Bears Hope Who Backup QB is Won't Matter.............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bears hope backup QB competition won't matter
    If bulked-up Cutler can stay healthy, search for productive No. 2 will prove moot
    June 17, 2014|By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter

    Some serious hand-wringing is going on in Dallas, where Kyle Orton hasn't shown up for mandatory minicamp, forcing Brandon Weeden to take the first-team reps at quarterback for the Cowboys while Tony Romo recovers from back surgery.

    Orton, the former Bear, is rumored to be contemplating retirement[​IMG], even though he would have to repay a $3 million bonus to walk away. Few backups have the experience of Orton, making his absence a storyline in June.
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    The Bears' unsettled search for a No. 2 quarterback behind Jay Cutler is a hot topic, too, one that grew more interesting June 5 when Jimmy Clausen was added to the mix, at least in part because a pectoral injury was giving Jordan Palmer shoulder issues.

    Weeden has 20 career starts, twice as many as the Bears' collection of potential backups — Palmer, Clausen, Jerrod Johnson and rookie David Fales. All 10 belong to Clausen, and they came back in 2010 with the Panthers. The Bears won't carry five quarterbacks to training[​IMG] camp, so one figures to exit in the next month. In reality, there's next to nothing for a fourth QB to do in camp either.

    The Bears' backup scenario is noteworthy because Cutler missed five games last year and has been held out of 13 over the last four seasons. Romo, in contrast, has missed only one game in the last three seasons.
    General manager Phil Emery left no doubt he believes Cutler will be durable for a long time to come with the contract he gave him in January. The deal included $38 million that's fully guaranteed at this point, and the $16 million Cutler is owed in 2016 is 100 percent guaranteed against injury.

    So questions about Cutler's availability involve more than just who's the backup; they involve the largest contract in franchise history.

    "He's bigger, he's stronger than a year ago and he has really focused on staying physically well for the entire season," coach Marc Trestman said last week on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "That's No. 1 — we've got to keep him standing, keep him safe[​IMG]."

    "Yeah, I really don't know about that," Cutler said with a laugh Tuesday when asked about his improved physique.

    Trestman poked at the media for overreacting to the comments and said it was simply an observation, one on which he'll agree to disagree with Cutler. But Cutler did say he started working out earlier this offseason and emphasized strengthening the left side of his body after tearing a groin muscle in October at Washington. The recovery process took him until March to feel 100 percent.

    "He has always been in shape," quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh said. "He spent a lot more time with flexibility, a lot more time in the weight room. He looks stronger.

    "One of the things we talked about was getting real strong from the waist down. To play this position, you've got to have a good base, and that has definitely changed. He's built up his upper body some, too, to be able to stand out there strong and be able to deliver a ball and take a hit."

    But Cutler's injuries last season were not due to a lack of strength or mobility. They were freak plays. Redskins defensive tackle Chris Baker spun Cutler to the turf, resulting in the groin tear in Week 7. Three weeks later, blitzing Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch rolled up Cutler's left ankle after a completion to Alshon Jeffery.
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    They were two hits on the quarterback you wouldn't think twice about, not the kind of cringe-worthy collision Cutler endured in 2012 when Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins put a helmet shot on him that resulted in a concussion.

    Keeping a quarterback on the field requires a tough player, generally a good offensive line and a little luck. Nine quarterbacks have started 48 regular-season games over the past three years. In that span, 16 quarterbacks have more starts than Cutler's 36. Six have started every game over the past four seasons.
    What does Cutler think he can do to ensure he remains on the field?

    "I was straight until I really got here for a while and it was a hit parade back there," he said. "It takes its toll from time to time. With the offensive line we've got here, the guys are doing everything possible. Last year was last year. Kind of two freak injuries. I don't really foresee that happening again."

    That's just it. They weren't extraordinary plays, but they forced Josh McCown into extended action. No one expected the 34-year-old journeyman to be such a spark off the bench. The Bears don't want to see if they found another productive No. 2, whoever it winds up being.

    But as Cavanaugh said, "You can train all you want, but sometimes during the course of the game, the quarterback takes a hit."


    bmbiggs@tribune.com
    Twitter @BradBiggs
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well there seems to be some dispute between Cutler and his coaches as to whether he is or isn't "bigger and stronger this year" so maybe we should consult an expert. Kristin, what say you? Has you man become a miniature version of the Incredible Hulk or not? LOL

    Maybe we can just settle on the fact that Jay is a lot better conditioned to stand up to the abuse of a 16 game season than he has been in the past. I never thought of him as much of a weight room and workout guy in the offseason so maybe this year was a first for him.

    I'm hoping their right about him being able to make it through all 16 regular season games and then some playoff tilts as well without having to give up his seat. I can't help but thinking we'll never be as lucky as we were last year with the performance of our #2 QB. That was rare.
  3. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    While its about Cutler staying healthy, it's about protecting Cutler.

    I didn't see anything about last year, but the whole time in Chicago he was the most sacked and knocked down QB (minus last year). The dude takes some hard hits.
  4. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    Last year we were #13 in QB hits.

    I can't find a way to isolate it to just Jay Cutler. I know I've seen that since coming to Chicago he was the most knocked down QB.

    We protect him, we see him injury free.
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    part of cutlers problem is that he holds onto the ball far to long. a few years ago he was in the bottom 3rd for how quickly he relased the ball. Doesn't matter how good your OL is(not that his was) if you hold it that long.

    Cutler now needs to learn to get the ball quicker to avoid getting hit even less.
  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    In this offense, with this scheme, with targets like Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, M.Bennett, Forte etc - and with "The QB Whisperer" to lead the offense - we could start "Staley Da Bear" at QB and win games. We saw that last year with old journeyman McCown looking like a top-10 NFL quarterback in this offense.

    BTW, we could probably save cap money signing Staley. I'd bet that he'd play for the vet minimum. Of course after 1 good season here, Lovie would try to sign him to start for the Tampa Bay Bucs thinking he'd lead TB to the Super Bowl :lol 027:

    [​IMG]
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think we'd have to give him a new number though. I don't think the NFL permits double digit numbers lower than 10. :rofl2:
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    ya me to, is there anyone that works for the company or the fans(other then the backup qb's) that are hoping they ARE needed?

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