Is Jay Cutler fit to lead the Bears? That's what Tony Dungy somewhat hypocritically asked (hypocritically given his naked support for Michael Vick) last week. Cutler, according to Dungy, was "a risk." Why? Because of the way he left the Broncos. We're not sure how valid that argument is, but anyway, that's what Dungy said.
Naturally, no argument tagged with "leadership" and "Chicago Bears" will escape the omnipotent media presence of Mike Ditka. Some day, there will come a time when something happens with the Bears and sports editors city-wide don't say, "Hey, we need the Ditka angle on this. Hurry!" Until that day, my friends, suffer on we must.
"I don't think anything about what Tony said is earth-shattering," Ditka said. "I think it's a fact. [Cutler] came here under uncertain circumstances. The way he got out of Denver was kind of strange. But the kid is a talent."
"People ask me one question: Is he a good quarterback?" he said in a telephone interview. "Well, he has a great arm. He had great receivers up in Denver, they had an offense that threw the football a lot, so it highlighted his strengths. If he's in an offense that doesn't highlight his strengths, what's his strength going to be? It has to be leadership, like Tony said. And he has to prove that."
There's some more stuff about how the Bears aren't going to pass very much (not true; the Bears were 14th in the NFL in overall pass attempts last season, and that will probably only increase with Cutler at the helm) and how Cutler's main responsibility will be leadership, and not passing, and can we just say this? Coach Ditka? That is really, really dumb. We love you, man. Your sweaters and your shades and even the way your skin glows bright orange. Weirdly, we respect a man who isn't bashful with the spray on tanner.
But come on. Jay Cutler's main job is to pass the football effectively. His other jobs involve taking snaps and handing the ball off efficiently. After that, it's reading defenses and calling audibles at the line. After that, somewhere way down the list, is leadership.
The Bears have plenty of veterans, and plenty of leaders. What they need is a good quarterback. Let's be happy with that, huh?
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.