Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hey Enablers: It's Jay Cutler's Fault

Am I Kicking Cutler When He's Down?
In Moon Mullins excellent piece: Cutler Making Martz Look Bad? he begins:
It has been a convenient theme that the problems with the Bears’ offense, besides Mike Martz’s game-planning, has been that the organization has not put sufficient talent around Jay Cutler for him to be successful. 
That is also a convenient lie.
I have been incensed with Waddle & Silvey (Chicago ESPN 1000 morning radio hosts) and most of the Chicago press who continue to shield Cutler from criticism.

Are these the same media guys who were verbally hanging Grossman in effigy WHILE he took them to the Superbowl?
Some, like Haugh, have been forthright in agreeing Rexy did NOT get a fair shot with the media when he wasn't sexy. Here is a great comparison at a point in 2008 when the media who had been excoriating Rex suddenly said, "well maybe it's the offensive line." When Orton came back from his ankle injury in 2008 and posted a 60ish passer rating - it was because "it never did heal"

I can't (and won't) make the case it is NOT the offensive line. (We all know that is part of it.) But except for the effervescent and shining Moon here, the Chicago media is now wanting to change the subject to Angelo, Martz, Lovie, and the receiving corp. Mullins has the best argument why this is a misplaced focus that I've heard so far:

First, it is a poor craftsman who blames his tools, so anything along those lines from either Cutler or Martz is poor buck-passing.
Second, part of what great quarterbacks (or players in any sport, for that matter – see: Johnson, Magic; or Bird, Larry) make the players around them better. Cutler is not doing that, unless it is somehow the case that Earl Bennett,Johnny Knox, Dane Sanzenbacher, etc. are really, really garbage and are being “saved” by Cutler. Don’t think so.
At some point, the spotlight comes to rest squarely on Cutler. That as much as anything was the case Sunday. At this point, Cutler can only be viewed as a middle-of-the-pack quarterback, which in fact is about where he’s generally rated. Nothing special.
Can anyone tell me how the same unit can look so dominating against a good (not great) Falcon team and look so miserable against the Saints and Packers? Yes, Packers have more talent, but why then against the Saints? Bears were only down a field goal until mid-way through the third quarter.

Here is why:

Jay Cutler is a wuss.
No, I don't mean that he is afraid of getting hit, or doesn't play through pain.  Even if he wasn't 6' 3" / 220 lbs, his scowl could probably kick my ass.  But I'll say what Moon Over My Sanity didn't say,  he is a mental and emotional wuss.

Did you ever wonder how, in the NFC Championship game, Caleb Hanie suddenly moved the offense more in 1/2 Quarter than they had all day?  It was the same O Line, the same recievers, the same offensive coordinator and the same opponent.  Yes, Caleb got rid of the ball quicker.  Yes the game seemed much more un-win-able.   (Why doesn't my word editor think that's a word?)

But a leader stepped in who find a way to make it work.  He almost led the team back to victory.  Todd Collins couldn't.

In the loss to the Saints, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman immediately began showing sympathy for Cutler's lack of protection and I guess most of the Chicago media is now parroting that line like MSNBC does for the Democrat party.

I forget who said it, but last week when Cutler was obviously complaining to Shane Day the response was, "with that kind of coverage I don't blame him."

Really?  As Moon points out not only was Cutler widely inaccurate when he could throw - he had wide receivers in perfect position.  From the fourth quarter of the Saints game throughout almost the entire Packer game these were expressions of Cutler:

Do you ever remember seeing Jim McMahon (or Payton Manning, or -gag- Brett Farve) with similar looks for more than a minute?

Of course not.  Because no matter how bad things got, they encouraged, motivated, challenged, assured, and exhorted their teammates.  THEY INSPIRED.

Am I saying that the Bears would have won if Cutler took a licking and kept on ticking?  I dunno.  I AM saying that didn't have a chance in Heinz Field without it.

Waddle was a good player.  I love him (as long as Silvey is there) on ESPN 1000 Chicago.  But I'm shocked he isn't ignoring EVERYTHING but attitude here.  Regardless of the receiving talent, regardless of his protection those team members FOLLOW their quarterback.  If he looks defeated - why are we shocked that they aren't performing?

A leader doesn't look defeated.  I don't care if he's been sacked 20 times a quarter.  He doesn't start looking sullen, depressed, annoyed and pissed out.  He fights.

One thing you can say about a Ditka team.  You never, ever wondered if every single player had given their best on any given day.  Chicago fans can live with loosing - if we at least have a leader with broad shoulders.


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