On the other 20, the Chicago Bears are 3-2 (2-1 home) and led by their own “Franchise” quarterback in Jay Cutler, who is having one of his best seasons. Jay is currently ranked 8th in QBR, 5th most in TDs, 8th highest completion % (65.7), and has only been sacked 9 times – 25th lowest.
So why is the 2x Super Bowl champion Eli Manning having such a hard time in 2013, and Jay Cutler flourishing?
For the past 3/4 years Jay Cutler’s potential has been hindered by a defensive minded Head Coach in Lovie Smith; dinosaur like offensive coordinators in Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice; and one of the worst pass blocking offensive lines in football. When the Bears decided to part ways with Lovie Smith and bring in Marc Trestman, the landscape of the Bears offense would change for the forever better.
Most fans think of Marc Trestman as this very successful CFL head coach, who had a system that may not work in the NFL, but Trestman has been in the NFL since 1985. Trestman was the offensive coordinator and called plays for some of the best offenses and QBs in NFL History. Trestman called plays for the 1995 San Francisco 49ers led by Steve Young that went 11-5. He also called plays for the 2002 Oakland Raiders led by Rich Gannon, who also went 11-5 and got to the Super Bowl. Trestman has been in the NFL from 1985-2004, before a 1-year college football stint, and then went to the Montreal Alouettes and completely revolutionized Canadian Football forever, winning back to back Grey Cups.
For the first time in Cutler’s career he has a Head Coach in Marc Trestman, who is going to work on Jay every minute of every practice and game. Trestman preaches throwing the football downfield via a “Read It, Throw It” west coast philosophy. He preaches throwing the football where the defense isn’t, and when you take enough of those chances, you will eventually be rewarded with big plays. He can deal with turnovers, as long as the big plays offset them (perfect for Jay huh?). Trestman is the perfect fit for Jay on the passing end, and with the Trestman hire of Saints pass blocking guru, Aaron Kromer … YOU GOT A SICK PLAN YO.
Aaron Kromer was hired by the Chicago Bears this offseason as the Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach. He had recently served with the New Orleans Saints over the past 5 seasons, and last year was the intern head coach after bounty gate. Now although the Saints did not have such a great season in 2012 with Kromer as the interim Head Coach (6-10), they did finish 2nd in offense, 3rd in scoring, & 3rd in fewest sacks allowed. Kramer was also part of the Super Bowl winning Saints team that led the NFL in total offense and points.
Kramer and Trestman go back to that 2002 Oakland Raiders Super Bowl team, when both were on staff for that #1 offense that lead the league in yards.
Kramer’s expertise comes in offensive line protection, and his 4 years coaching the offensive line in New Orleans proved just that: Kromer sent “five linemen to a combined nine Pro Bowls and tied for the fewest sacks allowed in the NFL with 96. The all-stars included tackles Jermon Bushrod (2012) and Jon Stinchcomb (2010), guards Jahri Evans (2010-13) and Carl Nicks (2011-12) and center Jonathan Goodwin (2010)” (ChicagoBears.com). This is perfect for a Bears team that over the past 3 years have given up the 8th, 5th and 1st most sacks in the NFL.
When you combine a QB guru like Trestman, a pass blocking guru like Kromer, and a QB in Cutler … you are going to flirt with greatness!
Now how do we know we can trust Jay Cutler? Well first, Jay for sure has the star QB like potential. If you recall before Chicago, Cutler had a 2008 season where he had 4,526 yards with the 4th highest QBR in league at 72.1, which is just jaw dropping - especially for a QB's third year. To put that 72.1 QBR in perspective that is more than Brees/Kaepernick had last year, Matt Ryan had in his stellar 2011, Peyton/Rodgers/Brees in 2010, Favre (Min)/Rodgers/Brady in 2009 etc…
So then the question comes up about Jay’s mental makeup and ability to win the big games… because we have all head these hundreds of time… “Jay always throws the late pick, always makes that bad read, isn’t much a leader, isn’t clutch etc…” But weren’t people saying that about Eli Manning before his 2007 Super Bowl run? My rule is don’t judge a QB UNTIL you put them in the RIGHT SPOT, not just a BIG SPOT. Cutler is in his RIGHT SPOT NOW…so judge him NOW. I think he will be easily be considered a top 10 quarterback after a couple Trestman season.