Dan Hampton: 1980s Bears with Jay Cutler would win four Super Bowls

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One Hall of Fame Bears player thinks he’d have four rings — if only he’d had Jay Cutler as a teammate.

Dan Hampton, who played defensive tackle for the Bears from 1979 to 1990, said that if the great Bears defenses of the 1980s had been on a team with Cutler at quarterback, they would have won four Super Bowls, not just one.

“If my team had Jay Cutler at quarterback we would have won four Super Bowls,” Hampton said at an event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hampton has never seen eye-to-eye with Jim McMahon, the Bears’ starting quarterback when they won the Super Bowl in 1985, and it isn’t surprising to hear him say the Bears would have been better off with someone else. The Bears had a great defense from 1984 to 1988, but they twice lost in the divisional round of the playoffs and twice lost in the NFC Championship Game. They scored a total of just 33 points in those four playoff losses.

Would they have been better with Cutler? That’s impossible to say, and thinking they would have won four Super Bowls with him sounds like an enormous stretch.

102 responses to “Dan Hampton: 1980s Bears with Jay Cutler would win four Super Bowls

  1. They should have won more than one that’s for sure. Hampton should call McMahon and come at him like a man instead of doing it this way.

  2. It doesn’t sound like a stretch to me.

    I think that he is right.

    There has never been a defense that dominant. Ever.

    McMahon was a punk. Not as much of a punk as, say, Manziel….but not too far past that either. He was certainly a weak-link on that team.

    Cutler has that, “whipped dog” attitude going on, but he can throw a football. I bet that he would have risen to the occasion as a leader for that 80’s Bears team under Ditka.

    I still remember the absolute feeling of frustration while watching the Bears humiliate my Patriots in that painful SuperBowl.

    Damn, that defense was a freaking monster.

  3. You watch the TV specials and read the stories about those former Bears and you’d think they were the greatest team ever. As Ron Wolf once said, “you win just one Super Bowl and never another you’re just a fart in the wind”.

  4. You can play “what if?” all day, but it’s all conjecture. It’s 30 years later, Dan. Let it go. You got your ring, which is more than most players ever get.

  5. If Lawrence Taylor had looked at him the wrong way, Cutler would have gone on Injured Reserve.

  6. One would think with the way the 85 Bears talk (with the exception of the great walter payton), they won more than ONE superbowl..

  7. The problem is, McMahon played through injuries most of that stretch. I still remember his being body slammed by a Packers DL about 10 seconds after a play was over. That cost McMahon a full season.

    That’s about the only time I can remember a player being ejected back in that era, as well.

    My opinion? Cutler would have done a lot worse than McMahon. Back then, the rules didn’t protect a quarterback nearly as much as they do now.

  8. The competition in the NFC in the mid and late 1980s was nasty: the 49ers were a dynasty; the Giants were a juggernaut; the Redskins were so good they could use anybody at QB and win the SB. (Joe Gibbs deserves more consideration for greatest coach of all time.) I doubt a Cutler would have put the Bears over the top more than once against the elite teams of that era, especially after the league figured out what to do against the 46 blitz.

  9. That group did not win multiple Super Bowls for the usual reasons many teams under achieve ; selfishness, lack of leadership, undisciplined play and lack of toughness. I will never forget the 49’ers crushing then in “Bears weather” in Chicago to win the NFC Championship. I believe that was the game Ronnie Lott lost the tip of one of his fingers and kept playing .

  10. Maybe not 4, but it’s not a stretch at all to say they’d probably have won more than 1 with Cutler. And I’m not a big Cutler fan.

    Willie Gault and Cutler would’ve been a phenomenal deep passing duo, which would’ve complemented that D and running game perfectly. Olympian speed with that kind of arm talent throwing to him? Nasty.

  11. Jay Cutler was just a baby in the mid 80s. How are you going to win four Super Bowls with a baby at QB? They probably don’t even make uniforms that small…

  12. The problem wasn’t just at QB.

    They lost in the 1986 playoffs when the Redskins passing attack tore up their secondary. The Bears defense was never the same after Leslie Frazier was injured in superbowl XX.

  13. They ain’t winning 4 Lombardis with the 49ers in their way. If they didn’t play in the shadows of the greatest dynasty of all time – The 49er dynasty; they would have won 4 lombardis.

