Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Dec 2009

ESPN: Fixing The Bears' Offense

This week's ESPN feature looks at the Bears' offense and what they need to do to help out Jay Cutler.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 27 Dec 2009

10 comments, Last at 25 Jan 2010, 3:04am by tuluse


by henryho (not verified) :: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 2:45am

I remember Bill Barnwell's predraft chat and he was loving Jay Cutler last year. What you say now? Make excuses all you want for him but defending a qb who threw 25 interceptions is like defending the idea of marrying a girl whose cheated on you in the past repeatdly. Its crazy. I'd take Matt Ryan any day over that fraud.

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 2:59pm

Matt Ryan? You have looked at Matt Ryan's numbers this year, right? Jay Cutler at least has excuses (almost always playing from behind, behind the worst offensive line in football).

Jay Cutler is a talented quarterback who has every likelihood of a successful career. He's having a bad year, which quarterbacks on bad teams playing behind bad offensive lines often do. Despite this, he has made a cast of nobody receivers (Earl Bennett? Johnny Knox?) look like NFL players. Matt Ryan can't make Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez look like NFL receivers, some weeks.

Would Cutler have been better off staying in Denver? Of course. But the article is nonsense. What they need to do to help Jay Cutler is fire everyone on the offensive side of the ball except Cutler and maybe Greg Olsen and start over. Cutler is like Brett Favre or Tom Brady, not Brees or Manning. Without good line play, he isn't a good quarterback.

Playing a lot of three TE sets with two TE's blocking might help.

by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 12/29/2009 - 6:03pm

yeah because roddy white was a big name player before matt ryan got there. yah yah yah we get it, Cutler has a huge fan base for no apparent reason. I agree with post #1. I called it before the year that matt forte would suck and Cutler was overrated. Forte sucked last year, and Cutler is being outplayed by KYLE ORTON. Cutler has had 1 good year as a pro and its really likely that will be his last.

by Kal :: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 4:15pm

I'd love to apologize entirely for Cutler and say it's his line...but it isn't. He showed some of the signs of this year in last; he threw quite a few red-zone interceptions then too, and did try and get things going way too much in order to be a hero. Both of these are signs of poor decision making, and both are dangerous in a QB regardless of the time he has; there's no excuse to throw it into triple coverage when you're at the 4 yard line. None at all.

His mechanics are largely sound, his arm strength is good and his reads are fairly good. But he just doesn't seem to make good decisions, and more importantly he seems to let said decisions mess him up as he goes along.

by tuluse :: Mon, 01/25/2010 - 2:59am

His mechanics are largely sound

This makes me think you haven't watched him at all this year. His mechanics are atrocious. He gets by because he is ridiculously talented.

by DEW (not verified) :: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 8:12pm

Sounds a lot like Brett Favre, then. If there's any point in getting him, they really need to blow up the offense around him, starting with that line (Knox and Bennett might grow up to be halfway decent receivers, but it's absolutely certain that the line sucks) just so that they can take advantage of what the offense actually does well.

The real irony here is that both the Bears and Broncos might have been better off without that trade; Orton wouldn't have actually won any of the games that the defense got blown off the field for, but he wouldn't have thrown away the San Fransisco game, either, and the Bears offense just isn't put together to do anything that takes advantage of Cutler's strengths (plus the Bears would have all those picks to help shore up the O-line and the defense). Meanwhile, imagine last year's Broncos offense plus healthy running backs combined with this year's vastly improved defense and you have to think they'd be better than the 9-7 this team is going to be if they manage not to choke away the Chiefs game.

by tuluse :: Mon, 01/25/2010 - 3:04am

This offense is a mess, it wouldn't take advantage of any QBs strengths. Other than maybe Peyton's ability to be awesome no matter then circumstances, but that's not really taking advantage.

However, the pieces we do have seem to fit Cutler. Receivers that can stretch the field deep and Greg Olsen (Cutler went to Sheffler a lot in Denver, and Olsen seems like a similar player).

The Bears have franchise QB who's 26, so they have some time to fix things, so I'm still happy with the trade.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 8:32pm

Trent Dilfer said Cutler is not even a good qb at this pont. According to him, he's a pick and stick thrower and doesn't read his progressions well. That explains so much.

by Inner Game (not verified) :: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 11:52pm

What does Trent Dilfer know about football.. the guy has spent more time in his career injured than playing.

by Kal :: Tue, 12/29/2009 - 2:24am

This is ironic given how well Cutler did against the Vikings tonight.