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NFL commentary: New coach could spell Cutler's last chance

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 12:17 a.m. CDT

Shortly after the Chicago Bears whacked Lovie Smith on Monday morning, quarterback Jay Cutler said, “Change isn’t always bad.”

Wait, Cutler said that? Cutler said change isn’t always bad? The guy who seemed annoyed that he has had a different offensive coordinator almost every year said that?

Should’ve called timeout before making that play. It doesn’t sound as if Cutler is too broken up over all this, which seems notable for a guy who throws some notable hissyfits during games.

Which brings me to this point on a Tuesday when Phil Emery explained why he fired the head coach he got stuck with:

This is not a hire that will define just the start of Emery’s reign, but also one that could signal the end of Cutler’s, or at least the continuation of his growing reputation as a coach-killer.

It might not be accurate. But then, neither is Cutler’s arm.

The more toys that Cutler got this season, the worse his offense got. The worse things got, the more hissyfits he threw.

Cutler has the physical talent that teams dream of, but his questionable mental and emotional makeup is blinding.

Cutler will be playing for his third head coach, which is more than his combined total of postseason appearances. For those scoring at home, that would be one.

Cutler will be working under his fifth offensive coordinator, which would be at least four more than his combined total of one playoff win.

Cutler is the QB of a team that went from 7-1 to firing its coach.

I don’t know how you measure the return-on-investment on such things, but Cutler seems to be an NFL fiscal cliff.

And Emery appears to know it. The GM stressed Tuesday that his new coach has to be the right person to “help Jay develop” or bring in an offensive coordinator who can do that.

Emery added that he still believes Cutler is a “franchise quarterback.” Problem is, Cutler is looking closer to a coach-killer. Or maybe Jeff George, Part Deux.

Because he’s certainly not Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or either Manning.

He’s not even RGIII or Russell Wilson. Those two rookies hadn’t taken so much as one NFL snap last September, and here they are, meeting this weekend in as many postseasons as Cutler can claim in his 7-year career, so don’t give me any of this hooey about learning a system.

And don’t give me any noise about the offensive line. Rodgers gets sacked more than Cutler. Rodgers isn’t as nifty on his feet as Cutler. Rodgers is more successful than Cutler.

Emery trotted out some interesting stats about the offensive line’s pass protection and receivers’ drops. Without killing everybody with the math, Emery said they ranked higher in each category than three teams that are going to the playoffs.

Emery’s point was, it’s not about excuses in areas that are screechy and wrong. Instead, Emery declared that it’s about making plays in the middle of the field – get lost, Kellen Davis – and more importantly, it’s about the number of playmakers you have.

Your first playmaker is your quarterback. Cutler must learn to lead like an adult. He must learn to execute when it matters. Cutler tends to play his worst when the pressure is greatest. With Emery’s first coach coming in, it sounds pretty clear that Cutler is on the clock.

Someone tell Cutler you don’t continue to get big money when you continue to come up small.

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