Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 16.
#16. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Major changes have been made in the Bears’ locker room. The firing of Lovie Smith after a 10-6 year was questionable, but new head coach Marc Trestman, an offensive-minded coach, can possibly help the offense grow under Jay Cutler and propel the team into the playoffs.
Experts are saying that Jay Cutler is on the “hot seat”, if that even exists for quarterbacks. He’s a solid quarterback who’s had to deal with his fair share of misfortunes on the offensive line and injuries to fellow teammates (such as Matt Forte). The offensive line has been shaky at best for the last two seasons, but Trestman should be able to utilize offensive talent as best as he can to help Cutler improve.
Physical traits and athleticism
His listed height is 6-3, a good size for a quarterback. He doesn’t have many batted passes despite the poor play of his offensive line (he takes more hits than a quarterback, should, however). Cutler does have good mobility, allowing him to do well on rollout plays. He has the ability to pick up a first down on the ground once in a while. Grade: 7.5/10
The greatest asset Cutler possesses is arguably his arm strength. He’s a gunslinger and he’s not afraid to make a throw. Last season, he did a good job of getting the ball downfield to targets such as Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, and the passing game should improve even more with Trestman on the sideline. Grade: 8.5/10
One of the knockoffs to that great arm strength is the fact that Cutler is somewhat overconfident in his arm. I’ve seen him throw off his back foot much too often, and the ball sails, leading to inaccurate throws and turnovers. His upper-body mechanics and throwing motion are sound, but his footwork in the pocket is often sloppy. Grade: 7/10
Cutler has played seven seasons in this league, and has done a great job adjusting to a bad offensive line in Chicago and dealing with injuries to himself and fellow teammates. He does everything mentally that a coach wants out of his quarterback, including reading defenses and recognizing blitzes, as well as adjusting protections. He does make several ill-advised throws, but that could be attributed to a bad offensive line or sloppy footwork. Grade: 8/10
Cutler has done a good job of transitioning from one team to another when a trade sent him to Chicago from Denver. We know about the arguments and the “bump” with his offensive linemen, which is a liability, but Cutler is a natural leader of his team and is well-respected in the locker room. Grade: 7.5/10
Jay Cutler is a solid quarterback who possesses everything he needs to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL. His job should be safe if he produces like he has over the course of his career. He led his team to the doorstep of the Super Bowl in 2010 (when he only played the first half), but the Bears hope Cutler’s development and the addition of Marc Trestman can put the Bears over the top. Overall Grade: 38.5/50