Of all NFL franchises, the excitement surrounding Bears tickets may be the greatest. Chicago has been looking for it’s next great quarterback for almost a decade now and Jay Cutler represents the latest hope. Cutler comes to the Bears after disagreements with Denver Broncos management forced a deal. Maybe not the best of circumstances but I can’t help but feel that this was a good deal for the Bears and a loss for Denver.
Cutler is only 25 years old and has a Pro Bowlunder his belt already. He’s got the arm obviously, having thrown for over 4,500 yards in 2008. More telling is the fact that a good percentage of those yards came on longer passes of 20 yards or more. Is he perfect? No. He has some problems with putting touch on shorter passes, and some question his cool when the heat is on. But he’s got plenty of upside and he’s a definite improvement over a reliable but unspectacular Kyle Orton.
The Bears found their running back last season as 2nd Round pick Matt Forte exploded on the scene, rushing for over 1,200 yards. Forte is also a factor in the passing game, solid as a blocker, and has enough speed and nimbleness to break the long run. Barring injury his numbers should go up in 2009.
But who will Cutler be throwing to? There’s the rub. Chicago coaches are talking up Devin Hester. In my mind he’s still an uncertainty. There’s some hope though as Hester’s numbers and performance seemed to get better as the seaon went along. Another potential threat could come from Earl Bennet, who had problems in 2008 but hasn’t been written yet. After that it’s a crapshoot with rookie Johnny Knox, Rashied Davis, and Juaquin Iglesias battling for playing time.