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Problem No. 1 is Jeremy Bates and just how involved in the offense he is going to be, and whether or not he can keep an erratic Cutler in line.
Say what you will about Mike Martz, but it was his way or the highway when it came to Cutler running his offense and also making smart decisions with the football. Under Martz, Cutler's decision making improved—not drastically, but enough.
Cutler is not the most accurate of quarterbacks in the NFL, nor is he the most disciplined in critical situations. He's cleaned up his decision-making, but when Cutler hasn't been reeled in, he's thrown for 44 interceptions in two seasons under Bates and Ron Turner.
Bates doesn't strike me as a guy who is going to take charge of Cutler and make him a better quarterback, which is what needs to happen. Cutler is a very good quarterback, but he has the tools to be great, and now, he has the weapons.
To put it simply, Cutler is out of excuses for erratic play, and if Cutler starts to sink back into old habits, the finger can be pointed squarely at Bates.
The other concern is, just how involved in play-calling will Jeremy Bates be? There should be no sharing of the play-calling duties here in Chicago between Tice and Bates. In his two stops where he has called plays, Bates has been disastrous. In two years with Pete Carroll (one at USC and one in Seattle), Bates has been the laughingstock of the nation as an offensive coordinator.
It's not as if Bates' phone was ringing off the hook for him to step in and be an OC somewhere else; he wasn't in high demand.
Bates is hoping to further his career by what he can do with Cutler, but he has to set a strong tone with Cutler and mold him so that his talent can start to equate to production. He's only the QB coach in Chicago, but his fingerprints will be all over the passing attack