Protection wasn't Cutler's problem

J. Cutler2.jpgMasochistic Chicago Bears fans were given a treat Thursday.  Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times examined all 26 of Jay Cutler’s interceptions in grisly detail, with a huge assist from Ron Jaworski,.

The amazing takeaway is that protection problems weren’t the cause of any of the interceptions.  Sure, Orlando Pace was a bust.  But this analysis supports my subjective thought that the Bears were far worse in their run blocking than their pass protection last year.

Most of Jay Cutler’s picks came from mental mistakes, with some mechanical issues thrown in.  That’s why “Jaws” thinks Mike Martz is the perfect tutor for Cutler to fulfill his potential, if Cutler is willing to listen.

18 responses to “Protection wasn't Cutler's problem

  1. “protection problems weren’t the cause of any of the interceptions”
    Yeah, because not having any faith in the O-Line in front of you never affects a QB.

  2. You’re right Florio, CHI’s run-blocking WAS worse than there pass blocking. It’s only because Cutler can get rid of the ball so quickly and scramble for his life that the Bears didn’t lead the league in sacks, though. When the turn-style that poses as the Bears OLine would let people through, Cutler would just run away and get rid of it.
    After a while it didn’t matter if the protection was decent or not, Cutler was visibly uncomfortable in the pocket the entire second half of the year. He had no idea, on a play to play basis, when his line would protect him and when it wouldn’t.
    I’d say it was the inconsistency of it all that made it worse. If he’s going to need 3 step drops on every play, fine, deal with it. But every now and again they would do just good enough to let him have enough time, but even then Cutler was spooked.
    Ultimately, the Bears are horrible on two of the most important position groups in all of football: Offensive Line, Defensive line. That is why this team is not consistently good. Until they fire Jerry Angelo and Lovie smith, this will never change, and they will have completely wasted drafting for Cutler.

  3. Bears fans, be prepared for 50+ sacks a season. Martz does some good things but your QB is gonna take a lot of sacks

  4. “Yeah, because not having any faith in the O-Line in front of you never affects a QB.”
    ..or utter lack of a run game.

  5. And this proves that there is still a missing connection between football knowledge and media. Cutler has a very quick release and quick decision making which helped both the Denver offensive line in 08 and the Bears in 09.
    Did Jaws also state how many interceptions were thrown because of receivers running wrong routes or failing to catch passes? No, he didn’t. What he did say for “pick 2” that he couldn’t blame it on Cutler, that was as much as I needed to see.
    And let’s be honest, Jaws sucks at evaluating.

  6. But maybe if they could run block, then Cutler wouldn’t be lining up against a defense who is playing the pass every down.

  7. The pass attempt to Peterson was definitely due to protection. He had to dump it off, but it ended up in Goldson’s hands.

  8. 26 interceptions = dismal year. A majority of the INTs are mostly on Cutler and his focusing on Olsen in the endzone or overconfidence in his arm.
    That said, the original S-T article is terrible. Just terrible. This offensive line couldn’t stop the Cleveland Browns from knocking around a mobile quarterback. To say their poor play played no part in those INTs, at best it shows a complete lack of context.
    That Aaron Rodgers was able to do more with a worse line is as much a testament, if not more, to A-Rod.
    And I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that when Turner finally got around to working in moving pockets (plays to Cutler’s strengths), and the Bears shifted around their line and adjusted their blocking schemes the Bears offense finally showed some signs of life at the end of the season.
    And all this crybaby stuff is crazy. While it’s to be expected given the situation in which he in part put himself, the over-analyzing of every single gesture or expression is stupid. If you actually listened to what he said or read his quotes, he owned up to his mistakes, both the ones he did himself, and the ones that his country bumpkin WRs and his OL created for him.

  9. I was checking my RSS feed and saw “Protection wasn’t Cutler’s problem.” My first reaction was “that’s what she said.”

