A history of disappointment: quarterbacks of the Chicago Bears.
A cut(ler) below the rest
[Editor’s Note: I would like to thank long-time friend and amazing individual John Loepkky for helping in the inspiration of this article.]
Given the massive outcry that came from fans of the Chicago Bears with regards to the social media announcement of the new number one starter, Andy Dalton, one would think that the Bears have had such a rich history of quarterbacks (QB) that such a vocal response would be justified. However, if one looks closer, these fans are upset because they’re tired, not because they’ve been betrayed time and time again.
Now, if you know anything about the quarterback position in the NFL, you know it’s an absolutely vital one that cannot be overlooked. If you go into the regular season with someone that sucks under-centre, then you’re gonna have a bad season. With that in mind, you pretty much now have the full picture when looking at the Bears organization in its entirety – just one big terrible season.
Other than the eternally worshipped Jim McMahon (I’m only half joking, by the way), the Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks just ooze mediocrity. Let’s do a quick run down the list, shall we? Kyle Orton, Jim Miller, Rex Grossmen, Matt Barkley (technically he was in 2016), and who could forget “Mr. Can’t Be Bothered” Jay Cutler. I’m sure that after listing off each of these names, Bears fans everywhere are rolling their eyes and hoping for that 8-8 season to get itself over with.
So, where do we start? How do we start? Well, a good place would be that of Rex Grossman. Few other Chicago Bear field generals really measure up to the level of “basic” that Mr. Grossman achieved. Now I know some NFL fans are thinking “Ethan, what the hell are you talking about? Grossman led the Bears to a Super Bowl berth!” Well, that may be true, but he also served the majority of his career afterwards as a backup QB. Basically, it was a descent from greatness that was so fast Matt Ryan would be impressed.
However, backing up a bit, one cannot forget the man, the myth, the legend, Jay Cutler. Never before has there been a player who has completely accepted their own inevitably as an ineffective player quite like Cutler has. Listen, there have certainly been players/QB’s that haven’t put their all into a game. Whether it be through injury or a lack of heart, whatever the situation, it’s just the way the chips fell that day. Cutler, on the other hand, would just quit competing in games altogether – this especially being the case during games against the Green Bay Packers. The dude would just be playing football, like any QB, and then as soon as the score got a bit distant, he would just kinda stop. Not like, stop playing altogether, but start playing with a more “Yep, this is my job and I’m just working for the weekend. Oop, Green Bay scored again, guess it’s time to throw this ball again. Oooooh noooo, an interception. Now I get to sit down.”
Cutler isn’t the only quarterback at fault though. As mentioned earlier, there are certainly other ball huckers that were unfit for the starting position. I mean, Matt Barkley? Yeah, okay, he only played six games during the season and the other two QB’s were injured, but come on! There wasn’t anybody you could’ve traded for? I’m sure Bears fans would’ve appreciated it. However, as we’ve established, this is not an organization that cares about its fans. If they did, they wouldn’t have signed Andy Dalton. Or drafted Mitchell Tribusky.
Let’s just stop for a second and appreciate Mitchell Tribusky for what he was able to bring to the table for the Bears. Like helping the team get to the postseason in what was going to be a magical 2018 for the franchise. But, you know, field goals are hard. Other than that, Tribusky started to suffer the effects of any QB that’s been with Chicago for an extended period of time: lose. Then, those losses started to pile up and we find ourselves where we are currently: with new number one starter Andy Dalton.
Andy Dalton – a name that I’m almost certain will become just another on a long list of bad decisions by the Bears head office. I understand that they were also trying to acquire Russell Wilson via massie trade, but … they should’ve tried harder. Not to sound too disrespectful to Andy Dalton, but if he manages to play well enough to get the team beyond 8-8 this upcoming season, I’ll be shocked (okay, so it was fairly disrespectful).
All of this to say whatever is going on in Chicago needs to end. Whatever the decision-making process is, whatever they think they see in talent, whatever worked in 1985 when they won their only Super Bowl, it just needs to stop. Things are just getting bad now. Look, I know that the later years of the Bear’s NFL legacy have been truly terrible, but there needs to be time to rebuild. Don’t be the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Denver Broncos where you think a QB is going to solve your problems. Focus on the team as a whole and work from there… or don’t, just a suggestion.