  14. If, if, if! If pigs had wings they could fly!

    Cutler didn’t and couldn’t win in this period’s football with its QB centric play and protected rules. Why does anyone think he could win 30 years ago? Does Cutler have a bad attitude? I don’t know, but I can bet that if had the same body language some member (s) of that team would’ve had a heart to heart conversation with him.

    A more logical argument would be to argue what would happen if that Bears team had Brady, Manning, Manning, Brees, Roethlisberger, Wilson, Newton, etc….

  15. I think what Hampton is saying is the Bears would have won more super bowls if they had a decent QB. Hampton didn’t see eye to eye with McMahon, but he never played with Cutler. Chances are he wouldn’t have seen eye to eye with him either. Hampton is also pointing out that the Bears’ current problems are much deeper than just Jay Cutler. Hampton isn’t a big mouth type of guy, and he is one of the greatest players in NFL history. He’s also a Bear at heart. I tend to listen more to guys like Hampton, than I do the guys who have something to say about everything. Hampton does know how to grab a headline though. Lol.

  16. bonitalocal says:
    Jul 9, 2017 7:19 AM
    I still remember the absolute feeling of frustration while watching the Bears humiliate my Patriots in that painful SuperBowl.
    ——————
    While the Pats lost that game, try to remember they were the only team in postseason to score ANY points against da Bears! (Giants lost 21-0, Rams 24-0). And getting back to Hampton’s claim:-
    McMahon @Bears YPA = 7.4, rating 80.4
    Cutler @Bears YPA = 7.2, rating 85.7
    Considering it’s more of a passing-friendly-rules game today, Cutler’s stats aren’t significantly better than Jim’s.

  17. Joe Gibbs is not the greatest coach of all time. He couldn’t cut it in the age of parity. That 52-7 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots said it all.

  18. As a Patriots fan I remember how well the Pats played in the firsr minute. That hit on Payton by Julius Adams (that caused the fumble) and that hit on McMahon by Lippett were possibly the two best highlights of the game for either team. If they could have sustained that, it could have been the best Suoer Bowl of all time instead of one of the worst.

  19. If the Bears did not draft so bad………they would not be the dumpster fire they are today. If they had drafted well and won, we would not be talking about 1985. From the looks of things, Bear Fans, we will have to keep looking back to 1985 for a long time. I refer to them as the “Chicago Dumpster Fire”.

  20. thechickenexpress says:
    Jul 9, 2017 8:40 AM
    The competition in the NFC in the mid and late 1980s was nasty: the 49ers were a dynasty; the Giants were a juggernaut; the Redskins were so good they could use anybody at QB and win the SB. (Joe Gibbs deserves more consideration for greatest coach of all time.)
    **********************************
    I think Gibbs is the greatest coach of all time. One of the defensive coordinators that was trying to stop Gibbs back then was Bill Belichick. The fact that the Patriots’ offense looks a lot like Gibbs’ offense is not a coincidence. Belichick is very bright. While everyone is trying to copy the west coast offense, Belichick is using an offense that doesn’t require a HOF QB. The fact that Belichick has a HOF QB, combines the best of both worlds. Hence, five rings (but all with the same QB). Gibbs won three SBs with 3 different QBs. None are HOFers.

  21. The 85 Bears were a one year wonder and very fortunate they didn’t play the Dolphins in the Super Bowl that season, it would have been a replay of the Monday night game that year.

  22. A good part of the reason the Bears did not win more in the 80’s was they were cheap.There was no salary cap and the 49ers bought whatever they needed to win in free agency.

  23. Jay Cutler was a turnover machine in today’s pass happy, no defense allowed league…

    Imagine how much he’d struggle if he were playing against real defenses that were allowed to hit….

    Dude would’ve washed out quicker than he did.

  24. Teams built on a great defense generally have a championship shelf life of one year (Bears, Ravens, and Bucs). He can say they would have won 10 if they had Manning if that makes him feel better though.

  25. umm, no ya wouldn’t have

    cutler wanted it to be about him

    he would have thrown pick sixes
    in all of those super bowls to lose 3 out of 4
    of em

    what did anyone ever see in that guy?
    awful leader and too many interceptions
    at the worst times

  26. Totally agree, it’s like if the cowboy’s of the 90’s had romo they might have won 5 . Two guys that were stuck with junk for most of their careers

  27. Not only were the human beings different almost 40 years ago, the human beings were quite different (both mentally and physically) making these types of comparisons, well, stupid. But having said that …

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Um. No. No they wouldn’t.

