Chicago Sun-Times

Bears hoping Cutler can help get running game in gear

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Fact or fiction? Jay Cutler had no running game last season in Denver.

Reading through comments left here over the last few days, it looks like the widely held opinion is that the Broncos were running in the slow lane in 2008, you know, when Cutler wasn't chucking it.

"Cutler had arguably the least effective running attack in the league."

"Cutler had NO running game."

"His running game was putrid."

"Denver had no running game. ..."

The Broncos' running game might have failed them in crunch time and you probably needed a program to sort out the backfield as a total of eight running backs were placed on injured reserve. But to say Denver had no running game would be fiction.

In fact, the Broncos had a much more successful rushing attack than the Bears did last season when Matt Forte rushed for a franchise rookie record 1,238 yards. Sure, it's easy to twist a lot of statistics any way you want, but these are pretty back and white.

Denver ranked 12th in the league rushing, finishing with 1,862 yards.

The Bears were 24th with 1,673 yards.

Denver was tied for second in the league averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

The Bears were tied for 26th in YPC at 3.9.

We documented here how poor the Bears were in short-yardage rushing situations last season. It includes a breakdown of the Broncos and they were more efficient.

Spin away. Just don't say Cutler didn't have a running game to work with last season. What he didn't have was a consistent running back to work with as injuries decimated the position. Forte had 72.8 percent of the Bears' carries. Here is how the Broncos broke down:

Michael Pittman 76 carries, 320 yards
Peyton Hillis 68 carries, 343 yards
Selvin Young 61 carries, 303 yards
Jay Cutler 57 carries, 200 yards
Tatum Bell 44 carries, 249 yards
Andre Hall 35 carries, 144 yards
P.J. Pope 17 carries, 130 yards
Ryan Torain 15 carries, 69 yards
Eddie Royal 11 carries, 109 yards
Brandon Marshall 2 carries, minus-4 yards
Tony Scheffler 1 carry, minus-1 yard

Cutler's 57 carries would have ranked him second on the Bears. His 200 yards would have ranked him second, 91 yards ahead of Kevin Jones. Subtract out Cutler's rushing figures along with those of receivers Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall and tight end Tony Scheffler, and Denver running backs had a YPC of 4.93. Bears running backs had a YPC of 3.88, a difference of more than a yard per carry. The Broncos had a running game, you just didn't know who was carrying the ball from week-to-week.

Most expect Cutler will be a great aid to Forte and the Bears' running game. Forte was seventh in the league in rushing last season but the team didn't do much else on the ground. The plan--we'll see when it's executed--is to lighten his workload some this season and get Jones more involved. With Cutler, opponents will be less likely to attack them with a wave of eight-man fronts. The Bears should have a potent play-action passing game. Cutler is expected to help the offense all the way around, and his ability to pick up yardage on his own when the pocket collapses is valuable.

Expecting Cutler to make the running backs a yard better per carry might be unrealistic. The Broncos were using a system that was proven over time. Mike Shanahan was able to plug in backs and go in Denver for more than a decade. The Bears have re-tooled their offensive line with an eye toward getting bigger. It all works together and for the Bears to compete in the NFC like some believe they will, they're going to have to generate better production on the ground.

For what it's worth, here is how the Bears broke down running the ball:

Matt Forte 316 carries, 1,238 yards
Kevin Jones 34 carries, 109 yards
Kyle Orton 24 carries, 49 yards
Adrian Peterson 20 carries, 100 yards
Garrett Wolfe 15 carries, 69 yards
Jason McKie 11 carries, 26 yards
Devin Hester 6 carries, 61 yards
Rashied Davis 3 carries, 14 yards
Rex Grossman 3 carries, 4 yards
Marty Booker 1 carry, 3 yards
Jason Davis 1 carry, 0 yards

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48 Comments

Nah, these stats dont say very much for the same reason the author has mentioned: the Broncos just never had pretty much the whole defence stacked up in the box. Considering the fact that that's what the Bears faced I see a much better running game this season.

