The brouhaha over Jay Cutler saying that the offensive line is a concern until things sort out at the tackle and guard spots probably wont subside until the Bears go maybe five straight games averaging, oh, say 130 rushing yards and more than a rushing TD a game, and only have Cutler sacked maybe once a game.
Oh, wait. That already happened, the last five games of Cutlers season last year ending with the thumb injury vs. San Diego.
Brian Davis over at Yahoo Sports took a different tack on the Cutler comments, suggesting first that you really listen to the interview. Good suggestion.
As Ive said previously, Cutler said that there were concerns until its sorted out where players will be, how well Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams are coming off season-ending injuries, and seeing how JMarcus Webb works out (which should be worth watching if only because hell have a season and an offseason at left tackle, where he only started playing after the lockout last year).
Carimis return is expected well ahead of training camp. And the overall tackle situation already was upgraded when it was obvious early this offseason that Chris Williams was going back to his more natural position of tackle. Thats already an upgrade from Frank Omiyale, the swing tackle last season.
Which of Webb or Williams emerges as the starter or the swing tackle is what camp and preseason are about, but since both have played right and left tackle, this is a considerably stronger position than it would have been with a rookie going into development at this point.
Cutler did not trash his offensive line. Period. Any more than the linemen saying quarterback is a concern until they see that Cutler is all the way back from his broken thumb.
One interesting point of Cutlers comments was that the linemen still need to block even without Mike Martz making the calls. This is evincing concern that they wont? Isnt that obvious?
Cutler is a proven contrarian in his media moments. Not necessarily contentious, but if someone says, the new system under Mike Tice should help, shouldnt it? Cutlers obvious response is that, hey, it doesnt mean you dont still have to block.
But for what its worth, for those who didnt see the Martz light and realize it wasnt at the end of a tunnel but rather an oncoming train:
Before Martz arrived in Detroit, Jon Kitna was never sacked more than 37 times in any of nine previous NFL seasons. With Martz, Kitna was sacked 63 times in 2006 and 51 times the next year, his two seasons under Martz. That was with an offensive line containing three No. 1 draft picks and a No. 2.
This isnt new stuff. And neither is the obvious that the Bears offensive line has to pass-protect on third-and-8.
But if you dont like Lovie Smith, you dont like anything he says about his personnel. If you didnt like Jerry Angelo, whatever he did about the offensive line -- the one that had something to do with the Bears being No. 9 in rushing yards (10th in yards per carry) for the year and sixth in scoring when Cutler was hurt -- was bad.
That just didnt happen to be what Cutler was saying. You heard what you wanted to hear.