Insiders

Adam Gase and Jay Cutler Just a One Year Partnership?

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Ever since Jay Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears, the relationship between him and the ‘Windy City’ has been a love-hate one, with a heavy emphasis on the latter.

When it comes to pure talent, Cutler has all of the tools you look for in a quarterback. He has good size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, a big arm and he’s athletic enough to make plays outside the pocket.

However, Cutler hasn’t lived up to his potential due to his poor decision making. During his time in Chicago, he’s thrown 101 interceptions.

While it’ll be unfair to put everything on Cutler, his turnovers are usually at the absolute worst time, which tends to kill the whole team’s morale.

Barring an unlikely turn of events, the Bears organization will only have seen playoff football two times in the past 10 years after this season.

In an effort to improve their offensive production, Chicago hired Adam Gase as their new offensive coordinator. After bringing in John Fox as their new head coach, the addition of Gase looks like a package deal when you consider he was the offensive coordinator for Fox in Denver the last two seasons.

Last year, Chicago averaged fewer than 20 points per game (19.9) and while their total of 20.9 points per game this year isn’t much better, it’s been the mistake free football of Cutler that’s been a welcomed sight for the Bears.

On the season, Cutler has tossed 14 touchdowns to go along with only seven picks. 

“Statistically, we’ve got the turnovers down,” Gase stated. “We got a long way to go. I think we’ve made some strides as far as our ball security in the pocket. I think a lot of it has been he’s getting the ball out quick. He’s been decisive. There’s no hesitation, and I think he and (quarterback coach) Dowell (Loggains) have done a great job within practice being conscious about it and working on drills to make sure that we’re better in that area.”

Before agreeing to a deal with Chicago, Gase was gauging interest from multiple teams to become a head coach. One of those teams were the San Francisco 49ers before they elected to go with Jim Tomsula.

“I’m excited that I was able to come to the Bears,” Gase stressed. “This is where I wanted to be. I feel like this is where I was meant to be — working with this group on offense, being with coach John Fox. So this has been a great spot for me.”

All of that sounds fine and dandy, but who doesn’t want to be the man in charge eventually?

Gase has been building up his NFL resume since 2003, when he served as a scouting assistant for the Detroit Lions. With what should be tons of head coaching vacancies this off-season, odds are Gase will have the opportunity to take on the challenge.

Assuming Gase leaves, what will happen to Cutler?

The decision to keep Cutler or not may be based on what Gase does. If Gase really does go elsewhere, will it be worth keeping Cutler at $16 million next season and beyond?

That’s a question the Bears front office will have to answer because Cutler’s success this year may not translate next season without Gase calling the shots. Also, the Bears won’t be winning big anytime soon with Cutler, so why not try to free yourself of his hefty contract and start over with a young signal caller?

It’s difficult to see how things will unfold in Chicago, but one things for sure, this off-season will be vital in mapping out the near future of the Bears organization.

Gase has revived Cutler’s career, but will that continue once he’s gone?


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.