Life Under The Scope: Jay Cutler
We previously put the Ravens under the scope, examining how their new offensive coordinator, Mark Trestman, can help take Flacco and the Ravens' offense to the next level.
This time we will look at the individual that Trestman tried to coach up last season, the controversial Jay Cutler.
There is no in-between when it comes to Jay Cutler. The 9-year vet has created a reputation in the NFL that he is a selfish egotistical jerk. Many agree that he lacks leadership and makes some poor decision on the football field because of his gun-slinger mentality. The question “Can you win with Jay Cutler?” is always discussed, and for good reason. This will be his fourth offensive system in 4 years.
Cutler has played under Mike Martz, Mike Tice, and Marc Trestman, all offensive gurus, and none could turn Cutler into an elite QB in the NFL. None has spoke bad about Cutler, but all 3 were fired from their position. The most recent was Trestman, who had some success with the Bears offense. In 2013, they were ranked top-ten in passing offense but in 2014, Cutler finished with a league leading 24 turnovers. Cutler's overall record under Trestman was 10-16 in 2 season.
Newly acquired Bears Head Coach, John Fox, will now attempt to figure out the enigma that is Jay Cutler but he is joined by Adam Gase, who coached under John Fox in Denver.
Gase is only five years older than Cutler, so a bond should be easy to build between the two.....for now at least. Gates offensive scheme is known to cause mismatches and confusion but I'm not sure if we were able to see that with him coaching Peyton Manning, who gives you the idea that he is the offensive coordinator.
With Cutler though, Gase will either sink or swim. If he can turn Cutler into a consistent top tier QB this season, a head coaching position will be waiting for him in 2016.
Cutler has an opportunity to change his reputation as a quarterback and teammate this season, and so far I think he is on the right path. Earlier this month, Cutler led workouts at his Alma mater, Vanderbilt, with Eddie Royal, who signed with the Bears this off-season, and Martellus Bennett. This was the second time this off-season that Cutler has led non-team affiliated workouts.
Cutler has had the reputation of having a great work ethic and football mind, understanding the language, and ability to learn an offense quickly, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see him working to get better.
The hard part is trying to keep him focused and locked in.
We have seen Cutler act careless with the ball and nonchalant about losing or playing poorly. Remember when he threw 4 interceptions to Deangelo Hall in one game, then afterward saying he would still throw to Hall's side? I like the confidence but hate the carelessness
If anybody can figure out Cutler, I think it can be John Fox. Fox has had a lot of success in the NFL with some lousy Qbs. He went to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme and won the AFC West with Tim Tebow. Skill wise, Cutler is a much better QB than either one.
Cutler hasn't received any special endorsements from Fox or anyone else in the Bears' front office, which I think is a good thing. Cutler has proven this off-season that he is willing to work on his relationship with the coaching staff and his teammates. Everything is set in place for him to suceed this year with multiple weapons around him. He has a quality slot reciever in Eddie Royal, a young rookie playmaker in Kevin White and his new number 1 target, Alshon Jeffery.
The lost of long-time friend and teammate, Brandon Marshall (traded to the Jets), could be detrimental, but Jeffery had 39 more targets, 24 more catches, 412 more yards than Marshall last season. You have to account that Jeffery played in 3 more games and seen less double-teams than Marshall, but you can't overlook the production. It makes the decision to trading an All-Pro like Marshall much easier.
I'm not going to make any prediction for the 9-veteran, but I do think we will see a different Jay Cutler.