By Pat Boyle
Jay is our quarterback, but everything else is up for grabs.
You never really know the true value of a player until you watch his replacement. Wherever Jay Cutler was on your chart five weeks ago, I'm sure he has sky rocketed to a lofty spot now.
While I had Matt Forte as a top five back in this league before his injury, his value dipped a little in the last few weeks after watching what Kahlil Bell and Marion Barber-Denver debacle included-have done during Forte's absence.
We all realize that to hoist the Lombardi trophy, you must have a difference making quarterback. Cutler is that guy, but you also need a "game managing" back-up quarterback to get you through a game or two during the season.
Let's face it, you lose your "elite" QB for any significant time, your season is pretty much over.
Josh McCown appeared like a competent back-up versus Green Bay, but many said the same thing about Caleb Hanie after "HIS" TD, two INT performance vs. the Packers in the NFC Championship last season.
This is where you need a well run organization, that isn't afraid to make a tough decision, as long as it's in the team's best interest.
Like what the Bears did with Olin Kreutz before the season began. Jerry Angelo took a lot of flack for not holding on to the locker room leader, over what seemed at the time to be NFL walk around money.
Jerry was right in the case of Kreutz. As it turned out, he offered him a lot more than anyone else did and the Bears realized his skills were nearing the end. Roberto Garza made you forget the whole Kreutz debate. Tough call, unpopular, but the right move for the good of the franchise.
I wish Angelo & company handled all personnel issues in the same manner. There was clearly a disconnect on Hanie's ability last season. That's why he was 3rd in line behind Todd Collins.
That is also why they drafted Nathan Enderle. Having two young quarterbacks with zero NFL starts behind Cutler was the Bears fatal mistake.
Mike Martz wasn't the Bears first or even second choice as the Offensive Coordinator two years ago.
The same reservations they had at that time, are the same issues that constantly surfaced for Martz here in Chicago.
If Martz & co. weren't comfortable with Hanie last January when they were one win away from the Super Bowl, why would he be plan B to the most sacked quarterback in the league coming into this year?
We can ask similar questions about the decisions made at safety, wide receiver and defensive tackle. To be fair, every team in the playoffs right now(including Green Bay) has weak spots on their roster. The Bears just have more holes and bigger gaps in talent between players.
I feel bad for guys like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs who played at Pro Bowl levels all year and realize serious runs at the Super Bowl don't come very often. They made an average defense good enough to reach the playoffs. The problem was the offense never held up their end of the deal once Cutler went down.
Maybe the 7-3 start to at best an 8-8 season will cause some change at Halas Hall. It won't be any easy decision for George McCaskey, but it is one that has to be made if your goal is a Super Bowl.
Angelo has had plenty of time and some success over the past decade plus with the Bears. Unfortunately, much like his roster, Angelo has too many holes in his game and he hasn't been the difference making leader this franchise desperately needs.
Take a look back at the Bears Postgame Live Rewind below: