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Even on his way out, Jay Cutler Is Unappreciated

| March 12th, 2017

Editor’s Note: This will likely be the last column about Jay Cutler to appear on this blog after the last 9 years of intense conversation and debate. I’d like to thank Jay for everything he gave this organization. He played the toughest game on earth, played it broken half the time, and then had to deal with a city and media that never gave him a fair shot. I wish him nothing but success moving forward. -JH.


Brad Biggs just couldn’t help himself, couldn’t hide his bias. In a story that was supposed to be about praising new Bears quarterback Mike Glennon, the Tribune reporter decided to take two shots as Cutler as he prepares to leave town – questioning his leadership and production.

The Bears didn’t win enough games with Cutler. He didn’t put up monster statistics. But Cutler was a good quarterback for a team that has never had good quarterbacks and now we all have to go back and see how the other half lives.

Jay Cutler will exit Chicago without any appreciation for how he played for the Bears.

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Finding a Quarterback: The Upside of Tony Romo

| January 19th, 2017

Five passes.

That’s all we have to judge Tony Romo on from the 2016 season. Five passes. But they just might be enough.

Ryan Pace and John Fox are feeling the pressure to win now and they may have a chance to sign a quarterback who was considered among the best in the league for a decade. Even with Romo’s injury history, it’s something Pace and Fox are going to consider.

The thing about those five passes is they were all really good. They were sharp and on the money. One was a 15-yard spiral on third-and-11. Another was a deep pass that would’ve been a touchdown if not for an interference penalty. Romo finished his only drive of the season with a beautifully accurate touchdown pass, displaying a touch that very few quarterbacks have. Romo looked very much like the guy who probably should have won the 2014 MVP award.

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Seven Quick Thoughts on Bears Loss to Packers

| December 19th, 2016

Travel day. Not a lot of time to write. But here are my quick thoughts.

  • Matt Barkley looks every bit an NFL quarterback. And this makes 3 of his 4 starts where he took the team down the field with the game on the line and made plays to win or tie em. If Barkley’s teammates were better, he’d be a main story in Chicago.
  • Guy in Billy Goat yesterday: “Barkley’a good but he can’t throw the long ball.” Amazing what people believe despite their own eyes.
  • Bears secondary never had a chance against Aaron Rodgers but – on the final play – why does a safety even have a decision to make? There should be two guys standing 25 yards off the line of scrimmage.
  • Packers had a massive third quarter because of Bears mistakes. Bears had a massive fourth quarter because they dominated the line of scrimmage.
  • Jordan Howard is a star.
  • Love Alshon Jeffery’a post game passion,  expressed in this column by Adam Jahns. This is what the team needs: desire to win. They are fighters. What separates fighters from winners? Talent.

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The Callback

| December 5th, 2016

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It almost didn’t happen.

Matt Barkley’s callback was scheduled for noon Sunday but weather conditions were making it unlikely he’d be able to perform. Behind the table we were resigned to waiting another week, for a game in Detroit, to see whether 4th quarter #Barkleytime vs. Tennessee was real or just a figment of our quarterbacking imagination.

Then he arrived. A minute and fifty-six seconds before we broke for lunch, Barkley walked in. New sheet music. Less adventurous than the earlier Being Alive. He handed the pianist a jazzy, cooled up arrangement of Let it Snow.

And he sang it note perfect. Note. Perfect.

     Reader: Hey Jeff.

     Jeff: What’s up?

     Reader: Enough with the metaphor.

     Jeff: Okay.

Matt Barkley has now started two games in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. And if he were a Bears fourth-round pick and not a 26 year-old “journeyman”, fans would be discussing whether Ryan Pace stole a long-term starter in the middle of the draft.

Nobody was more critical of Barkley’a prospects pre-Tennessee than I was. “He can’t play” I wrote time and again. Guess what? I was wrong. He can play. And there’s a chance he can really play.

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