  10. I could really give a crap what Jaws things about Cutler. How does he know whether the receivers ran the right route or not. And if he watched film of the whole season not just his interceptions he’d see that our line sucked at just about everything. Coaching and playcalling were as much to blame as Cutler was. Hopefully the O Line will improve next season and we can get time for Cutler to run the deep drops that Martz is sure to call. While our running game was pathetic last year more use of our running backs in the passing game can only help. At the very least we won’t see them run up the middle on first down so much. Martz better utilize Olsen better than he did Vernon Davis cause Olsen is our best pass catcher.

  11. If protection wasn’t the problem, then, by definition, doesn’t that mean that Pace wasn’t a bust?

  12. Look, as a Minnesotan and Tulane alum who works in football, I pay a lot of attention to the analysis of Rosenthal, Jaws and Jensen.
    IMO, Jaws sucks in the MNF booth, but he’s one of the best around at film study, especially when it comes to breaking down QBs. Jensen isn’t a big national name (yet), but he’s one of the best pro football beat writers in the nation. Our loss in St. Paul was definitely Chicago’s gain, and this little piece is obvious proof of that.
    And Rosenthal … well if you’re here you probably read his stuff enough to know his football IQ is pretty high.
    I don’t think any of the aforementioned believes NONE of Cutler’s picks were a result of poor protection. The conclusion was simply that, typically speaking, Cutler’s interceptions generally weren’t the result of poor protection.
    Cutler is an awful decision-maker. He’s also a shoulder-thrower. And he’s arrogant. That combo is why he throws so many picks, something the best pass protection scheme in the world couldn’t save him from.
    Because Cutler’s mechanics are more reliant on his upper torso and less dependent on his legs, the Bears should generate more successful plays if they can get Cutler out of the pocket. Unfortunately for the Bears, this still might do little to cut down on his interceptions, but at least then Cutler would be mixing in more big plays.
    Better things are ahead for the Bears, but if the secondary conclusion from what Jensen, Jaws and now Rosenthal are saying is “don’t focus on the pass protection if you want to fix the Bears offense,” then I whole-heartedly agree.

  13. So all the sacks, pounding and running for his life that Cutler went through all season long did not have any effect on his performance?
    Jaworski picks out 26 plays from the entire season and that is how he came to this idiotic conclusion?
    What a clueless jag off.
    Now I know how he got the name “Jaws”
    By the way…. Sean Jensen is a sorry ass replacement for Brad Biggs on the Chicago Sun-Times Bears beat.

  14. Jaws himself states that about 4 of the picks come from “perceived pressure”, meaning that the offensive line sucked all game and Cutler felt like he had to get rid of the ball too quickly. I blame him and the line for those, just like I blame him and the receiver for the 7 picks where they obviously weren’t on the same page.
    Even if give Jay the benefit of the doubt, best case he’s still responsible for 15 picks. That’s too many in my book. I’d like to see no more than 10, but since he’s a risk taker I know that’s a pipe dream. So I’ll be happy if he throws twice as many TDs as INTs. A pocket would help with that.

  15. I’m no Ron Jaworski but I threw in my own analysis with video clips of each individual INT that Cutler threw.
    To say that protection didn’t play a part in Cutler’s INTs is a very gray statement.
    Cutler was pressured numerous times on some of the INTs he threw, were there balls redirected as a result of the pass rush? No, but there were times that Cutler was forced to try and make a play before he was ready to, or had to try and force things because he was in a third down situation where the Bears needed a first down or a touchdown to keep themselves in the game.
    The fact that no one in the media is even willing to admit these small points makes it seem as though they have a vendetta against Cutler and the Bears.
    Now that being said I would 19 of the 26 INTs were Cutler’s fault, with seven easily blamed on other failures or just flat out great plays by a defender.
    Lastly since everyone is in the business of bashing Cutler, perhaps they can give him some props for the 14 times he threw a touchdown on third or fourth down inside the red-zone. I’d be interested in seeing that stat that shows how many other QBs threw touchdowns on third and fourth down in the red-zone.

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