  I have been a fan since, well, since I’ve watched TV.  I don’t watch with as much interest or passion as I did 20 years ago, but I still enjoy it.  It’s the male soap opera and plenty of us guys are hooked.  LOL

Oh, and in closing, plenty of fine BPD ladies of sports to come.  😉

 

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Losing Not an Option

Tonight is a big night Chicago Bears fans.  The “undefeated” Lions host the 2-2 Chicago Bears in what shapes up to be the Bears biggest game of the season.

Win and the Bears are right back in the thick of things in the NFC Central Division.  Lose the the Chicago Bears are 3 games behind 2 teams in the division.  Losing simply isn’t an option for a coaching staff that seems to be on the hot seat almost every single season.

A loss put the Bears in a huge hole.  It is incredibly difficult to make up 2 games let alone 3.  A 3 game hole, even this early in the season, is almost impossible to recover from.  Making matters worse, after tonight the Bears already have a game against both Detroit and Green Bay in the books.  3 games in the hole with only 2 games left against the teams above you certainly puts the odds against the Bears making the post-season.

There has to be a sense of urgency to everything the Bears do tonight.  The defense must improve.  The D-Line needs to put consistent pressure on Lions QB Matt Stafford or he will throw for over 300 yards and several TDs.  They need to control the clock and move the ball methodically down the field.  Forte and Marion Barber need to combine for at least 150 yards on the ground to win.  Winning through the air isn’t going to happen for the Bears.  To win the O-Line needs to keep Cutler upright.  The game plan is simple.  They need to throw quick slants, outs and screens along with the power running game.  They also need to limit turnovers.  If they can do all of these things, they control the clock.  They control the clock they control the game.

If they get into a game plan where Cutler throws 40 times and gets picked 2 or 3 times than we know where this game is headed.  The O-Line isn’t good enough to hold off the Lions rush for the 4 or 5 seconds Cutler will need to get the vertical game going.

So, for the first time EVER, the Bears v. Lions actually means something.  The Lions are young and hungry.  The Bears talented but getting old.  It should be interesting to see where this goes but Bears fans know, losing is NOT an option tonight.

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Sack Lunch

Noon on Sunday! Time for Jay’s sack lunch. Jay Cutler, come and get it!!!! BAM!!!!

The Jay Cutler the Bears traded for was only sacked 11 times in 2008 and he put up ALL WORLD numbers and went to the Pro Bowl.  Jay was sacked more than any other QB in the NFL last season and he has been sacked 11 times already in 2011.

Despite this fact some in the Chicago media (Morrisey for example) will blame it on Jay’s footwork and inability to get rid of the ball.  What?  Every QB in the NFL has about 4 seconds to get rid of the football.  There are many times Jay has about half of that time.  Are their coverage sacks? Sure.  But most times it is Jay dropping back and almost immediately getting dropped.

If the rest of the Bears foes throw aggressive blitz packages against this offensive line, especially without Carimi, they will break the single-season sack record.  Webb has been a turnstile on the left side, Williams is inconsistent and Garza and Spencer need to switch positions.  Oh, and Carimi needs to get healthy.  Until they remedy some of these situations Jay will continue to sit on his ass.

Now I didn’t even cover the other factors like a terrible game called by Mike Martz and WRs, even Sanzenbacher, dropping balls right and left.  They need more consistency out of that WR corps and they need a coordinator who is going to change things up if he realizes the existing game plan is getting his QB killed.

A successful passing game starts with the offensive line.  I watched Tom Brady sit back on his lounge chair the last two weeks, sip some Mojitos and throw for over 900 yards.  You can do that when you have protection.  When a good scheme matches that protection you are going to score a lot of points.

I always wish the best for the Chicago Bears but if they don’t take care of this O-line situation quickly they’ll be out of the division race by mid-season and might be without their star QB even before then.  But haven’t we been talking about this for the last two years?  Aren’t the Bears over $19 million under the salary cap?  Weren’t they’re excellent O-line free agents this summer?  Hmmmmm?

So, for now, enjoy your sack lunch Mr. Cutler.  We promise to start putting more soft foods in it since you will be without teeth to chew your food.

