For the first time in decades the Bears have a QB!

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The Bears have been drafting and signing QBs right and left for years without ever finding one that can lead the O to a level of performance that would equal the D. Now they have their man.

The Bears better be right that Jay Cutler is the one because they have cut or traded every other QB on the roster that had any experience. Cutler is in my opinion one of the best young QBs in the league. He reads Ds and processes information quickly, has a strong arm, and the leadership that keeps the team focused. But the problem lies in Cutler’s inability to both throw and catch the ball on the same play. Frankly, the Bears have a 100 point QB and a 25 point set of WRs.

Devin Hester is the Bears #1 WR by default. While he is developing into a fair WR by increasing his catches from 20 as the 3rd WR in 07 to 51 last season. The problem is that he is also the greatest weapon on special teams in the league. While his increased emphasis on the WR part of the job has not hurt his kick return numbers, it has devastated his punt return numbers. He averaged 12.8 yards per return in 06 with 3 TDs and 15.5 yards in 07 with 4 TDs he had only 6.2 yards per attempt in 08 with 0 TDs. For an offense that struggled to get out of its own way, that was a disaster. The news about #2 is worse. The Bears used their first of 2 3rd round picks on Earl Bennett (Vanderbilt) but he was a total bust in year one. That is not too unusual because it takes a WR a couple of years to blossom. But Bennett is expected to instantly become a factor. That is not likely to happen even though Cutler and he spent some time together in college. Rashied Davis and rookie Juaquin Iglesias are the backups. Davis started 12 games in 08 but caught only 35 passes. Iglesias is a project.

Things are better at TE. The Bears go 2 TE often and both Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark can stretch the field and open up running lanes. Olsen is a great Fantasy football option.

In 08 rookie Matt Forte ran for 1,238 yards but averaged a pedestrian 3.9 yards per attempt. He is a good receiver and led the team with 63 catches. Despite the struggles of the O line, 3.9 per attempt is not enough. Should the passing game actually threaten anyone, it could improve the average to 4.2 or more. That is essential. Backup Kevin Jones is two years removed from the knee injury and should be better in 09. Adrian Peterson is the “other” Peterson but has 3rd down ability.

The 09 O line is talented but old and fragile. UFA signing LT Orlando Pace has missed more games in the last 3 years than he has played. FA LG Frank Omiyale is paid like a pro bowler but doesn’t play like it. C Olin Kreutz is in his 12th year and it shows. He has lost the punch and first step that made him a pro bowler so often. RG Roberto Garza works hard and is OK in small spaces but can not pull due to a lack of athleticism. RT Chris Williams the 14th pick in 08 struggled with a back injury and conditioning in his rookie season. He needs to prove he was worth the money. Backup Josh Beekman started for the Bears last year and FA Kevin Shaffer started for the Browns. They are more than adequate.

The D line is full of name brands that just did not play well in 08. LE Adewale Ogunleye, LT Tommie Harris and RE Alex Brown get pro bowl votes but not enough pressure on the QB. In the Bear D, they are the key pass rushers. NT Dusty Dvoracek works hard but is not as consistent in collapsing the pocket as he should. He will be pressed by T Marcus Harrison and T Anthony Adams. E Mark Anderson won the RE job in 06 with 12 sacks but lost his job back to Brown in 07.

WLB Lance Briggs and MLB Brian Urlacher are pro bowl quality. Even at 31 Urlacher still gets it done. SLB Pisa Tinoisamoa was picked up off waivers from the Rams. He is adequate at best. Jamar Williams, Nick Roach and Hunter Hillenmeyer provide the backup strength and all have starting experience. Marcus Freeman is a developmental project but has physical talent.

The D backfield is above average when healthy. CB Nate Vasher has been in and out of the lineup for the last 2 years. CB Charles Tillman is solid as is SS Kevin Payne against the run. Payne struggles in coverage. Corey Graham or Danieal Manning will play FS. Manning is the athlete but Graham has the cover skills that Manning lacks.

OVERALL: The Bears will go as far as their O takes them. If the receivers can develop, the O will be fine and the Bears will challenge the Packers for the Division Title. Cutler is the type of QB that can take the team to a title if he has a decent team around him. The Bears have the D and a reasonable running game. They need the passing game to become a complete team.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Cutler,Bears,Browns,Hester. Clark,Olsen,Forte,Kreutz,Williams,Pace,Ogunleye,Harris,Brown,Briggs,Urlacher,Tillman,Vasher,Manning,Payne


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For the first time in decades the Bears have a QB! by

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2 Responses to “For the first time in decades the Bears have a QB!”


  1. Crime Scene Cleanup Tucson
    on Aug 15th, 2009
    @ 3:19 pm

    After watching Kyle Orton last night, this is looking more and more like a steal for Da Bears. Denver is screwed…It will be fun to see how all of these teams fair with their new QB’s this year.

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  2. Acai Ignite
    on Aug 15th, 2009
    @ 11:08 pm

    I like Cutlet a lot and think he should be fine with Chicago. They have needed a good quarterback and now they have their guy. I could see them going far.
    .-= Acai Ignite´s last blog ..Acai Ignite, 800mg Pure Rich Acai =-.

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