Relax, Bears Fans: It's Preseason

Bear QB's bad night is no big deal

By Eamonn Brennan
|  Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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Jay Cutler's night was not so good, but we're not going to freak out. Yet.

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It was good to see Jay Cutler on the field Saturday night. It wasn' t so good seeing him toss an interception. But all the hub-bub surrounding his lackluster debut needs some rest.

Cutler's line after Saturday's 27-20 preseason loss to Buffalo: 5-for-10, 64 yards, 1 INT wasn't exacly revolutionary quarterbacking. Actually it seemed a lot like Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman or (dare we say it -- oh, fine, we're just going to say it) Henry Burris. That is not the Jay Cutler Bears fans were expecting.

But we're here on this fine Monday morning to remind you of one important fact: It was preseason.

So, you heart-burn addled Bears fans, shelve your worry, extinguish your vile commentary. Do other various action-verb-synonyms to whatever fretting you're having about Cutler's occasionally good but mostly woeful Saturday night.

Preseason doesn't matter. Or, that is to say, it matters in certain spots and not in others. If you're a marginal fourth-string tight end trying to make a pro roster, it matters. If you're a coach looking for talent to fill an injured secondary, it matters. If you want to see what the Bears have at third-string quarterback, if the guy is capable enough to complete a few passes and maybe even a nice touchdown throw against other third-string talent -- looking right at 'ya, Brett Basanez -- it matters aplenty.

But if you're looking to evaluate Jay Cutler, the same Jay Cutler who smirked and nodded and basically shrugged his shoulders after the game, the same Jay Cutler who knew before the game started that preseason didn't matter, the same Jay Cutler playing for the same offensive coordinator (Ron Turner) who didn't call a single play the Bears will run during the regular season this year, or at least not at any level of complexity resembling what Cutler will prepare for in 2009 ... then no, preseason games don't matter.

Thought it's tempting to freak out about Cutler's bad Saturday not, let's not. Rather, let's let the preseason play out. If we're going to freak out, let's bottle it all up -- the best freakouts come when they build for a while -- and let it all out in Week 1. Until then, Cutler and the Bears deserve the benefit of the doubt. These games don't matter, and Jay Cutler isn't even pretending otherwise.

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.

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