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updated: 2/6/2013 10:19 AM

Why can't Bears solve QB dilemma?

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  • Will Bears quarterback Jay Cutler show enough improvement under new head coach Marc Trestman to finally become an elite quarterback in the NFL?

      Will Bears quarterback Jay Cutler show enough improvement under new head coach Marc Trestman to finally become an elite quarterback in the NFL?
    RICK WEST | Staff Photographer

  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has led his team to five playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title.

      Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has led his team to five playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title.
    Associated Press

  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn't started a full NFL season, yet he took his team to the Super Bowl.

      San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn't started a full NFL season, yet he took his team to the Super Bowl.
    Associated Press

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft pick who has become one of the all-time great QBs in the NFL.

      New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft pick who has become one of the all-time great QBs in the NFL.
    Associated Press

  • Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took his new team to the playoffs in his first season in Denver.

      Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took his new team to the playoffs in his first season in Denver.
    Associated Press

 
 

The Bears' attempt to find or fix a quarterback is so exasperating.

This shouldn't be as complicated as the Cubs finally winning a World Series or Northwestern qualifying for the NCAA basketball tournament. Bears general manager Phil Emery doesn't have to solve the state's pension problem or reduce the federal debt.

It's only a freaking quarterback, for gosh sakes, but the Bears make trying to turn Jay Cutler into an elite QB seem like trying to turn a mute donkey into Hamlet.

Quality quarterbacks are everywhere in the NFL, like on both sides of Super Bowl XLVII in the improbable Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick.

OK, so maybe they aren't everywhere. They aren't in Buffalo and Cleveland, Jacksonville and Kansas City, Arizona and elsewhere.

But established top quarterbacks are in New England and Denver, New Orleans and Green Bay. Emerging top quarterbacks are in Seattle and Washington, Carolina and Indianapolis.

So why not here?

Cutler was a reasonably established top quarterback -- if making the Pro Bowl constitutes being reasonably established -- when he was traded from Denver to Chicago.

Yet four years later Cutler is at best back to being an emerging top quarterback. Things just seem to go backward around here, don't they?

If Flacco and Kaepernick were dropped onto the Bears' roster the past couple years they'd be on their way to successful careers selling computer software. You know, like Brett Favre would have become a Mississippi farmer sooner than later and Aaron Rodgers a California accountant if they had landed at Halas Hall instead of Green Bay.

Just look at what Jim Harbaugh -- a former Bears quarterback of all things -- did in just two seasons as head coach in San Francisco. He drafted and developed Kaepernick into a Super Bowl quarterback and developed and benched Alex Smith in November even though he was having a better season than Cutler.

That's supposed to change now that new head coach Marc Trestman is charged with mentoring Cutler into being all he should be.

The Bears have been so desperate for so long at the position that they had to pay a high price -- including a couple first-round draft choices -- to make Cutler the latest in a long list of candidates to be their franchise quarterback.

By contrast Baltimore merely moved down in the first round for Flacco; San Francisco moved up in the second round for Kaepernick; and each was snatched from a relatively obscure college program.

Indianapolis drafted Peyton Manning first overall and Denver signed him later as a free agent. New Orleans signed Drew Brees as a free agent when his health was in question. Green Bay took Aaron Rodgers at No. 24 in the first round. New England took Tom Brady in the sixth round.

You see, there are all sorts of ways to acquire a top quarterback. Yet the Bears tried nearly all of them and wound up with the likes of Cade McNown in the draft and Rick Mirer in a trade.

Not much of what the Bears tried has worked, not even with Cutler who after four years in Chicago and seven in the NFL remains a work in progress.

Halas Hall has been where quarterbacks come to die and they bury general managers and head coaches along with them.

Now Marc Trestman is assigned to cure what ails Jay Cutler and together they are assigned to overcome the Bears' quarterback tradition.

Please, fellas, make this easier than it has been the past six decades.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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