Incoming Bears GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox are not the only ones who do not accord quarterback Jay Cutler praise or even a certain future in Chicago.
Former Super Bowl-winning coach and current ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden was working the MNF game last Dec. 15 when Cutler threw three interceptions in a dismal loss to the New Orleans Saints. The performance sent Cutler to the bench for the following game vs. Detroit.
It also appears to have cemented Gruden’s opinion that the Bears need to begin in earnest a succession plan behind a quarterback who has exhausted his “potential” and presumably his time in Chicago after 2015.
“In my opinion, with that talent, it just hasn’t all come together for him,” Gruden said on Tuesday via conference call. “I think Chicago, given the contract that Jay Cutler has, should consider looking for a young arm that has a bright future as a Bear.”
Gruden voiced some negative critique points during the Bears-Saints telecast. Not all of them had to do with only Cutler’s individual performance.
“The body language of the Bear football team wasn’t good last year,” Gruden said. “Oftentimes, that’s a reflection of the quarterback. He threw three interceptions in the game and for a man of that type of talent, that type of experience, it was shocking to me.
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“I want him to turn it around now. But I am somewhat surprised that he hasn’t been able to get it in the gear that the Chicago Bears need him to get it to, because he’s got a pretty good supporting cast…
“He’s been there for a number of offensive coaches. He’s had the Bears on the brink of going to the playoffs. He hasn’t been able to sustain 16-20 weeks of great play.”