Although Denver was able to mount an effective running game last season, no one was game planning to stop it and it was only marginally more effective in the red zone than the Bears' rushing attack. They got a lot of their yards between the 20's when people were more focused on taking away the passing attack. Good stats last year for Denver but I don't know how effective it was when it mattered.

If teams take a similar approach with the Bears this season, we could see Forte really having a monster year.

The Bears guard play should be improved this year, and their passing game will certainly be better, so I expect some improvement in the Bears running game this year.

For all the talk of how great Matt Forte was, he actually had a pretty pedestrian ypc (probably indicative of the guard play and stacked defenses). Forte succeded because of the volume of his carries and his success in the passing game, not because of any traditional downhill running.

Wow, G Wolfe averaged 4.6. Small sample size, but maybe he should get a few more touches this season. It's easy to forget how good he was at NIU after a couple mediocre years on the Bears.

Bear in P Town - absolutely correct

I'm a Broncos fan, and trust me, while we did not have 8-man fronts all the time, we definitely had teams respecting the run. Defensive coordinators in the NFL are paid to dissect game film and not simply go with what the media chucks out to everyday fans. They knew good and well that "No feature workhorse" in no way equalled "No threat in the running game". Sure, the plans were stacked in favor of the pass. But to say that they were so stacked as to negate the vast chasm in statistical difference between the Broncos and Bears last year is patently false.

Your running game will definitely improve this year with Cutler. But you've GOT to get a reliable offensive line and a competent blocking coach to really step it up to that next level.

It’s clearly obvious that Bear fans endured more than ineffective long passes from Kyle Orton on offense last year. Running the ball correlates directly with time of possession, the ability to sustain drives, rest defensive personnel and most important the ability to put points on the scoreboard. In a number of downs I witnessed many times the Bears were three and out under Orton/Grossman with an average time of possession of 28:04 number of 3rd down 200 number made 78 avg 35.6 which places them in the lower tier in the NFL on 3rd down effienicy. By comparison to drives sustained by Cutler in Denver he had a time possession of 28:44 on third downs he had 200 made 95 for an avg of 47.5 2nd best in the league behind Peyton Manning. We should not accept all the statistics being generated here that one team had an advantage over the other when its more like both suffered from ineffective play at a number of offensive/defensive positions. The Bears team last year scored 375 points five more than Cutlers high powered offense. Denver also gave up 5 yards per avg on rushes to the Bears 3.4. It’s also what you give up that has to be evaluated. No one can say what will make each team better once the season starts since the personnel of both teams are dramatically different. I reject the notion that the bears are still behind Minnesota who just barely made it into the playoffs only to be dismissed as perhaps the Bears would have been on their first game. I say look at stats in an effort to gage the historical attributes of the game but come season start throw them out the window. Will Cutlet have a 47.5 3rd down effienicy with this Bears offensive line because the whole line has been changed for him? Will there be a one yard improved apc with running backs with a healthy Kevin Jones and more experienced Matt Forte? I say let them play all these question and a host of others will be answered once the season starts.

Finally someone has recognized that Denver had a fairly good running game whose not a Denver fan and wants to trash Cutler. Now can someone recognize that Orton’s quarterback rating before he got hurt was better than Cutler’s. Without all of Cutler’s weapons. I never thought that Orton would drag the Bears to a championship but I did believe that we could win with him. I don’t think that Cutler will drag the Bears to a championship either but I do believe we could win one with him. But 2 first rounders, a third rounder, and a starting caliber quarterback is an awfully high price to pay for a marginal improvement in the team’s ability to win which is all that matters. I will not care if Cutler makes 10 straight probowls if the Bears don’t make it back to the superbowl sometime during that tenure.

Bears had the better running game by far. It was just that Denver did not see 8 man fronts

Thanks!

This proves even the best of fans can be giant homers when something seems to swing their way. It will be hard to be objective in the face of such excitement surrounding this upcoming season .. but it will be absolutely necessary in order to endure the ups AND the downs that will come this season.

The Bears still have tons of things to work on, and iron out. We have a new O-line, a new QB, and a defense that needs to prove it can be what it used to be, among many other things.

