COMMENTARY | The Chicago Bears spent some money in free agency on Tuesday and ended up filling two big holes in their offense. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod and tight end Martellus Bennett are now Chicago Bears.
Bears fans seem to be happy with the pickups and are viewing Phil Emery as if he is a saint. Now the pressure is on Jay Cutler to produce.
I have long been a Cutler apologist. I defended him during the NFC Championship game injury debacle. I defend him every single time he has an awful game against the arch-rival Packers. In my mind, most of his issues can be chalked up to playing behind arguably the worst offensive line in the league. He doesn't get sacked every time he drops back, but it sure seems like he does.
In fact, I knew back in Week 2 after Clay Matthews had finished destroying the Bears' offense that they were not Super Bowl bound. It was truly a Bears fan's worst nightmare.
If the Bears hadn't picked up an offensive lineman this offseason, you would have my permission to give up on them. The line has been a glaring need for the team for the last three seasons. It can be argued that the horrific performance of that unit is the main thing holding Chicago back.
The J'Marcus Webb era in Chicago is now over. Jermon Bushrod might not be Jake Long, but he is a two time Pro Bowler, durable, and a lot cheaper than the free agent out of Miami.
Jerry Angelo never addressed the offensive line properly. Sure, he used draft picks on the position, but he never went out and got a solid, veteran player to anchor that unit. Emery has done The Windy City proud and did just that.
Oh, and the Bears also got a legitimate tight end to replace Kellen Davis. Martellus Bennett caught 55 passes last year for the New York Giants. Kellen Davis has caught 47 passes over the course of his entire career. I don't even think I need to call this an upgrade.
Chicago has never been an offensive juggernaut, but shouldn't they be? The Bears have one of the best running back tandems in the league with Matt Forte and Michael Bush. They have one of the top three receivers in the league with Mr. Brandon Marshall. Now, they went out and got help for their terrible offensive line and a good tight end.
Phil Emery has shown us that he is willing to give everything Jay Cutler needs to succeed. Jay has to go out in 2013 and put himself in the elite class of quarterbacks. He needs to prove to Chicago, and the entire NFL, that he can win games on his own terms. The defense and special teams of the Bears have always dragged the offense along. Now the offense needs to get up to speed.
Simply put, if Jay Cutler has another sub-par season in Chicago, he will have no one to blame but himself.
Tyler Emken is a journalist working in Central Illinois. He is a lifelong NFL enthusiast and has written for Bleacher Report and other websites.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Chicago Bears
- Martellus Bennett
- Phil Emery
- Jermon Bushrod