According to Merriam-Webster, an enigma is defined as; "Something hard to understand or explain" or "An inscrutable or mysterious person." What would the Chicago definition of this word look like if were to look it up?
Probably something similar. One thing for certain is Chicago Bears' offensive cornerstone and franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler would most certainly be pictured right next to it. Which in this town, given his personality is a very confusing from my observation.
The Windy City (and surrounding areas) that many of us call home has some of the most unforgiving and loving sports fandoms in the entire professional sports universe. Many times right at the center of our universe is, Jay Cutler. More times than not, it's for the criticisms of his game, rather than the praising of it.
These criticisms always seemingly the same from the typical "meatball" fan. "He looks like he doesn't care." "He has weird neck ticks, he stands awkwardly", and my personal favorite, "He just looks like jerk." These criticisms are hard to understand.
The other criticisms are fully seen and understandable. They seem to just be so far less brought up than the aforementioned ones. His decision making (most brought up of the logical criticisms), his inconsistent arm slot, choppy and ever-changing footwork. Along with staring down his target, variable read progressions, and the ever prevalent forcing the ball to his read. These are logical criticisms, though most are correctable and with quick film review have been fast changing for the most part, most noticeably the staring down of targets, arm slot and footwork.
However many fans are so quick to point out flaws and criticize, shouldn't they be just as quick to accept his pros and where and he succeeds in the game of football? Not so, seemingly. Lets proceed in doing this.
Starting with the obvious of he has one of the strongest arms in the NFL if not NFL history. He's also had the aptitude of picking up and being moderately successful in his 5 seasons in Chicago (Turner, Martz, Tice, Trestman). So by count, he's had to learn four different offenses by now going into his sixth season as a Bear.
Meanwhile he's already the Bears' All-Time Leading passer five season into his Chicago tenure, meaning he's already the best quarterback in the history of the franchise all while in an ever changing scheme.
Most amusing part of the Cutler love or hate is much of the fanbase that criticizes and defends him, all seemingly adore a Bears' cult icon of the of the 1980's, Jim McMahon. Whom possesses many of the same qualities, he really didn't seem to care what people thought of him. His own defense admittedly hated him, he changed his coach's plays. Was fined repeatedly and by many accounts of those who've met him was very much, a grade A jerk.
So what made him so special? He lead the 1985 Chicago Bears team that won a Super Bowl or this is how many fans would lead you to believe it happened. Not the vaunted defense that featured future Hall of Famers Singletary, Hampton and Dent or an offense that featured possibly the greatest all-around football player in Walter Payton and a tremendous line.
Nope, he won that team a Super Bowl with his grit, smarts and determination. Yet, Jay doesn't own the talents or aptitude that this once cult icon did to win? Though he possesses a better all-around offense around him and just being a more talented NFL player in virtually every facet the game of football has? It really should be time Chicago get it's story straight when it comes to this topic.
If fans simply don't like Jay Cutler. Despite his franchise leading 14,913 yards. His 60.3 completion %, 101 touchdowns, 75 interceptions and 83.1 rating (also franchise best), all while being the most sacked quarterback in franchise history. Fine, just say you don't like him.
Just don't fall into using copouts such as "The Bears can't win a Super Bowl with him at the helm" or "Bears should've extended McCowen" (yes I'm aware spelling is wrong). Seeing as how a far inferior quarterback has won with this very same franchise and all over the NFL in various seasons. Plus who was the legitimate alternative to replace him?
Time will prove that Jay may never win and so be it. That is something we as fans have to deal with and they as a franchise have to live with. But they have chosen their quarterback it's time to just accept the fact that he's here. Chicago, pick a lane when it comes to Cutler is all that can be asked. Like him or don't, he's the Chicago Bears quarterback for at the very least, the next three seasons.