To simply shout out that Denver didn't have a running game, and that the Bears are definitely Super Bowl bound this year is just homer-ism at it's worst, and really needs to be canned.

Thanks Mr. Biggs for showing someone can be a fan of a team/cover a team, and also be objective/realistic at the same time.

The price we paid for Cutler was the price that was set. We paid what we had to, we would have paid less if we could have. I always liked Orton and he was a competent QB, but I have seen both QB's (as you have) and to say that Orton has the same skills as Cutler is just wrong, Cutler throws the long ball, he throws on the run, he avoids the sack, he scrambles, ---he has the entire package. Orton could win with the Bears but Cutler is a Pro Bowl QB - thats worth what we paid and we actually got him cheap. You do not see Pro Bowl QB's on the market very often in their prime.
We def. upgraded the Oline and the QB which will both make our running game alot better.

Perhaps a better question is ....

Will the Bears be more or less balanced under Cutler than Orton.

Whether or not the Bears running game was better than Denvers is kind of irrelevant. Bottom line, Orton at his best probably equals Cutler at his worst.

Would you trade

Orton, Grossman, Michael Haynes, Cedric Benson, & Cade McNown, and Daniel Manning for Cutlers upside? I would.

The addition of Cutler will also help the defense. When an offense consistently goes 3 and out, the defense wears down. If Cutler can keep the chains moving, then the bears defense should remain fresh, and in return be a lot better.

The bears didn't have to pay the price they did. They could have gone into the season without Cutler. I agree that Cutler is way better than Orton and that Jay was a probowl quarterback. But he only made the probowl because of the ridiculous numbers he put up. But here he will have to put up quality because the quantity won’t be there. Judging by his quarterback rating and his interception per attempt ratio I don’t think we will be referring to him as a probowl quarterback for long. He’s definitely an upgrade from Orton and not to bring up old news but he’s definitely an upgrade from Grossman. But if he’s not a probowl quarterback here, was he worth three picks and starter?

DougR

Would you trade Briggs, Harris, Orton, and Olson for Cutler?

2 firsts, a thrid, and Orton

Good stuff Brad.

I love the Bears, but it is not productive to "yeahbut" every statistic from last year. The fact is that the Bears were a mediocre team last year. They were probably a little better than average on defense, decent on special teams, and were well below average on offense.

Why? We all like to talk about the skill positions but, bottom line, the Bears too often lost the battle at the line of scrimmage. On offense, they couldn't consistently open holes for Forte and couldn't protect Orton when he tried to pass. On defense, their D-line allowed opposing O-lines to do what theirs couldn't. Jay Cutler is not going to wave a magic wand at that problem.

The good news is that it seems like the Bears have done something about it. They will probably have at least 2, and maybe 3 new, and better, starters on the offensive line this year. On defense they spent 2 of their first 3 picks on the line, plus they extended Izzy.

Personally I think this Joyner dude is all wet with his analysis, but that doesn't mean the all the numbers are lying. In order to improve, you have to make honest evaluations. It seems to me that the Bears have done that, and then taken action to make it better. Cutler will be a big part of that, but he won't be throwing any blocks in front of running backs. At the end of the day, that's what you have to do to run the ball consistently.

@hangover park

I see your Briggs, Harris and Orton and I raise you a Michael Haynes, Micahel Okwo and a Marc Colombo.

But really, people need to realize how good the Denver O-line is and how creative their running game had always been under Shanahan. Orlandis Gary? Mike Anderson? Reuben Droughns? Peyton Hillis? These guys ran quite well behind that O-line. It allowed the team to trade Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey without really losing a step.

When you explain Cutler's struggles with turnovers and inefficiences, it's enough to say that he's young and that there's no telling what might change if he gets in a more comfortable environment where he doesn't need to throw 600 times.

I keep reminding people, Peyton Manning threw 23 and 19 interceptions in his 4th and 5th years in the league, 100 in his first 5. Roethlisberger had a higher interception % last year than Cutler. Drew Brees struggled immensely with 15 picks in 11 games before his breakout 4th year in San Diego. We all have witnessed Eli Manning's up and downs.

