Rose Colored Glasses Never Looked This Good And Nor Did A Glass House …..
I’ve never been enamored with Jay Cutler as a quarterback and that’s inspite of the fact that so much praised was being heaped upon the player’s shoulders. We were being told that he’s a Pro Bowl type caliber player who could lead a team to the next level . Thus far five years into his career I’ve yet to see anything to persuade uade me that he’s actually capable of leading a team to the next level , much less win a Superbowl . But then again we’re still being informed that given the weapons and the right environment he will be able to do all of that . Statistically, he’s proven himself to be a moderate quarterback at best , if nothing else but to consider him one of the elite within the league at the position would be somewhat ludicrous .
This upcoming season Cutler and the Chicago Bears will have a great deal to prove if coach Lovie Smith and his coaching staff are to retain their positions within the organization . Long starved of success this Bears team is all but four years removed from their Superbowl (SB XLI) defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts and the game’s MVP Peyton Manning . That asides I’m not entirely sure that the organization has fully recovered from that defeat three years on as the after effects seems to have made the team simply regress and leaving them as one of the more mundane organizations within the league. And with the return of Brett Favre to the Minnesota Vikings the NFC North essentially has become a tougher obstacle for the Bears and Culter to overcome. And within the division you also have a somewhat rejuvenated Green Bay Packers __ team looking to challenge the ascendancy of the Vikings . But we also should not forget the hapless Detroit Lions who for all of their reverence still remains a team in search of an identity and a competitive instinct.
Slide-show for your perusal.
Courtesy of NFL.com & Associated Press
NFL.com news wire service
Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered a left calf strain on the opening series Saturday night and was ruled out for the remainder of a 32-17 preseason home loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Urlacher was injured on the second play of Oakland’s opening 81-yard touchdown drive.
Urlacher called the injury “no big deal,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
“On like the third play, I was running and I felt like a cramp,” Urlacher told the Tribune. “Then, on the next play, I couldn’t put pressure on it. Then I was out. … I had a similar-type injury (in 2007) on a Tuesday, and I ended up playing that Thursday (at Washington). I’m not going to speculate on how long, but I’ll be fine.”
Urlacher, who has been selected to six Pro Bowls in his career, played in only one regular-season game a year ago before being placed on injured reserve with a wrist injury suffered in the opener against the Green Bay Packers.
In 2004, Urlacher missed seven games with a lower left leg injury that required surgery to relieve the pressure of internal bleeding.
There’s a great deal riding on the season for the Bears and their schedule would suggest that if they’re to do anything at all this year then they’re going to have to come right out of the starting gates hitting the ground running. The 2010 NFL Draft for the Bears was one where they sought the complementary pieces to bolster a roster that simply was lacking on all fronts . And for the coaching staff as well as the front office led by Bears’ GM Jerry Angelo , Director of Player Personnel Tim Ruskell and under the auspices of President & CEO Ted Phillips . It was felt that the organization is now heading in the right direction. But as I alluded to earlier should things not fare well for the team then there’s the distinct possibility that Smith and his coaching staff could all be fired.
Jay Cutler has only got to show that he can lead this team but also that he has the prerequisite traits to show that he’s actually a leader. None of those traits were on display when he became sullen and infantile while being in the midst of the upheaval prior to his departure in the trade that sent him to the Bears and his opposing number Kyle Orton in the opposite direction to the Denver Broncos. His testy relationship with Broncos’ coach Josh McDaniels and Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen left a great deal to be desired. And it further evidences how much of a personality driven league the NFL has now become. Primadona players in the NFL it would appear are now a dime a dozen ! And Cutler and his antics at the time embodied and epitomized that all too well. Now within the Bears’ organization so much was expected last season not only of the player but also the team and once again they would end up disappointing of the Bears’ faithful with their fandom. A 7-9 subpar record only further ehnanced the belief that for all of the hype surrounding Cutler and the team they simply were nowhere near good enough to contend within the NFC much less the entire NFL .
Whatever that transpires this season for the Bears a great deal will depend and rest with the sort of relationship that is maintained and portrayed on and off the field of play between Jay Cutler his coach and the Bears coaching staff . Never mind the fact that he has to have the confidence of his teammates but most of all the fans there at Soldier Field in Chicago. Until the quarterback wins over those individuals with his play and leadership qualities then he’ll only be thought of as another high priced overpaid primadona and narcissistic athlete. Which pretty much has described Cutler’s career to date .
And while we can acknowledge that both Cutler and Lovie Smith are walking on something of a tightrope. What can be said of Brian Urlacher and his presence on this team ? He’s yet to regain the status or presence that once made him a dominant force and a Pro Bowl caliber type defensive player. Recurring injuries , a steady decline in form and the fact that he doesn’t take to criticism of his now limited abilities and one can well understand why it is that he’s now on the decline as a player and leader of this team. Simply put until there’s some sort of semblance of leadership and real competitive abilities on the Bears this will be a team that will be heading nowhere. Never mind the fact that they will have to contend with those within their division as well as the rest of the NFL . If they’re to contend this season then Cutler and in particular Lovie Smith will have to step up to the plate and ultimately show us all what they’ve got instead of the pretense that they’re a team on the rise and something that their fans should be looking forward to .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the role of the Chicago Bears this season and how far do you ultimately see them going ? By all means chime on in with a comment .
NB : To view the Bears’ NFL 2010 schedule just click on the link shown . Chicago Bears’ 2010 schedule . In order to view just click on the links shown .
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Alan aka tophatal ……………… 🙂