Over the next few weeks, we’ll be evaluating each of the position groupings of the 2015 Bears. Today we’ll start with quarterbacks. Monday we’ll address running backs, Tuesday wide receivers, Wednesday tight ends and Thursday the offensive line. Defense will come the following week.
Jay Cutler did everything possible in 2015 to earn the starting quarterback job in 2016. He showed a command of the offense, assumed a serious, vocal leadership role, limited his risk/reward tosses and overcame a myriad of injuries at the skill spots and offensive line to provide Bears fans a season far more entertaining than was expected from their shaky roster.
He’s the guy. Indisputably.
But behind Cutler, what are the Bears doing at the position? Nothing.
Chicago determined David Fales was worth protecting from pilferage, I guess. But the decisions was less a vote of confidence in Fales’ ability and more an extreme willingness to allow James Clausen a one way ticket to Anywhere, USA. And while Matt Blanchard continues to taxi on the Bears runway, the chances of him ever finding Gate 53 are slim.
The quarterbacks room in 2016 MUST include one of the following (and preferably both):
- A veteran capable of holding down the fort for the weeks Cutler will inevitably be sidelined. If Mike Glennon could be shaken free from the Tampa tree or Josh McCown becomes available, those would be quarterbacks intelligent enough to run this system and talented enough to win games.
- A young, developmental type who is either a potential starter or long-term answer as backup. This could very well be Fales but is more likely to be drafted somewhere around the fourth round.
The Bears have done the hard part. They have what nearly half the teams in the league don’t have: a top starter. But if the team is serious about making a playoff run in 2016 – and they should be – they can not be a blindside hit on Cutler away from a top five pick in the draft. That means improving the quarterbacks room.