In an era when we've witnessed Phillip Rivers', Matt Ryan's and Aaron Rodger's smooth transition to a starting role, we forget that they are anomalies and not the trend, which stipulates that at the hardest position, it takes years to become efficient.

The Bears plain and simple were not a legit threat to pass last year, so each and every team had 8 in the box. Orton is limited in his passing ability with not enough of an arm to pass past 20 yards on a consistent basis, therefore we watched Forte make yards out of what people would have made none.

The Denver offense was the strength of their team, their D totally sucked. With Cutler the other teams D had to respect the pass because of Cutler and the wide receivers, this level of respect opened up the running lanes, subsequently their running game was more effective than the BEars.

A lot of stuff about nothing it is like comparing apples to oranges, the Bears running game will dramatically improve because of the lack of 8 in the box and the ability of Cutler to pass and run is huge.

Go Bears

Don't forget the water boy, the place kicker, the team trainer and the special-teams return units. Cutler will make all of them better, too.

Also, don't look at red-zone statistics. You don't want to know that Orton with his noodle arm, weak rushing game, sieve-like line and bad wide-outs outperformed Cutler there. It must have something to do with the Broncos' atrocious defense.

Brad,

Thanks for banning Creighton from this site. It has been refreshing to have him absent from these forums. I personally think he would be hiding out, trying to let us forget his promise to wear a pink thong at the Bears first home game. While this is a site that I don't really want to lay eyes on personally, it should be documented and Creighton should be held to his promise. Also, thank goodness that NBS is gone. Again Brad your column is one of the better ones, could you pass on some of ur skill to the useless Larry "same old lame company line" Mayer.

Chibears76 (and I am not Brando....thank goodness)

To Hangover Park

Using the period 2003-2008 as a guide lets look at the Bears draft choices –

1st round – 2/7 - Greg Olsen & Tommie Harris – 3/7 if you add Daniel Manning – 4/7 adding Williams who’s performance is pending. Success rate 50%

2nd round – 3/6 with Forte, Hester, & Tillman - 50%

3rd round - 2/7 with Berrian and Briggs – a bust with Okwo – remaining four include Dvorcek, M.Harrison, G. Wolfe, E. Bennet. Count these last four as 1.5 players. Success rate 50%

So you gave up Orton, a first round pick that makes the team, and half a 3rd rounder for Cutler.

Lets call that .5 a third round player the veteran premium. So now you’re down to Orton + a first rounder who makes the team.

Now go back to our first round players and look at the four players who have made the team – Olsen, Harris, Manning, and Williams.

Only one of the four has made the pro bowl and his future is questionable. Don’t get me wrong, I like Olsen & Harris & wish the best for all of them. But it isn’t an impressive list, is it?

hangover park -

You forget that, I believe, only half of 1st round picks make in the league, and correspondingly fewer in each of the fewer rounds. Those two firsts and a third correspond to one first-round talent (less than 50%, given JA's record) and a third-rounder who is something like 33% likely to make the team (and we're not good at using some of our 3rd round picks, either... for every Briggs there's a Wolfe or a Peterson, players who were drafted thereabouts).

Therefore, trading proven quality players is not the same as trading draft picks. How many high-round draft picks have the Bears spent trying to get a QB in the last 10 years?

The Bears plain and simple were not a legit threat to pass last year, so each and every team had 8 in the box. Orton is limited in his passing ability with not enough of an arm to pass past 20 yards on a consistent basis, therefore we watched Forte make yards out of what people would have made none.

The Denver offense was the strength of their team, their D totally sucked. With Cutler the other teams D had to respect the pass because of Cutler and the wide receivers, this level of respect opened up the running lanes, subsequently their running game was more effective than the BEars.

A lot of stuff about nothing it is like comparing apples to oranges, the Bears running game will dramatically improve because of the lack of 8 in the box and the ability of Cutler to pass and run is huge.

Go Bears

Good, informative article, Brad. I do wonder if counting on Cutler to help the running game significantly is overly optimistic. I like the projected plan, but the real test, as always, is going to be in the trenches. Can the O line open a few holes? Can the tight ends improve their blocking? Certainly a passing game that won't allow the defense to load up on stopping the run should be an asset. How much of one remains to be seen.

