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Cutler's tendency to hold onto the ball can make it tough on his offensive line.
This obviously isn’t the offensive line’s fault, but it's a big problem in terms of pass protection, so it merits mentioning. Frankly, Jay Cutler is spending way too much time with the ball in his hands.
Admittedly, some of that also falls on the shoulders of offensive coordinator Mike Tice, who has called for Cutler to take a lot of deep drops recently.
ESPN’s Michael Wilbon addressed that problem after the Packers game, writing:
“Meanwhile, it's fair to question Mike Tice's judgment, given the promises of quick-strike passes that were rarely if ever called Thursday night. Why have Cutler take deep drops if the line can't hold off the Packers' pass rush?”
Tice did a better job calling plays last week against the St. Louis Rams, mixing in a lot of quick drops. But it remains to be seen if that will continue over the course of the season.
And even if the play calling is questionable, Cutler has to know to get rid of the ball. After all, he understands the Bears’ offensive line woes better than anyone. Not only has he taken the hits, but he’s also gotten pretty upset at their recent play.
Cutler needs to help his linemen out every once in a while and get rid of the ball quickly. But he won’t. It's just not his style. For better or for worse, Cutler likes to hold onto the ball and try and make plays downfield.
Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. But it certainly doesn't make the job of his linemen, who have to try and hold blocks for much longer, any easier.
Cutler’s not going to change his passing style overnight. By the end of this season, he'll probably still be holding onto the ball for a bit too long. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bode well for the Bears offensive line.