It was a good day for Bears fans on Thursday, though we shouldn't start making plans to return to Miami on February 7 of next year just yet. See, Chicago teams (with the one exception being the Bulls during the Jordan years) don't do well with high expectations. The White Sox were able to win the World Series in '05 because no one expected them to. The '06 Bears made it all the way to the Super Bowl because no one really thought Grossman could get them there. In fact, virtually everyone picked us to lose Super Bowl XLI... which of course we did. But still. On the other side, the Cubs imploded under the pressure of heightened expectations the past two postseasons. So we would do well to not anoint Jay Cutler as The Answer, though I do think it was a great move. He also could use some help with his hair, but the Bears have had some interesting QB hair in their past.
I think Kyle Orton was a very good QB, and he's the reason the Broncos chose to trade him to the Bears and not another team. They get 2 1st round picks, plus a proven NFL QB in Orton. But there are very few exceptional, proven young QBs in the league, and Jay Cutler is one of them. It makes our team better, and it it addresses what Angelo said was a weakness in one of his interviews after the season ended.
Some might say that we had to give up a lot. True, but Angelo typically excels in the later rounds anyway. Forte was a 2nd round pick, as were Charles Tillman and Devin Hester. Recent third round Bears picks include Lance Briggs and Bernard Berrian. And we've shown we can pick up some good players in free agency that don't break the bank.
Don't forget that the Patriots looked like a sure bet to get back to the Super Bowl when their franchise QB went down the first day of the season. We have to be prepared with a quality back-up because injuries happen all the time. And as Rick Morrissey wrote today in one of his usual well-written columns, Cutler can't throw to himself; we've got to go out and get at least one, if not two receivers. I'd love to see us get a veteran like Torry Holt, plus draft one in the 2nd or 3rd round. And let's not forget the defense. If our defense had been able to stop the likes of the Houston Texans in the last game of the season (we gave up 455 yards), we would have been in the playoffs. So that has to change. And let's hope Cutler's disgruntledness doesn't happen here.
The Vikings and Packers will both be formidable opponents in the conference, but we have to be favorites at this point.
In uniform news, Cutler is the first Bear to wear number 6 since the beloved Kevin "Butthead" Butler, the kicker on the '85 Bears team who is the all-time team leader in points. Anyone who happened to own his old jersey need only change the "B" to a "C" and you can save yourself $80.