Yes Denver had such a great running game that they took who with their first pick in the draft Brad? Denver didn't have a single 100 rushing game from a running back if I am not mistaken. Denver also had a monster passing attack that stretched every defense it played and a very good offensive line. When the field got short the running game disappeared in denver. Not to mention how many players do you want to devote to the running back position? The only reason the running game worked in Denver was because of Cutler and the passing attack. But they couldn't use the running game to control the clock or sustain drives. They were a pass first team and the running game benefited from it. The were the second best offense in the NFL and had a 12th ranked rushing attack that averaged a whopping 12 yards more a game than the Bears 24th ranked rushing attack.

Cutler made mistakes because he was playing from behind almost every game, going into the 4th qt down by two scores on a regular basis forces you to make throws you would not normally make. All you have to do is watch the games and see when the mistakes happened and what were the circumstances surrounding those mistakes.

How many picks did he throw while he was getting hit from his blind side, how many happened on a hail mary play, how many happened late in a game with the Broncos down by two or more scores? Here are few stats I don't see: How many Picks did Cutler throw while the Broncos were leading, how many pick six's did he throw, and how many come from behind wins did he lead, what was his third down completion percentage?

The stats are one sided in an attempt to make Cutler look bad, showing the Bad without showing the good.

But we will see this year how good Denver is and how good the Bears are. We will see how Orton does in his new offense that favors his style of play, he has everything a QB could need including a new shinny RB, but I bet he only puts up average numbers and that if he even starts.

We will also see how Cutler does on a team that will give him great starting field position, a better defense than he had and a very solid running back.

Orton needs to put up over 4600 yards to be better than Cutler in Denver and Cutler has to put up over 3000 yards to better than Orton in Chicago. I think I will take Jay Cutler in this little game. In fact I will take Cutler for close to 4000 yards this year and 25 td's and 12 int's plus 3 rushing TD's. I will also say Orton gets benched before the season is over in Denver.

By the way if we are talking about almost intercepted, Orton had a ton of those last year.

Hey LeRoy Bob - 38 of Wolfe's 69 were on a fake punt. Take away that play and his avg. is 2.38. Apparently, he's a special teams contributor, which is the only reason I can see that he hasn't been cut. Every year people pipe up about him like he's a Sproles. If he gets more touches, the Bears get more 3rd-and-long situations.

You need to consider that Cutler threw 616 times last season, mostly out of the shotgun. Usually the defense would rather concede 6 yards to a run play rather than give up 15+ yards on the passing play.

Watching several Broncos games from the past season, opponents usually ran a prevent defense... and definitely did not stack the box, unlike Bears opponents.

The Broncos ran the ball usually when defenses were expecting the pass. Considering the injury turnstile at the Denver RB position, you could plug an old Cutis P. Enis behind that Broncos O-line and still get 4.8 yards per carry.

I just wanted to point out that DougR was skewing it the other way to prove a point by not mentioning picks that worked for the Bears in his proposed trade for not just Cutler as he is but “Cutler’s upside.” He was trying to make it look like it was a no brainer and I say it’s not as clear cut in Chicago’s favor as it appears to die hard Chicago fans. Consistently, Cutler is referred to as a top 5 quarterback and most of his stats don’t support that analysis. I want the guy to succeed. I want them to win a title. To be fair let’s call it Olson, Haynes, Okwo, and Orton. Two starters and two not on the roster anymore. That meets half way between my four starters and DougR’s none. Cutler would have to out perform Orton by whatever value Olson brings to the team. Orton did a respectable job last year and Olson is highly valued according to what I’ve read on chats like this. Plus most people are assuming that Jay’s improving but in his three years his numbers have gotten worse not better. You would hope so see those numbers going up as they were in Orton’s case where he went from 60 to 80 in three years. Koolaid tastes good but it’s not always good for you.

