A look back on Jay Cutler's possible future with the Bears

>> Friday

Santa Claus is coming to town!

[Before I get rolling, I'd just want to share the "modern technology is amazing, isn't it?" way I heard about the Jay Cutler trade. As I understand it, the news broke at about 3:30pm CST Thursday. At 4:23pm CST, YCS pal Iain sent me a text message across 3,500 miles from his home in Anchorage, AK to my suburban Chicago cubicle--located about 45 miles from the Bears' headquarters in Lake Forest, IL--telling me to "have fun with [my] new QB!" Before I could finish typing my reply, "Cutler???" I heard one of my coworkers yell, "Oh my God!" and then relay the details of the trade to another coworker. After exchanging a couple texts with Iain and glancing through the breaking story on espn.com, I sent Matt (Pack fan) the obligatory braggadocious email at 4:38... just as he was sending me his obligatory "congratulations but you still suck" email. So basically, what would've once taken the Pony Express and a family of Eskimos riding yak-back several years to communicate took just over an hour, and the news was beamed to Alaska and back before it could even reach the proverbial water cooler. I know it makes me sound like I'm 150 years old, but stuff like that makes me smile.]

Let me start by saying--I'm as stoked as anyone about J.C. in a Bears uniform. There are few things I love more in sports than the so-called gunslinging quarterback, and for once, the Bears have one who's tall enough to succeed in the NFL. (You're still the man, Rex!) But if the first few months of Commrade Barack's regime have taught us anything, it's that honeymoons are short-lived and that the executive branch of our government can do pretty much whatever the fuck it wants.

Of course, Chicago sports fans are especially bipolar, with inflated optimism so often and so quickly giving way to a baseline fatalism. In addition, Bears fans are characteristically skeptical of star power on offense, and considering what Jerry Angelo gave up to acquire Cutler--from a team with compromised leverage, mind you--it's conceivable that the Soldier Field crowd could turn on Cutler as soon as next year and highly likely that they will do so at some point within the next five years.

***

November, 2009... It's a dreary Sunday evening in Chicago after a late Jay Cutler interception caps the Bears' third consecutive loss, dropping them to 5-7, effectively ending their playoff chances. Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos, led by a strong defense and the conservative passing attack of Kyle Orton, lead the AFC West with a 9-3 mark.

Ed O'Bradovich: Welcome to the Score, Chuck.
Chuck: Thanks, O'B.... Huge fan. You too, Doug.
Doug Buffone: Thanks, Chuck.
Chuck: I used to love watching you guys play... You played the game the way it was meant to be played.
Doug and O'B. Really appreciate it, Chuck.
Chuck: I tell ya guys... I'm sick over this game today.
O'B.: We know the feeling.
Chuck: I know I'm a little mad right now, but it's just... It's just what the hell did we give up all that to get Cutler for?! What value has this guy brought to the team? He's putting up these big yardage numbers and all these touchdowns, but this guy just doesn't win! Look at what Orton is doing out there in Denver with a good defense. You don't win because you have a quarterback trowin' for 300 yards every game! You need to play defense and run the ball, Doug and O'B.--You know that.
Doug: Totally agree, Chuck.
O'B.: It's always been that way and always will be in this game--The only way you win is if you get up the line of scrimmage, and you hit somebody in the damn mouth!

***

Angelo, Smith out in Chicago
Associated Press
December 30, 2010

The Chicago Bears fired both general manager Jerry Angelo and head coach Lovie Smith today after failing to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

The primary reasons for the firings, according to team sources, were the failure of Angelo to complement high-priced quarterback Jay Cutler with offensive weapons and Smith's inability to craft a gameplan around Cutler's strengths, a failing that often led to tension on the Bears sidelines.

Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips, and Dennis Green are considered the top candidates to take over Smith's position while rumors continue to swirl that Bill Parcells may be offered a chance to serve in a dual role as both head coach and GM...

***

Chicago Tribune
January 24, 2013
Bears' loss proves Broncos' gain
By Rick Morrissey

As I hover over the smouldering embers of what was once my oak desk to keep warm here in Tribune Tower (since we can no longer afford to turn on the heat), there's only one thing that has me feeling more bitter than the obsolecense of our once-proud newspaper industry. And it's the Bears.

As we come upon Super Bowl XLVIII, I can't help but think of the fateful trade orchestrated by former GM Jerry Angelo in the 2009 offseason and that the core of the favored Denver Broncos--quarterback Kyle Orton, [the three guys drafted with the Bears' 2009 and 2010 picks]--all were once, or could have been, Bears.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler will be watching the Big Game from a hospital bed as he recovers from his fourth knee surgery in the last two years and contemplates whether he will ever play again...

5 comments:

Patrick 3:49 PM  

Vinnie, I couldn't disagree with you more. Look at the Bears track record of first round draft picks and the amount of money that they have spent on those push-overs. In todays NFL, you go with the proven talent, not the possible talent. Plus, the Bears just saved a shit load of money by not having to pay those lame first rounders...instead they can put their money toward proven NFL verterans, maybe like a Tory Holt. Great move, I would have sent the Broncos my 1st rounder for 2011 just as a thanks.

Iain 6:14 PM  

Vinnie, I'm dissapointed that you didn't refer to me as YCS's Alaska Breau Chief.
Besides that, it looks liek this was a move by the Broncos to show everyone on their team how it's going to be running from now on. Jay Cutler's tuesday retraction shows that he was just throwing a tempertantrum over the Matt Castle trade talks. Well, he got the trade he asked for and the Broncos got a decent QB and the picks to fill in their missing roster spots and put up some wins in a weak AFC West. The Bears still need some good recivers and don't have the picks to draft or trade for one.

Vinnie 8:08 PM  

Nah, Pat... I'm not saying that this is how it's gonna turn out or even that it's how I think it'll turn out... just how it very well could turn out, based on the nature of high profile NFL roster moves, the scrutiny of NFL front offices, and the Chicago media. Knowing how quickly and unfairly people tend to judge results in the NFL, would you not agree that this scenario is possible if the Bears struggle? Packers fans--please weight in (hint: New York Jets).

Paul 10:30 PM  

Agree with my brother. Rick Morrissey already found plenty to complain about. The media is so pessimistic and will second- and third-guess this trade for years no matter the outcome.

Even if the Bears make the playoffs, people will be saying, "Well, they could have done it with Orton, but they could have also drafted a good WR this year to complement him."

Matt 7:53 PM  

I'm torn on this - on the one hand, I think the trade works out well for the Bears because they got a legit QB (although it also preemptively takes away all the excuses for 2009's inevitable shortcomings) and it works out for the Broncos because Orton fits McDaniels' spread-style really well.

How-evah, although I think the Bears are just as well without all those picks (because, let's be honest, they were going to waste them anyway), they still overpaid in a situation where they were the ones negotiating from a position of strength. That said, if the Bears hadn't overpaid, someone else would have, and it's at least understandable that they did whatever needed to be done to get their guy.

As far as the argument that will be made that the Bears could have/would have been good with Orton as long as they drafted good WRs...no way. The Bears don't develop talent at WR for shit. They get by on steady veterans and older undynamic possession-types, the same way that the Packers can't develop a solid interior defensive lineman. It's frustrating, I'm sure, for Bears fans, but they've got to admit that the current Bears staff/organization just ain't got whatever "it" is to get it done internally at WR. As for Torry Holt...yikes. At least then you'd have someone who Pace can carpool with on the way to the AARP meetings (does the AARP have meetings? The point is, they're old).

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