Bears need to clean house from top to bottom
I remember when Jay Cutler came to the Chicago Bears in 2009 amid excited and hopeful fans everywhere - except at my house.
I knew the Denver Broncos would not have let him go if they thought he could get the job done.
Cutler was above average the first few years in Chicago and even tasted the playoffs in 2010. While I never questioned the strength of his passing arm, I didn't believe he had a winner's mentality.
Don Beebe, a six-time Super Bowl participant, told me on my Fox Sports Radio show over a year ago that Cutler didn't have the character to lead a team to a Super Bowl.
From my view, Cutler's sideline demeanor has been unacceptable from day one. Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk said on Fox Sports Daybreak that Cutler changed after his big contract: "Jay Cutler got paid and Jay Cutler shifted to autopilot."
Despite all of the evidence and opinions, I don't believe all the blame should fall on Cutler. Head coach Marc Trestman and Bears GM Phil Emery should be given their walking papers also because they should have known better.
What could they have been thinking when they made him the highest-paid football player in the league this season?
And I still believe last year's backup, Josh McCown, would have been a better fit for this football team at a lot less money.
While many in the Chicago sports media will be making declarations about what the Bears need to do next, most of them bought into Cutler from the beginning so their advice is questionable in my book.
I don't care if Cutler holds several records for the Bears, including most passing yards (18,553) and most completions (1,605), because we all know holding quarterback records for the Bears is like me being valedictorian of my summer school class.
Besides, this year he also holds the worst stat for quarterbacks: a league high 24 turnovers.
It has been a cash grab and Cutler can't leave this town fast enough. Good judgment is needed by a general manager, a scouting department and a head coach to succeed in the NFL, but no one in the Bears organization seems to have it.
I blame the players, the ownership and team president Ted Phillips for this debacle. How long does Phillips get a pass anyway? Who's going to be held accountable?
I've been watching the Bears for 50 years, and I've seen many bad teams including a 1-13 team in 1969, but there was always effort and tenacity. No one was shutting off their televisions then.
Trestman called his locker room a community of players. No, it's a just room of players - not a community.
Here is the type of weak environment Trestman has created: he suspended tight end Martellus Bennett for fighting cornerback Kyle Fuller in practice during training camp. I guess he set the tone back then.
It's time to replace these guys. Hey, I want the GM job. I didn't think I was qualified, but now I guess any of us are after this year!
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• 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.