Does anyone reading a football blog not understand the importance of the quarterback position? Does anyone reading a Chicago Bears blog not understand the importance of Jay Cutler? Both answers are unquestionably no. Here are four specific things Cutler must do in 2014:
- Stay healthy. So if he could do this, that’d be terrific.
- Accept the check down. The check down in the Marc Trestman system is not a give up play, especially with Matt Forte being the primary threat. But too often Cutler’s eyes are so focused on his gigantic wide receiving threats down the field he misses an opportunity to extend drives and gouge the defense for big yards. (As a side point, the more Cutler takes these check downs the higher his completion percentage and yardage totals will go. Quarterbacks won’t admit it but they really, really care about these numbers.)
- Throw the ball into the third row. I have no problem with Jay Cutler believing in his arm’s ability to fit the football into places normal human quarterbacks would never consider. But one element of Cutler’s game he must improve upon is his oft-reckless attempting to execute the courageous throw when the play has broken down and there’s nothing on the field. In these moments he tends to cock back the shotgun and fire when the prudent move is to select a fan in the lower tier and aim for their chest.
- Use the third option on the outside. I showed off the work of my statistical research department in a post from Friday and I will repeat that information here. “Marshall and Jeffery accounted for 189 catches in 2013. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker caught 179 balls. The remaining Bears wide receivers had 35 TOTAL catches. Wes Welker had 73. If the Bears want to be a transcendent offense that can overcome almost all defensive issues they will need to find production from a third option on the outside.”
I don’t worry about Cutler’s leadership or intangibles. I don’t worry grasp of an offense he seemed exceptionally comfortable operating in year one. If he stays on the field he is going to have a massively productive season. If he does the above he is going to be the legitimate MVP-candidate quarterback of the conference’s best offense.