  28. They had the chance to draft Dan Marino twice. Imagine That 1985 Bears team with that defense AND Marino. (Assuming Marino could have survived behind that line)

  29. I think it’s safe to say that the 85 Bears would have won a SB with pretty much any starting caliber QB.

    Was Cutler better than McMahon? I think so.

    So would they have won more with a better QB? Most likely.

    Maybe 4 SB’s is a stretch, but 1, maybe 2 more with a better QB (in this case Cutler) isn’t.

  30. xofdallas says:

    Jul 9, 2017 8:31 AM

    The problem is, McMahon played through injuries most of that stretch. I still remember his being body slammed by a Packers DL about 10 seconds after a play was over. That cost McMahon a full season.
    – – – – – –
    Yeah, the body slam by Charles Martin was a cheap shot, but it funny how Bears fan magically ‘forget’ that Steve McMichael did the same thing to Packers QB Randy Wright 2 series earlier – he just didn’t get hurt.

    And it was 2 seconds after the play (not 10) and after McMahon had thrown his 3rd interception of the day.

  31. One more thing about blaming McMahon – WRs in 1985 were Dennis McKinnon and Willie Gault. The TE was Emery Moorehead. Maybe Hampton should have asked for an upgrade at those positions as well.

  32. Nah. Singletary or McMichael would have kicked his ass before the end of the season.

  33. packers got one with the modern day aaron rodgers. So, with Hamptons theory, the ’80s cheesebay & rodgers would maintain a zero successful decade.

  34. Jim McMahon got hurt almost every time somebody touched him and I’ve seen Cutler take beatings that would make most QB’s quit the game. Hampton is right that they would have been a better team with Cutler, because between 1985 and 1988 they were one of the best teams in the NFL minus a decent QB that could stay healthy. The Bears O-line of the time would have made Cutler a lot better QB, but he would still never be more than a slightly above average QB with strong arm.

  35. Still bitter after all of these years when McMahon doesn’t pay him or anything else to do with football any mind. So they would have overcome all of Cutler’s picks, and he would have played better than the mediocrity he was with good receivers like Brandon Marshall most of his career in 2 different places and Jeffrey, receivers that had no equals on those 80s Bear teams? Then, let’s not even get into the rule changes since then. That’s an interesting revision of history to say the least to dig at someone who doesn’t even care if you exist.

  36. Jim McMahon was 10x tougher than Cutler & the Bobby Layne of his era…his curse was weighing only about 190 lbs, if that much, & couldn’t take the pounding for a full season…if he had stayed healthy, he might have been a HOF, period.

  37. um, no, Hampton, you wouldn’t have. The 49er’s dynasty destroyed your Bears in every other year but that magical one season, and would have continued to do so. Walsh and Siefert would have stopped Cutler just like they stopped pretty much all the rest of the Bear’s anemic offense.

    If there are any other teams that should be talking the talk from the NFC during the ’80”s, its the Giants or the Redskins. Those teams fighting the Niners have a better call on, “well, if only things had rolled a little differently… we would have had more wins.”

    Those were magnificent games to watch, when the big boys came out the butt heads.

  38. Yeah Jay would have quit after 1 hit from the following: Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner….hell even Golic could have blasted him……oh & then there was the fog from 12/31/88…..he wouldnt have played through that

  39. How many attempts have you read where players or fans try to diminish the current dynasty with woulda coulda shouldas?
    They didn’t do it then because they weren’t good enough and they sure as hell wouldn’t be good enough now.

  40. fan I remember how well the Pats played in the firsr minute. That hit on Payton by Julius Adams (that caused the fumble) and that hit on McMahon by Lippett were possibly the two best highlights of the game for either team. If they could have sustained that, it could have been the best Suoer Bowl of all time instead of one of the worst.

    By sustain…. you mean more than 2 plays?
    That game was over before kickoff and NE had no chance of ever winning. Ever. Ever. Ever.
    Some of you Pats fans are so pathetic in your arrogance that you are actually projecting your teams current success to a game 30 years ago in which you had 0000 % chance of winning, and you are basing this off of 2’plays? Good grief you’re pathetic.