Any QB who completes over 80 passes to his group of RBs, over 90 passes to his TEs and threw fewer than 500 attempts but still completed less than 60% of his passes clearly is lacking something very much needed at the NFL level.

It's hard to measure what was a good price to pay for Cutler and just what kind of improvement Cutler represents, what changes from Denver to Chicago may be overdetermined.

If Orton couldn't complete 60% of his passes last year in the offense the Bears fielded, I think its an indication that he was never going to exceed very average play.

Guys, Denver ran the ball better last year. Sure, you can reference eight-man fronts all you want, but 12th vs 24th in the league and almost 1 whole YPC is an insurmountable reality. 200 yards more on 50 fewer carries. Better O-line, better running system.

If the Bears want to see Cutler correct his capacity to make errant throws, the Bears need to find themselves a #2 who can handle over 100 carries in addition to Forte's 300, where both get more than 4 yards a pop

Mr. Hangover, you fail to realize Mr. Angelo has been very sucessful adding established players while so-so picking rookie bust. Fred miller,tait,and ruben brown got us to a superbowl,but,their wheels came off healthwise at the end.Orlando Pace is the man and we need a helthy year from him.He may just prove to be more important than cutler. Jay should give us a verticle passing game for Turner to open up our run and playaction. I equate these additions to Dennis Rodman coming to the bulls, just a role player who helped win three championships, which is about how many i expect from cutler. If they don't win one in the next three years I'll wear a green and puke yellow thong to a packers game with a number four on my chest. the good karma from cutler will rejuvinate our veterans like briggs,urlacher, and kreunts and inspire their best workouts/games. superbowl!superbowl!superbowl!!!!

Brad,

If it's possible to know these sorts of things, I think a good follow up post would be how often Cutler lined up against a safety in the box. How often did opposing teams blitz him. Etc. That would tell us how much other teams cared about the Broncos running game.

Insane Packer Mauler:

That visual was too much to take, I am throwing up and it is not yellow the color after a lot too much to drink the night before.

Anonymous (Creighton) good analysis, pretty much right on.

Was Cutler worth the price ??

YES....

With a pro-caliber QB last season the Bears probably win (2) maybe (3) more games and would have been a threat in the post-season. Orton did fine with what he had but Cutler last year on the Bears team would have done better. The Offense would have functioned better, Forte would have had better lanes and less 8-man fronts opposing ect..ect..ect...

Cutler is better in every measurable statistic then Orton over their young careers so adding Cutler will improve this team, period...


The Bears have'nt had a Franchise QB since Jim McMahon, that in and of itself says all that needs to be said about Cutler and his price tag.

Go Bears !!

I fail to realize “Mr. Angelo” can’t draft? Then we have two big problems because the owners are not known for being loose with their cash. So if he’s going to build a team on only FA’s and trades, whose going to pay for that? Secondly, we have a GM who in your opinion is bad at picking draft picks but is notoriously faithful to them.

If nobody has heard the recent reports on Cutler comming out of Halas Hall, the score just did a report on it. The word is "OMG!" He has the playbook memorized and he is zipping the ball all over the field, he is hitting everyone, including guys in stride and coverage. He is suppose to be looking amazinf so yes a QB that can stretch the field will help the running game.

As a side note the Denver post just reported that Simms is looking better and better and is now splitting Reps with Orton with the first team. He was originally behind him but has caught up with him. It has also been reported that Orton has been making some mistakes and is a little slow on the uptake.

Oh where to start....first, Cutler is the best QB the Bears have had since Luckman, period. Yes, we all love McMahon, I love him and he was my favorite player. But honestly, he wasn't "that good", at least statistically. His career QB Rating is 78.2, never completed 60% of his passes for the Bears, made 1 pro bowl, was constantly hurt and had 67 TDs and 56 INTs. If Cutler doesn't DRASTICALLY improve on that, we lose this deal. I know, I know, McMahon wasnt asked to win games with that defense and Walter, and yes, I know, it was a "different game" then. I've watched Cutler in college, watched him in Denver and broken down film....he's the real deal. He'll shatter Bears passing records and will lead us to multiple NFC North titles and hopefully, multiple rings.

