Cutler should have say in Bears OC hire

Living here in Chicago, I can become a soundboard of sorts when it comes to questions surrounding the Bears, and right now there are plenty of questions about what direction this team is headed when it comes to the coaching staff.

Think about it: the Bears — except for Lovie Smith — don’t have much structure to their staff. Sure, there is Rod Marinelli, who may end up becoming the default defensive coordinator after Perry Fewell joined forces with Tom Coughlin and the Giants yesterday. But outside of the ex-Lions coach, there are still big, gaping holes as this team starts to prepare for the Senior Bowl, the NFL combine, free agency and the draft.

But, what caught the eye of most Bears fans today was the report from the Daily Herald that franchise QB Jay Cutler was sitting in on the meetings with Lovie and GM Jerry Angelo as Chicago searches for a new offensive coordinator.

One thing we have to understand is that whoever is named the new OC in this town is going to have to be able to mesh with Cutler. Call it politics, call it special treatment of the superstar, etc. It doesn’t matter. That is how the NFL works when it comes to the big players with the big paychecks.

It isn’t right, nor is it wrong. It is just the way this league can operate at times. I saw it during my own career with the big-names guys I played with — jersey sellers. They are very much in tune with what is going on when it comes to filling out a coaching staff.

And the team has to comply.

The Bears sources I have talked to all agree that tailoring the offense to meet Cutler’s needs is a priority — a major priority. This past season under Ron Turner? A mistake on the part of the Bears. That offensive system did not play to the strengths of their quarterback, and when you mortgage as much as the Bears did to bring him over from Denver, it makes sense to mold your offensive system — from the install during the week to the play-calling on Sunday — to put together a game plan that is going to make your QB (along with his new contract) produce.

I know there will be a lot of opinions from Bears fans on this, and there will be comments that Cutler is now running the show in Chicago. My take is simple: you have to make superstars — especially quarterbacks — in the NFL comfortable and you have to make them happy and excited to come to work.

Hopefully, soon, the Bears will have an answer for both sides of the football when it comes to finding the right coordinator for Lovie Smith’s defensive scheme and for Jay Cutler’s game — the deep ball, the outside throws and the up-tempo offense that plays to his strengths as a quarterback.

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