The most glaring concern from the Chicago Bears disappointing season was the regression of quarterback Jay Cutler. Many fans including myself thought Cutler was in line for an MVP caliber season; the stars were definitely aligned for that kind of year. The firing of offensive coordinator Mike Martz who system wasn’t the best fit for Cutler and was just simply outdated. The promotion of Mike Tice to OC and hiring of Jeremy Bates as quarterbacks coach gave Cutler a pair of coaches that was supposed to provide him an offensive system that played to his strengths.
General manager Phil Emery provided Cutler with a group of skill players that were the best he ever had in his time in Chicago. Brandon Marshall is a top five elite talent at the wide receiver position, while Alshon Jeffery was a prolific WR back at South Carolina. When you add those two guys with a top caliber running back in Matt Forte and a dependable slot WR in Earl Bennett, Cutler had himself enough to make a run at no only the MVP, but also a Super Bowl.
Lack of an identity on offense and various other reasons has been the main reasons for Cutler’s regression this season. The failures on offense has caused Lovie Smith to lose his job and now Emery has to search for an offensive minded head coach that he feels can maximize Cutler’s potential.
What the Bears don’t need is a head coach that will be Cutler’s friend. Rick Dennison (or “Rico” is what Cutler likes to call him) is a guy Cutler’s likes a lot, but do you want a guy that could possibly be very tight with an underachieving franchise QB?
The common theme with most of these head coaching candidates is that they have a track record with developing QB’s. Bruce Arians developed Peyton Manning in his first three years in the league and Ben Roethlisberger often credits Arians for his development as a QB. Just this past year, Arians had great success with rookie Andrew Luck.
Marc Trestman has a great history of developing QB’s. In 2001, Rich Gannon reached the Pro Bowl under Trestman watch as a QB coach for the Oakland Raiders. When Trestman was promoted to OC in 2002, Gannon went on to win the NFL MVP. Trestman has been deemed an offensive innovator and a go-to guy for young QB’s entering the league.
Whether it’s Arians, Trestman, Mike Sullivan (help developed Eli Manning and Josh Freeman) or Tom Clements (developed Aaron Rodgers), if the Bears want to get the most out of Cutler potential, pairing him with a coach and not someone he will possibly walk over will be a step in the right direction.