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Player Spotlight: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears (1 Viewer)

Jason Wood

Zoo York
2013 Player Spotlight Series

One of Footballguys best assets is our message board community. The Shark Pool is, in our view, the best place on the internet to discuss, debate and analyze all things fantasy football. In what's become an annual tradition, the Player Spotlight series is a key part of the preseason efforts. As many of you know, we consider the Player Spotlight threads the permanent record for analyzing the fantasy prospects of the player in question. This year, we plan to publish more than 140 offensive spotlights covering the vast majority of expected skill position starters.

As always we will post a list of players to be discussed each week. Those threads will remain open for the entire preseason, and should be a central point to discuss expectations for the player in question.

Thread Topic: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears

Player Page Link: Jay Cutler Player Page

Each article will include:

  • Detailed viewpoint from a Footballguys staff member
  • Links to thoughtful viewpoints from around the Web
  • FBG Projections

The Rules

In order for this thread to provide maximum value, we ask that you follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Focus commentary on the player (or players) in question, and your expectations for said player (or players)
  • Back up your expectations in whatever manner you deem appropriate; avoid posts that simply say "I hate him" or "He's the best"
  • Avoid redundancies or things like "good posting" ... this should be about incremental analysis or debate

While not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to provide your own projections for the player (players):

Projections should include:

  • For QBs: Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TDs, Ints, Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush TDs
  • For RBs: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rush TDs, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
  • For WRs & TEs: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs

Now let's get on with the conversation! We look forward to your contributions and let me offer a personal thanks in anticipation of the great debate and analysis.

 

TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
Should Lovie Smith have been fired? Had the Bears REALLY underperformed? Consider the last 3 seasons, the Bears had gone 29-19, their worst season being 2011 in that stretch when they went 8-8. If you remember what happened that season, Jay Cutler suffered a season-ending injury when they Bears were 7-3. With Caleb Hanie at QB (or Josh McCown), the Bears finished 1-5. You take out that understandable 1-5 stretch…Lovie Smith had won 2 out of every 3 games for the Bears.

Does anyone remember what happened the last time someone let Jay Cutler throw 550 times in a season? He threw 26 INT’s. It was his first season as a Bear when most everyone thought he’d come in and light the world afire. The Bears gave up 2 1st rounders and Kyle Orton. While that first season, Cutler produced an epic rate of interceptions (4.7%), his career rate as a Bear has been 3.6%. Admittedly, the Bears WR crew in previous years has been amongst the leagues worst. Even with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall last year, there was little behind him.

But as it relates to Jay Cutler’s FF chances, that’s kind of the point. Lovie Smith realized that quite simply, the Bears didn’t have the horses in the passing game. His QB was INT prone and his WR’s weren’t helping. The aforementioned Marshall was brought in last year and promptly gobbled up a historic 40% of the Bears passing targets. In using data dominator, the highest target % since 2002 I could find was Marvin Harrison in 2002 with 34.5%.

So now the Bears have brought in an ‘offensive mind’ in Marc Trestman. With the Bears having thrown the ball 485 times in 2012, the assumption is that the Bears attempts will increase significantly. I’m not so sure…if you have a QB who is amongst the most INT prone in the NFL and struggles to include anyone else in the passing game other than Marshall, that sounds like a very shaky foundation from which to build a passing game from.

Trestman’s record with the 1995 49ers and 2002 Raiders have been cited as reason for optimism here as it relates to how much the Bears passing game could take off. His QB in 2002 was Gannon who threw 10 INT’s in 618 attempts a 1.6% INT rate. His QB’s in 1995 were Young/Grbac who combined for a 2.5%. INT rate And both teams threw for a + 67% completion rate. Cutler lives in the 58-60% range.

So count me in the camp that does not see a major improvement for the Bears passing game fortunes just because a supposed offensive mind is now HC, not to mention a realization by the new coaching staff that chucking the ball all over the field is what NFL defenses will want the Bears to do. Winning in the NFL is winning in the NFL, and the Bears path to doing so simply isn’t going to be via the right arm of Jay Cutler. What 2013 will show is that the scalpel used to remove Lovie Smith should have been more directed at the Jay Cutler portion of the Bears body.

Prediction: 309 Completions, 521 Attempts, 3765 Passing Yards, 21 TD’s 20 INT’s; 44 Rushes 198 Rushing Yards 2 TD’s.