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System of a Downer

The Chicago Bears are half way through the 2010-11 season and it certainly has been a roller coaster ride.  One minute the Monsters of the Midway are 4-1 and at the top of the NFC North and the next minute they are a jumbled mess on the verge of collapse.

I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than being a Chicago Bears fan right now.  You have seen this play over and over again.  You had hoped with the addition of Martz, Peppers and Chester T. that maybe the worst was behind us and we could compete for a playoff spot.  That hope has been dashed.  To come up with two crappy performances in a row against Seattle and Washington is pathetic.  These were games they had to win and they didn’t.  If they go into the half at 7-1 with a three game lead over nemesis Green Bay the chances are really good that they are going to win the division.  However, they pull up lame against two mediocre NFC opponents and that speaks volumes of not only the players, but the organization.

Some people slam on the offensive line and others enjoy roasting Jay Cutler.  Some even blame it on Lovie Smith alone while some will go as far as to blame management and ownership.  I have to say they are all right.  The offensive line is the worst I have seen in my 30 some odd years of being a Bears fan.  Jay Cutler, who I like, needs to calm down.  Take a sack and don’t force the play.  It is hard for him to do that  because he is a competitor and he has already taken a seasons worth of sacks, but he has to try.

The organization certainly has the biggest bullseye.  Let’s not kid ourselves, the Bears of 2006 won in spite of Lovie.  He has done very little as a head coach.  He doesn’t inspire confidence, his mid-game adjustments suck and he can’t throw a RED FLAG to save his life.  Most of his coordinators are God awful too, although I’ll give a pass to Marinelli and Taub at this time.

Finally Jerry Angelo has to be the worst GM in the NFL on the first day of the Draft.  We have a terrible record with 1st and 2nd Round picks.  He is great finding gems in the middle rounds and maneuvering to acquire more picks however, to be a great team and compete for Superbowls you have to find those future NFL stars on  Day 1 of the NFL Draft.

I’d go on and on about how inept President Ted Phillips and the McCaskey clan are but I’ve covered that many times. And, let’s face it, they aren’t selling any time soon.

I hope that a huge win over Buffalo in 2 weeks can catapult this team to a 3 or 4 game streak.  That would be fantastic.  I don’t wish this team any ill will for I am a HUGE fan.  However, if they should happen to finish the season with only 7 or 8 wins like I suspect then it is time for the firing squad.  Paging Coach Cowher!  Coach Cowher needed at Soldier Field STAT!

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Football is King in NWI and Chicago

soxcubshglassLiving in NW Indiana (basically a suburb of Chicago) this is the time of year many of us begin moving on.  We may still catch an inning or two but our sports minds have begun looking ahead.  We have moved on to pigskin, helmets, pads and touchdowns.  The true “die-hard” baseball fans (most of those on the North side of the city) will hang in there longer than most of us.  However there are many who have mentally moved on to football. 

In NW Indiana there are 3 pro football teams.  The Chicago Bears (obviously), Indianapolis Colts (In state) and Pittsburgh Steelers (steel mills support the Steelers) all look to be good this season.  The Bears and new QB Jay Cutler look to be NFC North Division favorites and compete for the NFC crown.  The Colts still have Peyton Manning and a solid group of guys and the Steelers look to repeat as Super Bowl champs.  How can the Cubs and Sox beat that?  

NW Indiana is also in the heart of college football country.  Notre Dame is 90 minutes away and has a huge following.  They look to improve on last year’s bowl season with a majority of the starters coming back.  The Big10 (5 of the schools are within a 4 hour drive of NW Indiana) appears to be wide open this season.  Michigan State looks to be an early favorite but after MSU, Ohio State and Penn State the conference is wide open.  Indiana, Illinois and Northwestern all have a legitimate shot at 6 or 7 wins and a bowl game.  Purdue has a difficult schedule and is re-building but West Lafayette is always a fun place to see a game.   