Hangover Park, "he only made the Pro Bowl because of the ridiculous numbers he put up"....ummmmm, yeah!? That's why people make the Pro Bowl.

Has anyone noticed Brandon Marshall is looking for a contract extension? I'm willing to bet it's because he knows that in a contract year his numbers will take a dramatic hit from having Orton (or Simms) as his QB. Heck, I hope his stock plummets enough that the Bears sign him next off season!

Cutler was not best qb in the afc in anything but yardage. Not YPA, QB rating, completion percentage, touchdowns, or interceptions. So the only statistical category that showed he deserved to go to the probowl was yardage. That’s what I meant by he only made the probowl due to the big numbers he put up. Leading the conference in yards only doesn’t make him a great QB. He also has to find a way to decrease his picks, increase his completion percentage and YPA to be the top 5 QB people want to tout him as.

da.. captcha Ill try this again, If I was Cutler I could avoid this Captcha and send this post to pack and back before they could even get rogers off the bench.

Did any of you Cutler putdowns actually watch the man play? It does not appear so, Watch his moves to slide away from pressure and throw ON THE RUN and hit the target where the target has to be hit. Some of you guys are missing the point entirely;

Cutler
Throws accuratley on the run while slowly moving away from the pressure, short/mid/long.
I know as I have seen him do this time and again. Just watch his game - then say we gave up too much.

The D rusher comes up the middle, Cutler slides SLOWLY to the right and LOFTS the ball over the defender right into the hands of his WR.
He does this to the left/righ/middle. The man has QB instincts which can not be taught.
The announcers will say the exact same thing I just posted, but some people only want to argue.
and if you still do not believe me, just get NFL Replay and watch.
I am not saying I am NFL genious but I have watched QB's for a long fki time, and to see Cutler make these throws on the slow run is poetry in motion.
The man could run fast if he wanted too, but he runs only as fast as has too, to avoid the sack and get the ball off.

Thank You Very Much

Considering that the Bears haven't had a really good quarterback since before I was born, except the always injured Jim McMahon, I can't believe people are complaining about the Bears getting Cutler, or even questioning the trade. These people would probably complain if the Bears won the Super Bowl (it was a weak year, the Bears got lucky, etc.). If you can't see how good Cutler is by watching him, you don't know football. If you're worried the Bears gave up too much, you don't know football and/or you're a very negative person. Either way, you couldn't be more wrong.

Yes on paper the Broncos had a better "running game" then the Bears, but the simple truth is that it took Denver 8 guys running the ball to be effective, whereas Forte was relatively productive despite playing behind a poor OL, and a medicore QB. So those 1800 yrds the Broncos had last yr was basically smoke and mirrors. Of course opposing teams couldn't gameplan against the Denver's running, that's because no team knew who was going to carry the ball on Sunday. Again, on paper Denver's running game look to be better then the Bears, but the reality is Denver basically remade their backfield this offseason. What does that tell you? With an improve passing game, and OL Forte will be much better in 2009 then he was in 2010.

Hey chibear76, I haven't gone anywhere!!!!! I'm still here and better than ever!....has anyone noticed that Chris Simms is getting more snaps with the first team than Orton in Denver??? hahahaha I told you all that Orton will not be the starting QB by the end of the season this year!! He will start the season as starter just so the Broncos can try and save face for making the worst trade in NFL history! They will soon learn that ORTON SUCKS and will put him where he belongs....on the pine!!!!!!!Thanks again, Jerry, for getting wise and dumping that scrub!!!!! GO BEARS!!!!

Other Bears -- Thanks for the reply post. I had forgotten about the fake punt play. I knew that the 4.6 average didn't seem right. I remembered Wolfe basically being swollowed up at the line every time he carried, which is why I was shoked to see the 4.6 average. Yet anohter example of how stats can paint the wrong picture.

Just as Brad pointed out, stats can be interpreted, misleading and bias.....

Was Denvers running game succesful (1800) yards because of the stable of backs, the O-line, the scheme, Cutlers arm forcing Opposing defenses to play more honest, Denvers bad defense leaving the team in the hole most of the season forcing Cutler to go to the air 600+ times ?????