 
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Borden

Footballguy
TheDirtyWord said:
Should Lovie Smith have been fired? Had the Bears REALLY underperformed? Consider the last 3 seasons, the Bears had gone 29-19, their worst season being 2011 in that stretch when they went 8-8. If you remember what happened that season, Jay Cutler suffered a season-ending injury when they Bears were 7-3. With Caleb Hanie at QB (or Josh McCown), the Bears finished 1-5. You take out that understandable 1-5 stretch…Lovie Smith had won 2 out of every 3 games for the Bears.

Does anyone remember what happened the last time someone let Jay Cutler throw 550 times in a season? He threw 26 INT’s. It was his first season as a Bear when most everyone thought he’d come in and light the world afire. The Bears gave up 2 1st rounders and Kyle Orton. While that first season, Cutler produced an epic rate of interceptions (4.7%), his career rate as a Bear has been 3.6%. Admittedly, the Bears WR crew in previous years has been amongst the leagues worst. Even with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall last year, there was little behind him.

But as it relates to Jay Cutler’s FF chances, that’s kind of the point. Lovie Smith realized that quite simply, the Bears didn’t have the horses in the passing game. His QB was INT prone and his WR’s weren’t helping. The aforementioned Marshall was brought in last year and promptly gobbled up a historic 40% of the Bears passing targets. In using data dominator, the highest target % since 2002 I could find was Marvin Harrison in 2002 with 34.5%.

So now the Bears have brought in an ‘offensive mind’ in Marc Trestman. With the Bears having thrown the ball 485 times in 2012, the assumption is that the Bears attempts will increase significantly. I’m not so sure…if you have a QB who is amongst the most INT prone in the NFL and struggles to include anyone else in the passing game other than Marshall, that sounds like a very shaky foundation from which to build a passing game from.

Trestman’s record with the 1995 49ers and 2002 Raiders have been cited as reason for optimism here as it relates to how much the Bears passing game could take off. His QB in 2002 was Gannon who threw 10 INT’s in 618 attempts a 1.6% INT rate. His QB’s in 1995 were Young/Grbac who combined for a 2.5%. INT rate And both teams threw for a + 67% completion rate. Cutler lives in the 58-60% range.

So count me in the camp that does not see a major improvement for the Bears passing game fortunes just because a supposed offensive mind is now HC, not to mention a realization by the new coaching staff that chucking the ball all over the field is what NFL defenses will want the Bears to do. Winning in the NFL is winning in the NFL, and the Bears path to doing so simply isn’t going to be via the right arm of Jay Cutler. What 2013 will show is that the scalpel used to remove Lovie Smith should have been more directed at the Jay Cutler portion of the Bears body.

Prediction: 309 Completions, 521 Attempts, 3765 Passing Yards, 21 TD’s 20 INT’s; 44 Rushes 198 Rushing Yards 2 TD’s.
You contradict yourself all over. First you site in 2011 they go 7-3 with Cutler and 1-5 without yet you blame Cutler for the Bears problems and not Lovie? Then you site stats from a coach that worked an offense which helps QBs in lower their INTs and raise their completion percent (Cutlers' issues) and then say this isn't going to help Cutler improve?

A major problem for the Bears and Cutler was their line. I'm not sure if they've solved the problem with the 1st and 5th round picks or even the guys they brought in but it should not be worse. They also added Bennett who should be better then Kellen Davis was and Alshon Jeffery will likely improve as well. Forte also had a career low in receptions which likely isn't going to be a continuing trend. The Bears are going to take a downturn in their defense and have to rely on the offense to produce more. I'm not tiring to say he is going to be the best QB in the league.

550/4300/28/16

 
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candymanvandyfan

Footballguy
Take the following quiz on the rich history of Chicago quarterbacking with the understanding that people will fully expect Jay to meet these achievements in this year alone.

Step 1:. Take all the quarterbacks for the Chicago Bears ever.

Step 2:. Of those, take only the ones who passed for more than 3500 total yards in their entire careers with the Bears.

Step 3:. Of those, take only the ones who started and won more than 3 career games with the Bears.

Step 4:. Of those, take only the ones who completed more than 50% of their passes in their career with the Bears.

Step 5:. Of those, take only those with a career passer rating over 75 with the Bears.

How many quarterbacks are left?

http://pfref.com/tiny/h54Nq

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
Cutler is my top pick for a surprise QB1 finish, although there are several QBs that can be had after QB18 that have a fair shot at top 12 production. In just his second year in the league, Cutler took over for the productive Jake Plummer and showed why he was drafted early in the first round the year before. He posted a decent 7.5 ypa with a 63.6% completion percentage. The next year they had to rely on the pass quite a bit more (32% increase in pass attempts) and his metrics dropped a hair as his totals jumped. Things looked promising after a 4500/25 year, but then Shanahan was fired and Cutler was traded to the offensive wasteland known as Chicago. He's toiled behind a decrepit offensive line, drudged through Mike Martz and Mike Tice, and has had one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL to throw to.

