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Our continuing FAN FREE AGENCY™ continues, but since our new team, the Tebow topping Denver Bronco's were on bye, we temporarily revisited the Bear lair. Was I impressed with Cutler?
He did well. Except for the fact that he threw behind his recievers on 4 key plays, couldn't get into the end zone on 50% or Red Zone attempts or hit wide open receivers at least 5 times by my count. The offense bogged down in the 3rd quarter when - emboldened by the dominance of the defense - should have taken off. Did you see how Ponder changed the whole dynamic of the Viking offense immediately? We only outscored Minnesota by 6 points for the entire second half. And then there was this:
I know, I know. "We won PolitiJim! Cutler was great! He had a 115 passer rating! Why are you still giving him a hard time?"
I am so glad you asked. I am happy with the "V." I thought the pass to Devin Hester was well thrown. I was very happy he made use of a strengthened O Line and was at a 60% plus completion ratio.
But IT WAS THE VIKINGS! The 1 and 5 Purple Peter-Outers! Let's not get too carried away here.
I felt Cutler gave 100% emotionally last week against Detroit. Even after Game 1 I picked the Lions to roar over the Bears that week. I've never questioned Jay's physical toughness. Despite coming from "Santa Clause, Indiana." He is sturdy and plays through pain. I admire and appreciate that.
My problem (as stated in my article after the Green Bay loss) is that he is still showing a severe weakness in leadership.
Have you ever known a temperamental prima dona character in the NFL NOT to self-implode and cause his team problems?
This mini-outburst shows that the emotional maturity is still a work-in-progress. If physical talent were enough, Vince Young would have won three Superbowls by now. And it is important. My man Rexy brought back way to many Halloween moments for me yesterday watching the Redskins. I finally have to admit - Rex is never going to break out and become the exceptional first tier QB (or second for that matter) that his arm would seem to suggest possible. And Cutler certainly has great potential than Rex.
But sorry, I'm not back on the Bear bandwagon with one 100% "leadership" loss and a 98% leadership win. Anyone can "lead" with great protection and a big point lead. I'm more concerned if (or when) things start to go south again - what will Cutler do. My gut - based on his history of histrionics on and off the field - tells me Cutler will end up creating chaos somewhere. These type of players always do whether it Terrell, Barry B, or Manny Ramierz ultimately hurt their teams despite their physical talent.
It was so interesting to watch the young kid replace McNabb and see how the same offense that was struggling minutes before - responded. Yes he was more mobile. Yes he had fresh legs. But that line and offense played BETTER with
I'm not expecting Cutler to be a choirboy. I could care less if he is virtuous or vindictive. Except when it comes to leadership. At this point (for me) the jury is still out on whether Jay can inspire his players to follow him
But I put another "symptom" in my Uh-Oh file, and make sure I'm evaluating this win and performance in perspective. I appreciated it and was especially happy Hester did well not just on special teams but as the long ball threat we always hoped for. There is a commentor on my previous article that needs to tell me how he likes his crow. And I hope to order my own (blackened with hot sauce please) if the Bears make it to the playoffs, but my guess is that our Bears will win more in spite of Jay than because of him.
I'll always be a Bear fan, but I'll be hanging out with Beth P and Wendy B in the Bronco barn enjoying REAL leadership for a spell.
Bleacher Report has a great analysis of the incident and the game situation at this point here.
So Cutler responded to media inquiries yesterday about the incident with Martz this way as reported in the Sun-Times:
"Things happen. You guys were fighting in the hallways last week,’’ Cutler said, eliciting laughter for his reference to an altercation between rivals in the media room last Wednesday at Halas Hall. ‘‘I’m not going to make a big deal of this; it’s not a big deal. We’re all on the same team in this building. We’re [trying] to win football games.’’No real remorse for yelling at the guy he is supposed to take direction from and report to. I only yelled at a boss once (not using curse words by the way) and even AFTER apologizing got fired. Of course, I was as important to the "team" as Jay is. Mark Potash continued:
Supposedly Martz wasn't even aware of the incident and laughed saying it wasn't even the worst he's heard from a player during a game. Everyone's fine no big deal.Cutler didn’t deny cursing or directing it at Martz. And he said he didn’t regret saying it, either. Just two competitive people clashing in the heat of the moment. Happens all the time, he said.That, it does — but not very often when a team is leading by 20 points. And not very often while a quarterback is trying to run a play in the final minute of a half.
Yeah. Cutler has NEVER shown any disdain for authority that caused a team trouble. Move along. Nothing to see here.