The Bears once thought they knew more than Josh McDaniels did, about Jay Cutler. If the Bears have targeted a No. 2 quarterback that McDaniels, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are willing to turn loose, do they AGAIN think they’re quarterback-smarter than McDaniels?
The Bears buzz around New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo started quite some time ago (when is there NOT some sort of buzz around the Bears and “quarterback?”) and is now going to increase in volume as the 2017 league year — and free agency and trading window — open in March.
Trading for the largely untested Patriots’ backup would constitute addressing the Bears’ quarterback concern. But “addressing” is not the same as “solving,” and the Bears have been undone once before with a short-sighted infatuation with a quarterback just because of apparent NFL “credentials.”
But there was a reason why Cutler was made available, just as there would be a reason or several why Garoppolo, whom the Patriots thought enough of to invest a second-round draft choice in a few seasons ago.
One common “reason” that Cutler and now Garoppolo presumably have been available is McDaniels, the incoming Denver Broncos coach who ousted Cutler and New England offensive coordinator tasked with mentoring Garoppolo and Tom Brady, the latter both before and after his stint in Denver.
Meaning: McDaniels may not be a fit as a head coach, but he does know something about what an elite quarterback should play and act like. He was quick to dump Cutler, and as the highest-ranking offensive coach under Belichick, McDaniels is intimately involved in any decision regarding Garoppolo.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
If the Bears are good with Garoppolo, then they are addressing their quarterback situation with a second-round draft choice, which Garoppolo was and has thrown exactly 94 NFL passes (albeit, without an interception). If that were the stated plan this upcoming draft, the reaction would be ... not good.
The instant love gush over Cutler after the 2009 trade was bizarre, if only because he had little record as a winner and a Pro Bowl as his credential. (Never mind that, to cite Georgetown legend John Thompson, “Pro Bowl” isn’t a distinction won; it’s given by vote.)
What makes the infatuation with Garoppolo particularly amusing, is that Garoppolo was a decent quarterback at Eastern Illinois — 61 percent completions, but with pedestrian rates of 63 percent and INT rate of 3 percent (118 TD’s, 51 INT’s). Against Ohio Valley Conference competition. Really?
Just for comparison purposes, of course: But Deshaun Watson completed 67 percent of his Clemson passes (every year, 67-plus percent), with an INT rate of 2.7 percent. Against ACC competition. And then there’s the National Championship thing...
Jimmy Garoppolo? It Could work. But brining in another quarterback that Josh McDaniels is OK with going forward without? Really?