Now I admit the Big 10 is in no way the SEC or Big 12 but the games are usually very competitive regardless of national record.  And, for all of you SEC, BIG 12 and PAC 10 fans/alums there is a place for you in the Chicago area too.  Most of the bars on the cities North side all have collegiate affiliations and are great places to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Purdue game – Durkins, Michigan game – Duffy’s, Michigan State game – Gin Mill, Illinois and Florida games – Joe’s on Weed, Kansas games – Kincades, UCLA games – Lion’s Head Pub, Nebraska games – Kirkwood…and the list goes on and on.  http://www.chibarproject.com/Features/College/ChicagoCollegeBars.html

While there are certainly plenty of watering hole options for your college football viewing, nothing beats a little road trip.  When the weather turns cooler and leaves change colors, tailgating at a college football game should be on your to-do list.  The smell of encased meats on the grill, playing catch with friends and knocking back a few cold ones is as American as this PED infested sport they call baseball.  Even if you didn’t attend any of the major programs in the area there are plenty of in-state and conference rivalries to keep your interest.  I encourage road trips to Madison, WI, Ann Arbor, MI and South Bend, IN.

Road trips and kick offs a side, baseball games are still fun, just not that important after All-Star break.  Neither team will be “out of the race” which will keep some interest but let’s not forget the WHY…because their divisions suck.  The reality is the Cubs and Sox are going nowhere fast.  Baseball holds no interest for many of us until October when good teams like the Yankess play the Red Sox in the ALCS and the Dodgers play the Phillies in the NLCS.

Fact is the minute Jay Cutler and the Bears take the field it’s over for our local baseballers.  When you hear the roar of the crowd during kick off at the Notre Dame v. Michigan State game or Wisconsin v. Michigan game, it’s over.  When you enter Joe’s on Weed or the Tilted Kilt and have to go to a small TV in the corner to watch your Cubs or Sox, it’s over.

So, don’t fight it.  Enjoy what’s left of your seasons.  It might still be fun to play hooky from work on a Wednesday afternoon and go to Wrigley or The Cell.  Nothing wrong with that.  But Chicago fans know once football season starts weekend baseball in Chi-Town only exists in the box scores we read in the paper or highlights we catch on ESPN. 

Cubs and Sox, enjoy what is left of your spotlight in Chicago area sports.  Like sands in the hour glass so are the days of the Cubs and Sox lives.

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Cutler Enjoys a Bear Market

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Shortly after hearing the Chicago Bears acquired quarterback Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos the thought of the Superfans flashed through my head.  They would approve with a chorus of “Daaaaaaaaaa Bears” and then Chris Farley would keel over.  Bill Swerski thinks it is another heart attack from consuming too much Polish Saaaahhhhsage but as it turns out he passes out in amazement that the Bears did the right thing.

You have to think back to the mid-1990s and Erik Kramer for the last good Chicago Bears QB.  He had a career 80.7 passer rating and set single season records  completions, attempts and yards.  Erik was a very good QB.  Before Erik was Jim McMahon.  Jim had an opportunity to be one of his generations greatest QBs.  Unfortunately for Jim injuries derailed him time and time again.  While he did do what no other Bears QB was able to, and that is lead his team to a Superbowl title, he will only go down as just another slightly above average QB.

The last “great” quarterback the Chicago Bears had was Sid Luckman.  Who?  Sid Luckman who led the Chicago Bears from 1939 to 1950.

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Sid Luckman is a Hall of Fame QB.  Sid led the Chicago Bears to multiple World Championships, one was the record breaking 73-0 drubbing of the Washington Redskins.  He lined up under center as Bears QB for 128 games.  He led the league in passing three times and was league MVP in 1943.  In an era when offenses resembled rugby scrums, Sid set the standard for what the NFL would become.  Sid was a great QB.

After his retirement in 1950 the Chicago Bears have had to wait almost 60 years for the next potential great to come along.  Since then the Bears faithful have paid their hard earned money to come out and support the likes of an aging George Blanda, Rudy Bukich, Jack Concannon, Virgil Carter, Bobby Douglass, Mike Phipps, Bob Avellini, Vince Evans, Rusty Lisch, Greg Landry, Mike Tomczak, Jim Harbaugh, Doug Flutie, Peter Tom Willis, Will Furrer, Steve Walsh, Dave Kreig, the majorly disappointing Rick Mirer, Steve Stenstrom, Moses Moreno, Shane Matthews, Jim Miller, Cade McNown, Chris Chandler, Henry Burris, Kordell Stewart, Jonathan Quinn, Craig Krenzel, Chad Hutchison, Rex Grossman, Brian Griese and Kyle Orton.   In this collection of average to below average to men that should have chose another profession, only a few in that 58 years span did even a little better than “OK”.  Those QBs would be Billy Wade, Jim McMahon and Erik Kramer.  These guys weren’t that much better than the collection of stiffs I named above.  They happened to be around really good circumstances like the Monsters of the Midway D in 1963, the 46 D in 1985 and Turner’s pass happy offense of the mid-1990s.  In and of itself the Bears QB position has had a few great “moments” over the past 58 years but has been far from greatness.

Now the Bears find themselves in an interesting position.  They have a pretty talented defense, one of the best young runners in football and a tough special teams.  Bears GM Jerry Angelo has been searching high and low for that next “great” Bears QB and has struck out every single time.  He thought he had one in Rex Grossman but his size and propensity to do stupid things derailed him.  Kyle Orton was always a nice QB and a great guy but was never going to be that great QB Angelo and the Bears organization was after.  The Bears no longer wanted a game manager, they wanted the next Sid Luckman.

After a lackluster free agent period that yielded only OL reserve Frank Omiyale, OT Kevin Schaffer, DB Glenn Earl and S Josh Bullocks the Bears began a conversation with the Denver Broncos.  This “conversation” was about a certain young star QB named Jay Cutler.  Now no team with a Jay Cutler kind of QB would normally engage in this sort of conversation.  Normally you say thanks but no thanks and go about your way.  But, to the Bears favor, the Broncos were now runned by a new coach, coordinators and GM.  They were putting in a whole new Patriot style offense and their plans didn’t necessarily include 25 year old Pro-Bowl QB Jay Cutler.  The relations between this new coach, management and the star QB broke down from Day 1.  Both sides communicated with one another poorly and one thing led to another.  Jay demanded a trade and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen was ready to oblige. 

The rumors had been swirling for weeks as NFL Network and ESPN began to analyze and predict where Jay Cutler might end up.  The Chicago Bears always figured in the conversation but never as a favorite.  Simply put the Bears weren’t the type of franchise to “get it done”. 

Once the Broncos began looking for a suitor they didn’t have to go far.  GM Jerry Angelo had been pro-actively looking at Jay from Day One.  While Washington, Tampa, Cleveland and the NY Jets were said to be making their moves the Bears had made theirs.  They thought it was enough but the Broncos decided to talk to the Redskins.  The future of the Bears was now in Jerry Angelo’s hands.  They had not heard from Denver in over an hour.  It appeared all hope was lost when Denver called back.  Washington’s deal wasn’t much different than what the Bears deal was and Angelo wasn’t hanging up the phone until the deal was done.

Some critics will say a 1st Round pick in 2009 and 2010, along with Kyle Orton and a 3rd Round pick was too much to give up for QB Jay Cutler and 5th Round pick.  I think the Bears record of success on NFL Draft’s first day answers those critics but ultimately the deal will be under review over the next several years.  One thing we do know is the Bears identified, went after and got the young man who they feel can be the next great Bears QB.  After 58 years the Chicago Bears have their guy and no price was too small.

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Who’s Fishin’ For Cutler?

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The Jay Cutler v. Coach McDaniels saga is never ending and it is looking more and more like the Denver Broncos will have to part with their All-Pro quarterback.  This debacle is really a case of he said, she said.  Who initiated contact in the possible dealing of Cutler?  Did McDaniels pursue the New England back up as a replacement for the All-Pro QB?  Listening and initiating contact are very important details here and the Broncos organization isn’t the least bit interested in giving us those details.  All we know is Cutler has had enough and has forfeited his $100,000 for missing 10% of the off-season training activities.  He has also left his Tennessee home for parts unknown.

Despite his current mental state as a result if this fiasco, how many teams are going to cast their lines in hopes of landing a Cutler?  Which teams stand the best chance?

