Chicago Sun-Times

Cutler Should Be Part of Process

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Bears coach Lovie Smith has been subjected to much criticism for allowing Jay Cutler to meet with offensive coordinator candidates, which I struggle to fathom.

The only beef I would have with Smith was if he prevented Cutler from being part of this all-important process.

The tail is wagging the dog. The inmates are running the asylum. We've heard all the catch phrases that suggest Cutler is calling the shots here. It's an exaggeration. As has been written here and elsewhere before, the relationship between the offensive coordinator and the quarterback will be the most important in the entire organization. Given that, given that the franchise has made itself a pilot fish to Cutler's talent, why wouldn't you want Cutler to meet the man who he will spend countless hours with and who will help shape his legacy?

Nobody is suggesting that Cutler should have the final say. If I were Smith, I would evaluate candidates in numerous ways and Cutler's opinion would be an important part of that process. You don't want your quarterback of the present and future to be miserable. You want him to be happy and productive. You want him to be challenged and motivated and the new coordinator will be largely responsible for that and therefore his ability to connect with Cutler is a huge piece of the puzzle.

How can Smith investigate that connection if the two never meet?

Much has been made of Martz flying to Nashville, Tenn., to meet with Cutler on Saturday, as if it was a sign that he was bowing to the quarterback.

Look, Cutler has been part of the interview process from the start, which means he has either been hanging around Lake Forest or flying back and forth from Nashville to Chicago to sit down with candidates at Halas Hall. The Martz interview came up on short notice. As late as Wednesday evening, many sources inside Halas Hall didn't know that Martz was interviewing Friday. It's quite possible that Cutler had another commitment, some charity function or a buddy's wedding that prevented him from making the trip on such short notice. Maybe he'd just gotten back to Nashville after meeting Rogers on Thursday and Martz thought he'd do Cutler a favor by coming to him.

To claim this as an example that Cutler has an inordinate amount of power within the organization is a stretch.

There's another point that has been all but missed. If I were Martz or Kevin Rogers or Rob Chudzinski or Ken Zampese, I would want spent a few minutes with Cutler before committing to the Bears. I would want to at least get a first impression of what it might be like to work with somebody who could radically alter my career path for better or worse.

As everyone knows, there's plenty of reasons to be critical of Smith after the past three seasons.

Involving Cutler in the interview process shouldn't be one of them.

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11 Comments

Well shoot Hayes!! Just when I was filing you away somewhere else you come out with a comment that makes perfect sense. Now I gotta rethink.

I was just sitting here wondering how I could get back the 10 minutes of life wasted reading the on-line drivel about the deep dark problems with Martz flying down to talk to Cutler. Then you post my exact thoughts.

This could not be a dumber thing to make an "issue". The Bears have basically invested 2 drafts plus million$ in Cutler. How idiotic would it be to NOT check that he would be able to work with the new OC? Given that, what possible difference could there be in which restaurant those guys pick as a tax deduction for a meet?

Finally a good article. I have no idea why so many people are so critical of this decision? It is the only smart thing Lovie has done over the last few years. This idea to involve Cutler was a GREAT one. Now lets just hope they hire someone soon.

GO BEARS!

Very good point! I also thought the criticisms of involving Cutler in the process made no sense. Whenever I have interviewed for a job, I haven't just interviewed with a potential boss, but also with potential co-workers and others inside the organization. It only makes sense for Cutler to take part in interviews because he more than anyone will be working most closely with the OC.

Great post, Neil!

Great post. Thank you. I've been tired of all the negative writing about the Bears.

All I ask of you, especially young people, is one thing. Please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism; it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.

- Conan O'Brien's famous last words

Finally something different. I have been hearing this all day on the Score. I think this is a smart idea. Cutler is not running the team and he does not have the power that the "The Score" commentators are suggesting. The same can be said about the stories on the Chicago Bears message boards. I trust Lovie will make the right decision. Bears Fans - stop believing everything you hear from the media, especially 670 the Score. GO BEARS!!

See guys? Lovie has done it again. I hope you so called fans realize how awsome of a coach we have. He may be the best coach in bears history according to me. So for all the fans who dont like Coach Smith I suggest you just shut up and cheer.

Good article Hayes, I got question for you. How come nobody said jack about Kruetz being part of the Tice interview process. In fact a couple of Trib writers talked about how smart it was to make him part of the process, but then bashed Cutler for being part of the process. Which was more than likely a organizational choice. Didn't Martz in fact say he would love to meet with Cutler and talk with him as soon as as Turner was gone. Even before that when he was talking about how great Cutler is.

Thank you!! For adding a little common sense to all the hysteria of what a terrible organization this is and how they don't know their head from their rear.

It's about time that someone tell the self opinioned idiots on 670 the score that there is something called EMOLOYEE EMPOWERMENT, and that is why the management of the bears see it fit to involve Jay Cutler in the decision making process. All they do on that disgusting sports station is to make fun of people who know a lot better than them, and keeping giggling like school girls. I wonder if they ever stop to listen to themselves to see how ridiculous they sound on radio.

Wow,there are some real Idiots posting here,lol.. Cutler Absolutely should be involved,he is our franchise Q.B. He needs to be able to mesh with an o-coordinator,that is common sense!! The media and non-bear fans love to jump to negative conclusions on any move the Bears make. I am just glad you IDIOTS dont make final decisions,LOL.. You fair weather fans are a joke & provide only comedy to your ideas and suggestions. Get a life already,maybe tennis is more your bag,ha,ha,ha. Go Bears!!

Time will tell us who the winner of this trade is, and I’m not saying Orton will succeed or Cutler will fail. I just don’t agree with those who are laughing at Orton as an inferior quarterback when he came from a culture and regime that has never been able to develop a quarterback as long as I’ve been living on this earth!But for Cutler to be the kind of quarterback Tom Brady is, he will need to show less emotion and more focus on the field.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 1, 2010 9:52 AM.

Martz or Rogers? Rogers or Martz? was the previous entry in this blog.

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