Bears

Cutler Responds to Criticism with Performance

Cutler Responds to Criticism with Performance

Monday, December 29th
I think everyone was surprised of the fight left in the Chicago Bears last night. Others, may conclude the victory over the Vikings is just another glaring example of how underachieving the Bears have been in 2009. In either case, this Bears roster showed the ability to respond under pressure circumstances during the week with the help of some new faces who competed extremely hard for not only themselves, but also their head coach.

Credit Jay Cutler

Much has been dumped on Jay's shoulders for the Bears failures this season and rightfully so. It could have been easy for him to curl up in the fetal position and call it a season versus the Vikings. But, that is what losers do! Quarterbacks, more than any other position in the NFL, need to come off poor performances, like what Jay experienced in Baltimore last week, with their best game. Kurt Warner, of the Arizona Cardinals, has had four poor performances this season. All of them were multi-turnover games that resulted in a Cardinal loss. He answered the bell after every one with a 300 yard multi-touchdown performance, while leading the team to victory. Arizona has not lost two in a row all year. Much of Arizona's success can be attributed to Kurt Warner and his ability to respond even though his team has not run the football well all year. It is what competitorswinners do. They respond when it matters the most. Jay has that ability and with more "comfortabilty" within the Bears offensive system, more consistency and winning should be the end result. Performances like the four touchdown outburst we witnessed last night will be the norm. That is the big if! Everyone assumes changes will be made. Only Jerry and Lovie can weigh the pros and cons of bringing in a new offensive coordinator. Do you make change for change sake? It was only 2005 when Ron Turner's offense was lighting up the NFL and Rex Grossman was being talked about for NFL MVP. Change would bring Jay his third new offense in three years. It is a tough call because I would like to see Jay settle in for a second year under Ron Turner and see what he is capable of doing. I would like to see a new buffer as a QB coach, someone who is very demanding of Jay.

Chargers reportedly set to move on from Phillip Rivers after 16 seasons

Chargers reportedly set to move on from Phillip Rivers after 16 seasons

The Bears are deep in "offseason mode," likely poring over research from the 2020 Senior Bowl and, of course, going over their options to improve the roster amid what should be a very intriguing free agency period in less than two months. Among Bears fans, the anti-Trubisky crowd definitely is in support of the Bears adding a quality quarterback (or two for that matter) to challenge for the starting job and even the staunchest of Mitchell Trubisky supporters would admit it that it would be wise to add another quality backup quarterback to the Chicago roster. And as of Monday, it appears that another high-profile name is hitting the market.

The Los Angeles Chargers are reportedly "moving on" from quarterback Phillip Rivers—though NFL.com Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Chargers would consider franchise-tagging him.

Rivers is the Chargers franchise leader in passing yards (59,271), touchdowns (397), 4th quarter comebacks (27), and game-winning drives (32). Rivers' passing yards, passing touchdowns, and passer rating (95.1) all rank within the top-10 all-time. But while Rivers obviously has had a great career, last season was anything but "great" for the 38-year-old signal-caller. 

In the 2019 NFL regular season Rivers threw for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions as the Chargers went 5-11, finishing dead-last in the AFC West. Rivers' numbers were disappointing last season, though his passing yards were an improvement over 2018. When you stack up 2019 Trubisky vs. Rivers, you notice that Rivers has Trubisky bested in every major passing category besides interceptions, where Rivers 20 picks double up Trubisky's total from last season. 

RELATED: Bears dubbed most logical fit for Marcus Mariota

The only (and we repeat, only) way the Bears would be interested in bringing in Rivers was if they are truly convinced he can help put the 20020 Bears over the top. The Bears do have a strong support system for a quarterback right now, with a stellar defense that was in the top-10 in DVOA and a big-play receiver in Allen Robinson. The main issue in a hypothetical Rivers-in-Chicago scenario is: would he even have enough time in the pocket to make big plays?

The Bears ranked 25th in Pro Football Focus' offensive line rankings. That figure is obviously not great but actually ranked four spots ahead of the Chargers at 29th. So ultimately, along with a starting job, it would likely take a guarantee to make improvements along the O-line to bring Rivers onto the Bears. But the "Rivers-to-Chicago" door could be closed soon as it appears he does have legit interest around the league, particularly from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

With the Senior Bowl in the rearview mirror and free agency fast-approaching, all of Bears faithful will be locked in on what the organization decides to do in terms of adding depth at quarterback. Is Phillip Rivers actually an option Ryan Pace and Co. would consider? And if they did go after and acquire Rivers, would he even be an upgrade over Trubisky?

Those questions will be answered soon but for now, Bears fans can simply enjoy the wait for the official start of NFL free agency (March 18) as more and more interesting quarterbacks hit the market.

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Under Center Podcast: Jarrett Payton "My dad's legacy is still alive!"

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USA Today

Under Center Podcast: Jarrett Payton "My dad's legacy is still alive!"

Host Laurence Holmes is live in Miami from Radio row for Super Bowl Week. Laurence is joined by WGN's and the late great Chicago Bear Walter Payton's son, Jarrett Payton as they discuss his father's impact on the league, losing his father in comparison to the Kobe Bryant's tragic death, and how the current Bears can improve.

(3:10) - The impact of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award

(6:33) - Compares losing his father to the Kobe Bryant tragedy

(11:53) - Being back in Miami

(13:55) - How can the Bears improve?

(19:20) - Relives the last Bears Super Bowl appearance in Miami

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Under Center Podcast

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