FAVORITES

Detroit Lions

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Not that Cutler wants to or deserves to go here but the Lions are shaping up to be the favorites in the race for Cutler.  The Lions have the #1 overall pick in the draft and that could be very appealing to the Broncos.  If they are starting over with a new system a highly intelligent, moldable QB like Matt Stafford would do the trick.  There would also be a strong possibility that Matt would be united with RB Knowshon Moreno with Denver’s second 1st Round pick.  Detoit would get a bonafide all-pro QB.  They would have to draft plenty of offensive linemen and wide receivers to keep this cocky QB happy.

Cleveland Browns

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The Cleveland Browns have a QB named Brady Quinn as bait for the embattled Cutler.  The also have the fifth overall pick in the 1st Round of the Draft.  Quinn has loads of potential but his development was cut short due to a freak injury.  Brady has the potential to be a fine NFL QB and some compared his college game to that of Tom Brady.  That is perfect for McDaniel who would be instituting the same type of offense.  With the #5 pick Denver would then look at someone like LB Curry or DE Orakpo.  They might also be tempted to take Crabtree.  Cleveland will be starting over regardless of the Cutler deal.  Building a strong offensive line  around Jay Cutler would be the priority.

POSSIBLE

NY Jets

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The NY Jets have a shot to get Cutler.  I don’t think it is as strong a shot as Detroit and Cleveland have but it is a shot.  They need to replace the void left by Favre and the talent behind Favre was thin to begin with.  What does NY have to give to get Cutler?  Not a whole lot but they may offer their #17 pick in the 1st Round along with another pick, maybe 3rd or 4th Round.  The picks alone are not enough so they may need to include someone like LB David Harris or LB Calvin Pace.  That could work because Denver is switching to the 3-4 and looking for veteran personnel to run it.  To replace Cutler Denver would probably take Sanchez or Freeman at #17.  If Denver chooses not to draft a QB early they could sign Grossman or Losman for a season or two while they develop Chris Simms. 

Tampa Bay Bucs

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OK, I know she isn’t the Bucs logo but I found her much more interesting.  Back on point, the Bucs have been dying for a QB.  They always seem to get a bust in the draft or a rusty, old veteran with not many miles left on the tires.  Bucs management made it known they would do what was necessary to land a stud QB.  Enter Jay Cutler.  Tampa isn’t a terrible team.  They just missed the playoffs.  Tampa might be willing to pull a Ricky Williams-New Orleans kind of trade just to get him.  Cutler guiding that offense would make them a strong contender in that division and in the conference.  Tampa would probably have to offer their 1st Round pick this year (#19), another pick in 2009 like the 3rd Round (#81) and a 1st Round pick next year.  Tampa may not want to get involved in swapping players because the systems don’t match the needs very well.  This is a slim shot but if Tampa puts a package of high round picks it could get done.

LONGSHOTS

Chicago Bears

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Sparkly GIF Bear says the chances are slim but with Jerry Angelo running the show you never know.  He constantly surprises the fans.  He will crap out in almost every 1st Round pick and then turn around and find a Briggs, Hester, Vasher or A.Brown in the middle rounds or even CB Corey Graham in the late rounds.  What I am getting at is Bears fans might not mind if management sacrificed 1st Round picks in 2009 and 2010 to get Jay Cutler because the Bears don’t have a high rate of success on 1st Rounders.  The Bears would probably have to send the Kyle Orton to cap off a deal like this but it is possible.  Kyle does have some similarities to Matt Cassell and Denver did almost everything they could to get him.  Put this down as a longshot but I don’t think I’d be surprised to see something go down on draft day.  

Philadelphia Eagles

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Any excuse to run more pictures of a cheerleader, especially one of Philly’s finest.  To my knowledge there isn’t much noise between Philly and Denver but hear me out on this one.  McNabb only has another 3 or 4 years left in the tank.  Philly’s current back up may be only that, a career back up.  Cutler would give Philly a legitmate star QB for the future.  What Philly has in return besides Donovan McNabb would be two 1st Round picks in this years draft (#21, #28).  With Denver rebuilding on the fly, this would give them picks 12, 21, 28 and 48.  This is almost like the deal the Cowboys worked out sending Hershel Walker to Minnesota for essentially 3 Superbowl titles.  Denver would be able to build a tremendously talented young defense by executing this deal.  I think both teams would benefit greatly from this deal.

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