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Article posted: 3/15/2013 5:29 AM

If Bears struggle, don't give Cutler all the blame

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So the current consensus is that since the Chicago Bears picked up some new players on offense, there'll be no one left to blame but Jay Cutler if they fail.

Look, I'm not a fan of this guy, but it seems to me the media is getting ready to position Cutler as the scapegoat if the team gets off to a slow start. The perception seems to be the Bears are going to be the 49ers of the 1980s.

If Matt Forte fumbles will we blame Cutler?

If the potentially average offensive line gives up a sack will we blame Jay?

If Brandon Marshall drops the ball in the end zone will it only be Jay's fault?

And, of course, Jay will be blamed for an aging defense and any special-teams missteps.

C'mon. You and I will blame Cutler for a lot of things, but the message in football should be team -- nothing in football can be one man's fault completely.

Yes, he's the leader of the offense and his demeanor and attitude will catch him some flack, but the NFL bleacher report lists Cutler as the NFL's 17th-rated quarterback in the league. ESPN.com quarterback ratings list him as only 20th, so can you blame a middle-of-the-road QB for everything that goes wrong on the field?

When the Bears acquired Cutler, the expectations were he was only going to get better, but that hasn't happened.

Can new head coach Marc Trestman make him better? We will find out.

All I know is the last spot they may have to fill down the line may be the quarterback position, but please don't just blame Cutler because he's simply ordinary.

Questions arise for Rose:

The Bulls are tired, beat up and mentally seem out of it. They are all waiting for Derrick Rose to return, and what wasn't a distraction has become one.

Owner Jerry Reinsdorf is being cautious with good reason -- D-Rose is the future for this team.

Listen, it's OK for the kid to say he's nervous. I'd be nervous, too.

The Bulls may be enabling him, but that's understandable. Reinsdorf wanted to shut down Michael Jordan for longer when he hurt his foot, but Jordan came back early and said what will be will be. He never got hurt again, but Jordan had a different injury and was, in my opinion, tougher mentally.

Knee injuries can be especially rough, but when doctors say you are OK to play and you don't, questions arise.

I just think everyone should take a step back and let cooler heads prevail. Be patient.

Understand that he's afraid with good reason and don't blame him or the Bulls, but if D-Rose is waiting to be 100 percent, he may never play again.

Program note:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Ch. 50 at 6 a.m. Friday and Monday.

Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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