Prior to last Sundays game against the Bucs in London, the buzz around Chicagoland in the papers was how Jay Cutler "dis" offensive coordinator Mike Martz during the Vikings game the week before. Even some of the talking heads on ESPN chimed-in on what we say "it was only a matter of time".
After being sacked virtually more than any QB in the league (after 5 games), it became quite apparent that Cutler made a conscious decision to take matters into his own hands. In the Sunday night game against the Vikes, Cutler went 21-31 for 267 yards, and 2 TDPs (with rating of 115.9). How did he do it, by extending the pocket with his feet, and stepping up in the pocket to help maintain great visibility down field. Cutler pushed-back on play calls that he felt not only wouldn't work, but would put his physical well-being at risk. At one point, Jay even hurled an expletive at Martz that we dare not repeat here.
In our opinion here at CBE, Jay Cutler showed the type of "fiery" leadership that we last seen from past Bears QB's Jim Harbaugh, and Jim McMahon. Interestingly enough, both Harbaugh and McMahon were two of the more successful QBs in recent Bears history. When Ditka would yell at Harbaugh, he'd yell right back. Jim McMahon was even more vocal when locking-horns with Iron Mike during some of "tender moments".
So why should it be such a surprise to anyone in the Chicago media when Jay Cutler shows his competitive energy? In fact, when both Martz and Cutler were asked about their run-in, they both responded by stating that it was all a part of what goes on during the game on any given Sunday. Cutler went on to state that the entire offensive unit wants nothing more than to win games, and to do what it takes to make that happen.
With that said, I have to point out just how opposed I was to Dan Pompei's Tribune article where he gave Cutler an "F" for leadership, in the aftermath of the Viking game's sideline blow-up. What Pompei failed to realize is that perhaps Jay Cutler has had just about enough of Martz's failing play schemes just like the rest of us. I'm quite sure that a part of Cutler's frustration is that fact that Martz saw-to-it that His best bud Greg Olson got shipped to Carolina because he was a weak blocking TE. However, Martz fails to provide Cutler with better pass protection by his misuse of the TE's remaining on the team.
During the Minnesota game, we saw Cutler finally getting better protection on the pocket by keeping the TE's in for better protection on the corners where the Bears have been most vulnerable. With Gabe Carimi still out of the line-up, the Bear need as much help up front to keep Cutler clean. Then there's the wasted acquisition of WR Roy Williams who has nearly dropped more passes than he's caught. Even Williams TD catch against the Bucs in the last game looked more like a circus hire wire act with Williams nearly falling over the edge rather than into the end-zone.
We'll will discuss the Cutler/Martz affair in more detail during tonight's show where we will answer the question; Is It Jay's Team Now???