Phil Emery. Gone.
Marc Trestman. Gone.
Jay Cutler. Gone?
But don’t kid yourself if you think releasing Jay Cutler makes the 2015 Bears instant contenders.
Even if the Bears did replace Cutler with a replacement level quarterback who was media friendly with superb body language, a flashy smile and the ability to find homes for abandoned puppies, it would only solve one perceived problem.
And if you think fixing one problem on the Bears will do the trick, then you and I haven’t been watching the same football games.
The Bears have holes throughout the defense that has allowed about 28 points and 385 yards of total offense per game over the last two years. Specifically, we’re talking about starters at defensive tackle, all three linebacker spots, two cornerback spots (yes, because with as much nickel the Bears find themselves in, three starting corners is the norm now) and two safeties.
Rookie Kyle Fuller was serviceable, while free agent signee Will Young outperformed his contract and was the most productive Bears defensive lineman before his season ending injury in Week 16. But other than that, the Bears defense lacks for a strong foundation on the line, in the secondary and at linebacker.
Offensively (besides quarterback) the Bears offensive line returns two starters who will be on the wrong side of 30 (Jermon Bushrod, Roberto Garza) in 2015 and Matt Slauson (29) who couldn’t stay healthy in each of his first two years.
Kyle Long and Alshon Jeffery are a pair of building blocks on the offensive line and split out wide as a receiver, respectively. The two represent rare pair of draft hits by Emery. But clearly not enough to keep up with the Packers, who churn out multiple productive draft picks annually.
Matt Forte is an All-Pro caliber running back — a workhorse who was underutilized by a coaching staff that didn’t properly value what he brought to the table. Martellus Bennett is a pretty good two-way tight end. Brandon Marshall, when healthy and getting heavy usage on a winning team, is a quality wide receiver. He’s also a certified nut who legitimately needs professional help now — and probably when his football career ends.
So, tell me, how does getting rid of Jay Cutler fix all of the Bears’ other problems?
Get ready for what should be a lengthy rebuild. Embrace it. It’s long overdue.