(CBS) — Former Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo provided his assessment of Jay Cutler on Facebook as part of a series evaluating quarterbacks in the NFC North.
Angelo brought Cutler to Chicago in 2009 as part of a trade with the Denver Broncos.
You can read his assessment below or visit his Facebook page.
Jay Cutler – He has all the physical tools. His arm strength, release and precise passes make him dangerous from anywhere on the field. He moves well and throws well on the run, an area that can be cultivated like his days in Denver.
But his numbers and most QB rankings are pedestrian, given his talent. The question is why?
Part of the problem, he’s going on his fourth coordinator since arriving in Chicago. Continuity is important to every player, particularly those at his position.
From his standpoint, two issues stand out to me.
First he needs to distribute the ball consistently to his secondary receivers. His penchant to have a favorite receiver is understandable but not at the expense of ignoring the others. To put up big numbers, you have to keep defenses on their heels and off balance. Make them guess or cheat and when they do, you make them pay.
The way to do it is force them to defend the whole field, not half of it. Make them defend every level and every zone. You do this by spreading the ball to all your weapons.
You force defenses to respect those weapons by going to them.
All the elite quarterbacks create receivers.
The second concern ties into the first; his lack of consistency and production in the red zone. It’s not all on Cutler, but it’s where the top quarterbacks distinguish themselves. The Bears were tied for 22nd in offense when they got down there. He’s better than that, and they have enough established weapons to exploit opponents when they are down there.
The optimum word for Cutler is ‘trust’: in himself, those around him and what he’s asked to do. He’s taken a lot of ‘hits’ and at age 30 they can take their toll. I’ve never questioned his toughness and knowing him, I know he’s in top shape and anxious to get going.
Usually at this point, you either get it or you don’t. He has an offensive specialist as his head coach, and it’s going to take the help of a specialist for him to reach his ceiling.
I think it’s a good bet he’ll have a top year.