Jay Cutler: Why His Concussion Could Destroy the Bears for Years to Come

RM HeroldFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2010

Jay Cutler: Why His Concussion Could Destroy the Bears for Years to Come

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    Maybe it's because they didn't check for them back in the day, but the key word in today's NFL is concussion.

    And it is a serious word. Getting one can keep players out of games indefinitely, instead of just out for one play like it did back in the day.

    And if you are put back into a game with a suspected concussion, there are consequences throughout your organization.

    Jay Cutler, as far as we know, doesn't have a history of concussions.

    But he will have to take and pass a battery of tests before we see him on the field.

    As with everything in life, Cutler missing time can have a domino effect on the Bears' season and even the organization.

10. No Reliable Back Up

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    Todd Collins is Jay Cutler's backup. I find this news to be amazing. I saw it with my own eyes, but I still didn't believe it.

    Collins was drafted in 1995 and has career totals of 22 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

    I'm not saying he is bad. I'm saying Brees, Brady, or Manning have put up his TD numbers in a good four-game stretch.

    If Cutler misses time, the Bears are in trouble.

9. Their Record Is Deceiving

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    The Bears beat Detroit because the NFL league rules book said they did. As thorough as the Dallas game looked, they only won by a touchdown.

    And they beat Green Bay by a field goal.

    If a handful of plays don't go their way, they could be in the same hole San Francisco finds themselves in.

    And life would be very different in Chicago if Cutler were gone and they were 0-4.

8. A Mike Martz Offense Cuts Both Ways

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    According to Yahoo Sports, Mike Martz-led offensive teams have finished in the top six in the NFL in sacks during each of his last seven seasons (2002-08).

    But that's not all of it. They also ranked top-six in interceptions for nine straight years.

    So, they score a lot, but they keep their quarterbacks under heavy pressure which leads to interceptions and fumbles, just like last night.

    There will be more of this to come.

    With Martz, you might get high reward, but you also get high risk.

7. Cutler's Release

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    Legendary former Bears coach Mike Ditka said today that Cutler was to blame for some of the nine sacks he took in the first half.

    Ditka says that Cutler's internal clock must be on the fritz.

    If Cutler's release is part of the problem, then teams are going to gamble that they can rush the passer and get to him before he can catch the secondary in one-on-one coverage.

    What this means is more hits on Cutler and potentially more concussions.

6. The Rest Of This NFL Season

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    If Cutler has to miss a couple of games, there is a chance that Mike Martz and Lovie Smith can coach up Todd Collins and/or Caleb Hanie.

    They have three winnable games coming up against the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins.

    But, they finish off the season against New England, the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

    That might be the toughest four-game stretch to end the season in the whole league.

5. Consequences For Missing The Playoffs

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    Coming into this season, Bears head coach Lovie Smith was on the proverbial hot seat. The cliche used around the league is that NFL stands for Not For Long and it might be Not For Lovie.

    If the Bears don't make the playoffs, there is a good chance that Lovie Smith, the last coach to bring Chicago to a Super Bowl, will be fired.

    And he probably won't be the only change that is made. There is always player turnover when a coaching regime leaves as well.

4. Mike Martz, Heir To The Throne

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    Was Mike Martz brought in just to straighten out Jay Cutler or is he next in line if things don't work out with Lovie Smith after this season?

    Though Martz has sometimes been called an offensive genius, results have been mixed with him as the head man.

    Will he clash with the front office like they said he did late in his run in St. Louis?

    It might be tough to build a long term plan with Martz as the head coach. He will be turning 60 soon and hasn't talked about how long he plans on continuing on as coach.

3. The Draft Picks

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    In order to get Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos, the Chicago Bears had to give up two first-round picks and a third-round pick.

    Those players could come in handy with an offensive line that is average at best and no backup at quarterback that can be groomed.

2. Lack Of a Running Game

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    The fact that the Bears have no running game has also contributed to the pressure on Cutler's shoulders to stay in the pocket a few seconds longer and make the big play.

    So far, Matt Forte's four-game rushing numbers are: 50, 29, 29, and 26.

    He made up for it the first week by putting up 151 yards receiving on seven catches. But since then, his receiving numbers have plummeted.

    Is the problem Forte or the offensive line? If they don't make the playoffs, one of those two in that equation will be dealt with.

1. Signing Other Big Name Free Agents

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    The Chicago Bears have some of the biggest names in football on defense, yet very few on offense.

    Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, and Tommie Harris are known throughout football as big game players.

    But if this season falls apart and Lovie Smith is fired, are they going to be able to get more free agents to come to town, especially on the other side of the ball?

    Again, this can all domino not just because we don't know Cutler's status, but also because of how close all of the Bears' wins have been.