Urlacher’s Right About Cutler, Having Said That….
If you watched the season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” or even if you’ve just been a member of society for a considerable amount of time, then you know that any clause that starts off in the fashion of “Having said that,” or “I mean no disrespect,” for all intensive purposes, will end in having disrespected the subject of conversation.
Enter Brian Urlacher, who in a recent radio interview (mind you, Urlacher has plenty of time to talk considering he’s not playing this season) said, “I’m not taking a shot at Jay,” and then immediately went on to take a shot at Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
The entire statement by Urlacher was:
I’m not taking a shot at Jay. I’m not one bit taking a shot at Jay. He throws it better, right? And we haven’t tried to run the ball as much. That’s true. But Kyle has won games. His formula works. So I’m not taking a shot at Jay or Kyle.
Even though Urlacher began and ended his sentence with “I’m not taking a shot at Jay,” the fact is, he did take a shot at Jay, and it was a hefty one. By saying that Kyle’s “formula” works and that Kyle “won games,” he is essentially saying that Cutler’s “formula” doesn’t work and that Cutler doesn’t win games. Now, if that’s not taking a shot a Jay Cutler, what is?
Having said that, Urlacher is absolutely right. The formula being employed by Cutler isn’t working. The Bears aren’t going to the playoffs and they aren’t any better than they were last year with Orton at quarterback—in fact, they’re worse.
However, it isn’t all Cutler’s fault. While you can fault Cutler for most of his interceptions (the keyword is most), they aren’t entirely of his doing. And the team’s performance as a whole isn’t the result of considerably worse play at quarterback. First of all, the Bears receivers and offensive line aren’t good, are inexperienced and have considerably less value than they had a year ago. Also, the Bears defense has been egregious this season. It wasn’t all that great last year either, but this year there’s no Urlacher and Tommie Harrison is shot.
But most importantly, the Bears biggest issue is something Urlacher himself addressed, only he spoke of the wrong person. The Bears biggest problem on offense is their playcalling: they don’t run the ball enough. And that’s a head coach problem, not a Jay Cutler problem.
Coach Lovie Smith has to be held responsible for not running the ball more and taking advantage of Matt Forte’s athleticism. Granted, the offensive line is horrible and the Bears can’t run the ball all that well, but then again, the Bears and Forte didn’t really run the ball all that efficiently last year. In 2008, Forte averaged less than 4 yards per carry, but his meager average was good enough to keep the offense on schedule and set up the playaction.
But the Bears have gotten away from that. They have a new toy in Jay Cutler, and they want to use him as much as they can. Now they are looking at a 4-7 record, missing the playoffs and all of a sudden, the trade for Cutler doesn’t look so good.
So Urlacher was right, the Bears’ current formula isn’t working, but to put it all on Cutler is the wrong way to look at it. Having said that, Urlacher did indeed put it all on Cutler, whether he meant it or not. I’m not taking a shot at Urlacher or anything, but maybe he shouldn’t talk so much when his voice can only be heard on the bench, instead of in between the lines where he was last seen leading a defense that wasn’t doing a whole lot defending.
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