In 2013, he's going to see his best offensive line yet and his best set of receivers as well. He's also getting a new head coach with a new offense. Trestman hasn't been around in a while, so it is possible that this will be a total train wreck. That's by far the biggest question mark in this equation. But if Trestman can put together a halfway decent offense, then I think he's got the personnel to really light it up this year.

I really like the addition of Bennett at TE. He's not only a good blocker, but showed that he could be an offensive weapon last year and that he's got the determination to play through injuries. Alshon Jeffery looked promising in his rookie year which was hampered by injuries. I think Cutler has a good chance to rekindle some of the momentum he was gaining in Denver before the trade. With new targets and perhaps some halfway decent protection, I think his completion percentage sees a bump as will his pass attempts. Despite his poor completion percentage, in the last 3 years, he's averaging 7.3 ypa, which is not a great number, but it yields 12.4 yards per completion which is a healthy number (Rodgers' career average). Chicago has ranked near the bottom of the league in passing attempts during Jay's tenure. With the defense on the decline and an offensive coach coming in, I expect Chicago to take a sharp turn in this department. Even just a bump up to the league average in attempts would represent a significant increase in production for Cutler.

550 att x 64% = 352 comp x 12.0 ypc = 4,224 yds 28 TD 16 INT, 200 rushing yards 1 TD

 

Khy

Footballguy
Cutler is my top pick for a surprise QB1 finish, although there are several QBs that can be had after QB18 that have a fair shot at top 12 production. In just his second year in the league, Cutler took over for the productive Jake Plummer and showed why he was drafted early in the first round the year before. He posted a decent 7.5 ypa with a 63.6% completion percentage. The next year they had to rely on the pass quite a bit more (32% increase in pass attempts) and his metrics dropped a hair as his totals jumped. Things looked promising after a 4500/25 year, but then Shanahan was fired and Cutler was traded to the offensive wasteland known as Chicago. He's toiled behind a decrepit offensive line, drudged through Mike Martz and Mike Tice, and has had one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL to throw to.

In 2013, he's going to see his best offensive line yet and his best set of receivers as well. He's also getting a new head coach with a new offense. Trestman hasn't been around in a while, so it is possible that this will be a total train wreck. That's by far the biggest question mark in this equation. But if Trestman can put together a halfway decent offense, then I think he's got the personnel to really light it up this year.

I really like the addition of Bennett at TE. He's not only a good blocker, but showed that he could be an offensive weapon last year and that he's got the determination to play through injuries. Alshon Jeffery looked promising in his rookie year which was hampered by injuries. I think Cutler has a good chance to rekindle some of the momentum he was gaining in Denver before the trade. With new targets and perhaps some halfway decent protection, I think his completion percentage sees a bump as will his pass attempts. Despite his poor completion percentage, in the last 3 years, he's averaging 7.3 ypa, which is not a great number, but it yields 12.4 yards per completion which is a healthy number (Rodgers' career average). Chicago has ranked near the bottom of the league in passing attempts during Jay's tenure. With the defense on the decline and an offensive coach coming in, I expect Chicago to take a sharp turn in this department. Even just a bump up to the league average in attempts would represent a significant increase in production for Cutler.

550 att x 64% = 352 comp x 12.0 ypc = 4,224 yds 28 TD 16 INT, 200 rushing yards 1 TD
I agree a little bit, in my opinion a well protected Cutler is one of the best pure QB talents in the league. The problem is he never has been well protected. If the offensive line is fixed a bunch this year he could easily surpass your statline. That said until I see the new line produce I won't believe it. I'm not even that comfortable making a projection on him yet until the preseason. But preliminary I'll assume the line is still awful and I'll say he goes for:

3900 yards, 27 TDs 23 INTs,

 

ol blues

Footballguy
Interesting situation. Cutler played for a team without an OL, without an OC of any current skill and without significant depth at playmaking positions. Does he improve with a skilled offensive HC, a talented OC and an improved OL? Probably so, but, what you have to ask yourself is, with the depth at QB are you drafting Cutler above mid level QB2? Probably not. So why waste your breath.

 
Jay Cutler as a Bear is overrated in the passing department. He has a strong arm and he's highly competitive but I am just not a believer as an every week starter for my fantasy team. He's been hit a lot as a Bear, their running game hasn't been strong and that truly hurts Cutler, literally.

3650 yards passing 22tds, 18 ints

200 yards rushing, 2tds

 
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