Is Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler a Bust?

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIDecember 30, 2009

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 22: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears prepares to enter the field for the last offensive series for the Bears against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on November 22, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagles defeated the Bears 24-20. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The timing might not be perfect for this after Jay Cutler threw for four touchdowns, including the game-winning 39-yard touchdown pass to Devin Aromashodu in overtime to defeat the Minnesota Vikings last night, but the question has to be asked: Is Jay Cutler a bust?

Cutler has been the target of critics from local columnists and sports radio talk show hosts to national TV talking heads, not to mention raising the ire of the local fan base that thought they finally had a "franchise quarterback."

Even with the stellar game he had yesterday, he still has his critics.

Chicago Sun Times columnist Rick Morrissey wrote in today's paper that "despite his four touchdown passes against the Vikings, there's no overwhelming proof yet that he's the real deal."

He went on to say "It's going to take a lot more than Monday night before anyone re-declares him the savior."

He was even compared to strong-armed bust Jeff George last week in a national broadcast.

Yesterday was the Jay Cutler Chicago fans thought they were getting in the trade this past April.

But too many times this season Cutler has targeted the wrong colored jerseys with his passes, and that's not accounting for the large amount of drops he has had from opposing defenses.

Cutler leads the league with twenty-six interceptions with a game to go. He has thrown twenty-three touchdown passes.

His quarterback rating yesterday was 108.4, but just last week against Baltimore he had the chilly rating of 7.9. And they think its cold in Chicago.

Too many times this year we have seen the Jay Cutler who looked like just about every other quarterback we have had in town since Sid Luckman.

So who was that guy that played for Denver last year and made the Pro Bowl?

Was that a mirage?

Maybe, just maybe the people around him and the system he is in are the reason for his disappointing season. He doesn't have a No. 1 receiver and probably has a group of No. 3 receivers at best.

He had great success last year with Denver when rolling out of the pocket and throwing the ball on the run. That play is nowhere to be found in Bear Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner's playbook.

I remember when the Bears made the trade thinking will they know what to do with him.

Since it's the holiday season, I'm sure you can picture this.

You receive this great Christmas present that you can't wait to start playing except it says some assembly required. You read the instructions and they might as well be in Chinese because you have no idea how to put it together.

That's the Cliff-Notes version of the Bear offense. Wow, this guy has a cannon for an arm and can make all of the throws! I wonder how well he can throw the wide receiver screen.

The Bears are using the same offense they used with Kyle Orton. They have not adjusted their game plan to a quarterback who can do so much more.

Many of Cutler's interceptions are the result of frustration and him trying to force the ball to a receiver when the play isn't there because his hands have been tied so much by the scheme the Bears use.

He doesn't respect Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner and hardly ever talks to quarterback coach Pep Hamilton.

Those No. 3 receivers I mentioned also fail to finish out a route or run the wrong route that many times end in an interception. He gets the blame but it's not always his fault.

His attitude has also been questioned. Comments are made about his body language and that he acts as if he doesn't care.

How would you feel if you were working for an inept boss who you know doesn't know what he's doing and is making you look bad? Would you like it if you were getting all of the blame for what has gone wrong with the Bears this year when you haven't had a chance to play to your strengths?

How would your attitude be?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

Jay Cutler has had a bad year and I'm not going to deny that, but I am going to defend him because a lot of the circumstances around him were beyond his control.

Cutler was clamoring all year for the Bears to put Devin Aromashodu in the line-up because they built a bond and worked well together in the pre-season. But once the season started he was nowhere to be found until the other Devin, Devin Hester, went down with an injury.

In fairness, Aromashodu was hurt to start the season, but he has been healthy for the last couple of months and languishing on the bench.

The Bears are clueless when it comes to a "franchise quarterback."

Chicago is known as a "blue collar" town and we play smashmouth defense and run the ball.

That's the mantra of Chicago Bear Head Coach Lovie Smith who is known for the saying, "We get off the bus running." That's why the last time I looked the Bears were last in the league in rushing.

So to answer the question if Jay Cutler is a bust, I would have to say no at this time. In fact, I'm giving him a pass for this season because of the circumstances I have mentioned.

If the Bears bring in someone that has a clue how to run an offense, surround him with better players, and utilizes his strengths, I think we'll see a different Jay Cutler.

If we don't, then I reserve the right to change my opinion.




    Small-Town Hero Is Draft's Biggest Sleeper

    NFL logo

    Small-Town Hero Is Draft's Biggest Sleeper

    Mike Tanier
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Jackson Expected to Go in Top 20

    NFL logo

    Report: Jackson Expected to Go in Top 20

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Gronk Says He'll 'Maybe' Return in 2018 🤔

    NFL logo

    Gronk Says He'll 'Maybe' Return in 2018 🤔

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    How to Avoid Biggest NFL Draft Mistakes

    Chicago Bears logo
    Chicago Bears

    How to Avoid Biggest NFL Draft Mistakes

    Brad Gagnon
    via Bleacher Report