Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
Winston Churchill once said: "He who fails to plan is planning to fail."
Though he's been dead for 45 years, it's possible that Churchill was speaking of Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. Their lack of planning for Jay Cutler's absence may lead to the quarterback's -- and team's -- failure.
Start with the offensive line: The Bears brought in offensive coordinator Mike Martz to run a pass-happy offense tailored to Cutler's skills, but did not create an offensive line which could protect Cutler. As a result, Cutler has been sacked a staggering 17 times this season. To put that number in perspective, Cutler leads the league in sacks, even after taking a week off.
The nine sacks the Giants applied to Cutler's body took their toll, and forced him to miss a start for the first time in his career.
His absence led to another area of weakness for the Bears' planning department: the back-up quarterback.
If it weren't for Caleb Hanie's pre-season injury, the Bears probably wouldn't have picked up a back-up like Todd Collins. Their plan appeared to rely solely on Hanie to taking all the back-up snaps. Did they assume that Cutler was invincible, or that the running game was so good that it was alright to have a QB who could do little more than hand off the ball?
They were left to scramble for a third-rate free agent and were stuck with Collins, who threw four interceptions on 16 passing attempts against the Panthers. Now, Hanie is the number two quarterback on the depth chart, and fans have to keep their fingers crossed that Cutler will be back pro quarterback form.
Because of their reluctance to give Cutler the support, Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo deserve as much blame as anyone for the QB's injuries as the offensive line. Their failure to plan was a plan for Cutler to fail.