  41. McMahon never had the stats, but when healthy he was a much better leader and did what it took to win with that killer defense.

    My own take is, their best chance at multiple SBs was a healthy McMahon, not a healthy-but-turnover-prone Cutler. And Buddy Ryan not getting the bum’s rush out the door.

  42. It’s an interesting question. If my memory serves me, the 49ers won 3 times, the Skins won 2, as did the Giants.

    Neither the Skins nor the Giants had an outstanding QB when they won. Unless you consider Doug Williams, Phil Simms, or Jeff Hostetler outstanding.

    Would Cutler be an upgrade over McMahon? Probably. Could they have won more than one? Possibly. But, well never know.

  43. Cutler had some good teams around him during his time in Chicago. Never achieved anything. I don’t think he would be any better then Jim McMahon.

  44. Jay Cutler threw a little more picks than average, but those saying he threw tons of picks are off the mark. In 11 seasons, his highest pick totals were 26, 18, 18, 16, 14 and 14. Only 26 is completely unacceptable, 18 being still too many but not crazy Eli Manning pick totals (27, 25, 20, 18, 17, 16, 16). And Cutler was a tough SOB. His biggest problem was Inaccuracy with that BOOMING arm of his (rated the strongest arm in the league in polls by those who know their stuff).

    Sure, 4 titles with him at the helm is a stretch.

    I think the best fit for those teams would have been a QB like Donovan McNabb. Although I thought he was overrated and he wasn’t the most accurate QB, he had the second lowest interception ratio in league history, and that’s exactly what those Bears teams needed from a QB-rely on that great defense, excellent OL and great running back, and have their QB be safe with the ball and make the occasional timely big play, and they might have won 4 SB’s.

  45. The people stating that Cutler is a superior QB are the fantasy football geeks who didn’t grow up watching football in the 80s. McMahon had Willie Gault, pretty much a 1-trick pony, and who else? He was handing off to Payton and played behind a sorry pass blocking offensive line, but let’s not act like Matt Forte was chopped liver. McMahon didn’t lose games for them. He played his role, and ironically, his passer rating is pretty much identical to Cutler’s who played the entirety of his career in the pass happy era after the Manning rules were implemented. All in all, he still didn’t get it done in Denver or Chicago. And please with the sack thing. Sacks are mostly on the QB, especially when you took them at a high rate in two different cities. Maybe just maybe they used to happen so often just like his high pick rate because he couldn’t read defenses all that great and depended on his arm to try to bail him out of jams he often put the team in with his bad turnovers. It’s funny the bad players that people pull the cape out for with every excuse in the world while slamming superior players like the Andy Daltons, Cam Newtons, or other QBs of the world without hesitation. At least be consistent hypocrites.

  46. Yeah, the body slam by Charles Martin was a cheap shot, but it funny how Bears fan magically ‘forget’ that Steve McMichael did the same thing to Packers QB Randy Wright 2 series earlier – he just didn’t get hurt.

    And it was 2 seconds after the play (not 10) and after McMahon had thrown his 3rd interception of the day.
    _____
    First, I’m not a Bears fan, never was. Second, Charles Martin had one of those small towels tucked in his belt he’d held up to some media before the game talking about the numbers on his “hit list.” Third, McMahon had thrown the ball and had then taken something on the order of six to eight short steps watching the results of the play before Martin caught him, picked him up off his feet, slammed him sideways to the ground, and separated McMahon’s shoulder.

    Stop making excuses.

  47. Brady couldn’t get more than 14 points with the highest scoring offense in history against the Giants. He wouldn’t even match that against the 85 Bears.

    ————

    The 1980’s Bears would have won zero Super Bowls if the 1980’s Buccaneers, Lions or Packers had Tom Brady

  48. I don’t think they would have won 4, but I think they would have at least gotten 2, especially if Neal Anderson was starting sooner. Not hating on my favorite player of all time, Walter Payton, but at the end of his career, Neal Anderson was the better, more explosive running back.