I think it was a mix of bad Denver defense and opposing defenses not game planning to stop the run..... but everybody has thier own opinion.

I do believe that Cutler will aid our run game because opposing defenses didn't really worry much about Orton and the passing game. They found out quickly that to stop the Bears Offense they needed to contain Matt Forte and dare Orton to beat them. Teams may not beable to do that this season because Cutler has proven he can get the ball downfield accurately and can make positve plays out of broken ones with his mobility, accuracy and arm strength. Mix Cutler's abilities with an up-graded O-line and the recipe for Bear success is clear....

Go Bears !!

Hangover, I would trade Briggs, Harris, Orton, and Olson for Cutler. The quarterback is the most important position in football. No, Cutler is not a finished product yet and may not be for a few years, but he already is good and is only entering his fourth season. Orton was a serviceable quarterback but for the Bears to win a Superbowl, you would have to build a roster knowing that every team you would face in the playoffs (assuming you made the playoffs) your team would be at a disadvantage at the most important position. Trades are risky, but so are draft picks.

Stats can be very misleading.

For instance, a QB and a passing game tremendously affects the success of a run game and vice versa. If a team has a weak QB and/or passing game, then teams will stack up against the run, and consequently you will have poor rushing stats (see the 2008 Bears). Conversely, if a team has a very strong QB and passing game, then teams will play cover 2 and 3 at all times, with only 6 or 7 in the box and consequently you will have good rushing stats (see the 2008 Broncos). Does this mean the first team has a worse run game, then the second team? No.

Red Zone stats are the best statistical indicator of the quality of a rush game, because as the field is squeezed down to 10-20 yards deep, then in effect every team is facing 7-8 in the box. Not entirely though, as teams can still lean more towards defending the pass or the rush, but nevertheless, the stats are more true in a short field. So rushing TDs are a key stat.

Likewise, if a team has a strong run game, and teams are committing 8 guys in the box, then a QB may have inflated stats (see Orton). Even in the red zone, if a team over commits to the run, then play action and man to man coverage will lead to more passing TDs, then say a QB whose teams only best chance to score in the red zone is to try and squeeze in a dangerous throw in zone coverage (see Cutler). So because the stats may be similar in the red zone, does that mean the first QB is as good as the second QB? No.

With stats you can always play, "What led to what? The chicken or the egg?" However, the an even better indicator of the quality of your pass or rush unit is to look at how teams defend you. Are they over committing to the pass or the rush? Are they playing single coverage with one deep safety or are they playing cover 2 and 3? Are they playing 7 or 8 in the box?

If you people look at the game film, the opponents strategy tells the truth. Teams respected the Bears rush game a lot more than Orton's passing, but in Denver it was the opposite. Also, even though teams over committed to the pass against Cutler, their red zone rush TDs was still very poor, because despite the misleading overall rush stats, they did not have a great rush game. There is no doubt Cutler, and the way teams defended him, over-inflated Denver's rush stats. Conversely, on film you can see opponents over committing to the Bears rush game, which led to misleading poor overall rush stats, and misleading inflated passing stats for Orten in the red zone. Once again if you question, what caused what, then look at the game film and see how the defense leaned.

So there is no question Culter will help the Bears rush game.

Gun great post if I may add Denver has been known for offensive line play and some questionable tactics they usually are smallish and trapping with very good fullback play. The red zone squeezes the field more players have less ground to cover and offensively have more bodies to deal with slowing the efficiency of the quick type line because now it is out numbered and out muscled. The Bears are tryng to get bigger and stronger to control the line of scrimmage and if successful this could be a fun season with a balanced team that is never out of a game. Getting better on defense is the key now the offense will be fine, mark my words we have our go to WR on the team already he has been waiting for two years and I believe he will shine with Cutler; Brandon Rideau. A remorseful Burress would put this unit over the top.

Excellent analysis Gun Young.

I hope everyone read your post.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 1, 2009 5:42 AM.

Going deep: Putting Jay Cutler, Brett Favre side-by-side in 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

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