Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick (reluctantly) discuss Jay Cutler’s future with the Bears:
Styf: I just cornered you. And you can hide no longer. On Tuesday, you finally got the memo and said Brian Urlacher should be booted off the Bears (something I wrote three months ago). Now, it’s time for Jay Cutler to join him. The Bears fired Lovie Smith because they said he was good but not good enough to win a Super Bowl. Cutler isn’t the answer for the same reason. Right?
Musick: My dad once warned me never to corner a certain animal because of the way it would react. I forget which type of animal. Or maybe it was all animals. I’m not a very good listener. Sorry, dad. Anyway, what was the question?
Styf: Talking to you is like talking to a wall, something I like to do. So I’ll just continue on my own rant. Jay Cutler gets criticized for a lot of things. Personally, I’m amused by his sarcastic dry tone. And I’m amused he allegedly proposed to K-Cav via mail (which he can’t do on a Saturday anymore). I just don’t think he’s the guy to put this offense together and make it a winner.
Musick: Maybe Cutler can be the new face of the U.S. Postal Service. After all, a recent Nielsen/E-Poll confirmed that Cutler is more likeable than Lance Armstrong, rush-hour traffic and disease-carrying mosquitoes. As for his day job, I still think Cutler can lead the Bears to the Super Bowl. If Joe Flacco can do it in Baltimore, why not Cutler?
Styf: Because Baltimore has an offensive line and more talent around Flacco. Chicago needs a QB who can do more than Flacco. And Flacco is more of a game manager, not a risk-taker like Cutler (I mean, he proposed via mail, that’s a heck of a risk). Chicago can’t get five new offensive linemen soon enough to help Cutler on this contract. They need to draft Cutler’s replacement now, have him play out his contract, then move on. The time has come to admit the trade was a mistake.
Musick: You could turn out to be right. If Cutler shows no progress next season and makes bad decisions to go along with sloppy footwork, I’ll jump to your side of the fence, assuming you are near a fence. But Cutler has loads of talent, and maybe all he needs is proper coaching. Maybe Marc Trestman can be the teacher to help Cutler become a winner. Maybe we’ll be discussing Cutler’s contract extension at this time next year instead of mulling his replacement.