  49. McMahon was a winner when he played. His downside is that he was injured a lot, never starting more than 14 games and only 12 or more 5 times. That might not have been his fault. I’m a Packers fan, but the Charles Martin cheap shot injured him badly and he never totally recovered. Even with that, everywhere he went except SD in 1989 (played about the same) the team improved with him at QB. Before him, the Bears had really bad QBs like Huff, Douglass, Avellini, Evans. McMahon gave them a legit offense besides Payton. The Bears great defensive teams of 1984-88 had an overall record of 62-17. Really great, but even better with McMahon starting: 36-5! (26-12 w/o him) He later went to PHI and was 8-3 (the team as a whole, with Randall Cunningham as the usual starter, was 21-11, so 13-8 w/o McMahon). Then he even won as a Viking! He was 8-4 in 1993 while the team as a whole was 9-7 (1-3 w/o McMahon).

  50. Not with those receivers, they wouldn’t.

    They played great 70’s-style football. But there were too many other teams that were playing 80’s-style football.

  51. since cutler is an avg to below avg qb, your logic is saying nearly anyone at qb back then could have won some titles.
    maybe you should have gotten a better qb then –

  52. McMahon was a tough player; much tougher than Jay Cutler. When opposing defenses found a way to shut down the Bears running attack, McMahon was the type of QB who would put the team on his back even if it meant taking a beating. He would hold onto the football as a lineman was bearing down on him, long enough for his receiver to get open and make a crucial throw, or he would take off running and plow through a linebacker for a first down. Jim McMahon has chunks in his stool bigger than Jay Cutler.

  53. I think people questioning Jay Cutler’s toughness need to look at some of the hits he took while he was with the Bears, including sacrificing his body to go airborne just like McMahon did (see Detroit Lions TD run from 2009). Cutler had problems, but I believe the number one problem being his tendency to lock onto a receiver.

  54. If, if, if! If pigs had wings they could fly!

    not necessarily–they would need hollow bones as well.

  55. Yep, SNL had it right about da bears. Evidently the 85 bears would have defeated a volcano, tornado and The Avengers and an alien invasion simultaneously.

    So how come they lost to Miami? Pats fans arrogant? Hey, at least NE won more than one. That 85 team hit lightning in a bottle.

    85 Bears = 2013 Seahawks. To mouthy to keep it rolling. Makes other teams try harder against them. And evidently not much has changed, has it Dan?

    And yes, they were the better team that day. No question. Now, had Grogan started instead of Tony fricken Eason….

  56. Even more bizarre are comments made by some of Lombardi’s Packers who said if they had Brett Favre they never would have lost a game. They only had a Hall of Famer in Bart Starr. Go figure.

    Great Dan Hampton story as told to a print journalist.
    During the 80’s Bears run, the Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau. Hampton and Steve McMichael got showered quick and went over and started tailgating with some of the Packers fans(win or lose a real ripper). He and McMichael were having a great time when they failed to notice the Bears bus was pulling out. The bus drove past them. In the window was Mike Ditka giving them the finger. The bus left them in Green Bay. When they got back to Chicago, Ditka fined both of them $5,000.

  57. The most important thing to a team that runs the ball and plays defense is avoiding turnovers. However, Jay Cutler never did this despite having great running games and very good defenses early in Chicago. This is nonsense coming from a well-established buffoon.

  58. Mike Ditka was the reason the bears only won one superbowl. Buddy Ryan was great with the defense but couldn’t get along with anyone. Mike Ditka did his best but he just wasn’t that great of a coach.

  59. Nonsense Hampton. Meathead Ditka turned your team into a one hit wonder not your QB. I still do not understand why Bears fans like that fathead. He ruined the team.

  60. It is also important to realize the talent drain that occurred at critical positions after the ’86 Superbowl. The Bears lost an All Pro left tackle in Jimbo Covert and their top CB in Leslie Frazier as well as Buddy Ryan, their best coach and the one that created their fearsome ’46 scheme in the game itself.
    Soon thereafter, Willie Gault and Wilbur Marshall left because the McCaskey’s were too cheap to pay them. Marshall went on to become Defensive MVP of the league at Washington. Walter Payton started to get old a couple of years later and Otis Wilson retired due to a bad knee. Singletary never looked the same bookended by Ron Rivera and Jim Morrissey. Despite all of Hampton’s efforts playing on basically one leg and with McMahon in and out of the lineup, they just didn’t have enough to win NFC Championship games anymore during that great period in football.

  61. The thought of Cutler as a Super Bowl Champion? We are talking about Jay Cutler…. LMAO!!! I’d rather of had Jim Miller or Erik Kramer. Cutler is Jeff George v2.0, all arm no leadership skills,…zero,..none….

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