Friday, November 13, 2009

Picked Over

When the Cubs signed Milton Bradley, he was already clearly a loon, but a talented loon. His numbers were good, he got on base, he had decent power. One figured that in a decent lineup, if he could stay healthy, Milton would be a good player for the Cubs. Hell, he could even be the Cubs #3 hitter.

Boy was scouting wrong.

That's what you get when you scout a player via the press and not by watching him regularly.

When the Bears traded for Jay Cutler, you looked at the numbers and listed to the analysts. Here was a franchise QB. Young, proven, ready for the next ten years. People who didn't agree were lambasted by the Boers & Burnstein types with them saying, "You've had plenty of chances to see this guy. Denver's been onllocal TV plenty the last three years. He's great. Don't worry about it."

Sounded good. These guys are paid to watch every game so we gave their opinion the benefit of a doubt. Some of us have non-sports lives and can't watch 16 NFL games a week, much less 15 MLB games a day. Therefore, we've learned to give some credence to their opinion.

Well, one wonders what they saw in Jay Cutler before, because we aren't seeing it here.

Jay is a good quarterback, but he clearly has some serious flaws. Those flaws that are being exposed as a Chicago Bear are some combination of three factors:

1) His receivers are beyond awful. Often it seems that Jay expects Bear receivers to behave like NFL receivers. That's a mistake. While the Bears have some guys that have the talent to catch and the speed to run, they don't seem to have guys that know how to play.

2) The play calling can be brutal. How many third and longs where the play is a three yard swing pass are going to be called before someone suggests that they should try something different?

3) Jay just doesn't see the defenders bracketing his receivers. This seems to be his red zone problem. The less field there is to defend, the more the defense can surround the wide outs, the more Cutler tosses a ball into the gut of a defender.

Interestingly, all this is fixable. Better WRs who are better coached would be a help. A GM who drafted and signed better offensive linemen would help.

The question is if this staff can do the fixing? The McCaskey's have more money tied up in Jay Cutler than they do in Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. At what point do they spend money do defend other money?

A few more losses and we just may find out.

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