So if Jay Cutler gets injured, what then?

Published8/21/2009 12:01 AM

With all the hoopla over Jay Cutler, the vaunted "new" passing game, and the Super Bowl train headed for Miami, it's not surprising that this has been overlooked.

And I hate to ask, but, uh, when exactly are the Bears planning to get that backup quarterback?


It's nearly the final week of August. Do you know where your replacement QB is?

No, seriously. Don't say Caleb Hanie because you don't mean that. Not really. No offense to Hanie, but no one really believes that, do they?

Sure, the Bears will tell you he's the guy, as they have for months, while searching for just the right veteran QB to slide into that No. 2 spot as an insurance policy.

But it's getting kind of late.

Of course, it's possible the Bears' philosophy on this is that the season's flushed anyway if Cutler gets hurt, so why bother getting a No. 2.

That does have a whiff of Bears logic to it, but you can't play it that way.

If Cutler goes down, the Bears still have to play the games, and in a bad conference you only need to stay afloat until your No. 1 QB returns.

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Besides, they sold all these tickets and all this advertising. The games, as it were, must go on.

And the world is awash with stories of Gus Frerottes, Brad Johnsons and Kerry Collins who have miraculous seasons, win games and make the playoffs.

Whether they can function as well as your No. 1 is really missing the point, which is that you have to put someone in there who has a clue because your fan base sort of demands that, what with having suffered for decades and paying all that money, and, well, you know the rest.

The Bears have done this before, gone into a season with no contingency plan, including in 2005 when they got lucky and stumbled into Kyle Orton after Rex Grossman was injured in the preseason and Chad Hutchinson flunked out.

It's a dangerous way to approach an NFL season, where QBs rarely go the distance.

So the question remains, where's that veteran backup in case something happens to Cutler?


There's got to be one out there somewhere, and just so you know, Jeff George is making another comeback.

And waiting for your call.


The reality

Interesting point made by offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who continues to be a voice of reason amid the insanity when it comes to expectations for Cutler in 2009.

On the now infamous interception, for which Cutler blamed Devin Hester last week, Turner said, "(Cutler) got a little bit of pressure, so he slid up in the pocket. Once his rhythm is off, he's got to forget about (the primary receiver), come off and take his check-down. He'll learn that with more reps."

More reps? That sounds more like Rex Grossman than John Elway and is just another reminder that Cutler is a work in progress and not quite a Hall of Famer.

This isn't going to happen overnight, but it'll be fascinating to see how patient Bears fans are after Cutler has been built up to perhaps unattainable levels.

That, by the way, is not Cutler's fault.

Greens fees

The cost of those horrendously bumpy, poa greens in Minnesota was a PGA Championship for several players, not just Tiger Woods.

And Tiger will never use it as an excuse, but the number of players - including Jim Furyk, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson - who constantly were shaking their heads after putts turned the wrong way, is absurd and unconscionable for a major.

You just don't see players on Sunday repeatedly motioning at the hole as if they can't believe what the ball hit, how it bounced and where it went.

Bad putts are one thing, but these guys don't misread 15 times in a round. There's something horribly wrong with that.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

Saw a report on TV this week about how the Blackhawks are having a rough summer.

Not sure it makes sense.

Former GM Dale Tallon bungled the qualifying offers.

Tallon signed Marian Hossa but failed to disclose that Hossa was hurt, unless he just didn't know Hossa was hurt, which is even worse.

The NHL is investigating the signing of Hossa to a contract that will pay him until he's 83 years old.

Tallon's No. 1 pick in the entire 2007 draft was arrested in Buffalo.

And Tallon was fired.

Sounds like Tallon's having a bad summer, more so than the team he used to manage.

On the other hand, Tallon got a contract extension and gets paid to play golf, so how bad is that?


To former Rolling Meadows resident Mike Rizzo, officially named GM in Washington. Rizzo has a huge task ahead of him in building the Nationals, but if anyone is up to the challenge of finding young talent, it's Rizzo.

Make me laugh

A few of David Letterman's Top Ten Reasons Brett Favre Came Out Of Retirement:

• No reason to stay home every day now that "Guiding Light" has been canceled.

• Worried Obama's death panels might try to take him out.

• In this economy, someone offers a job, you grab it.

• Couldn't take another trip to Pottery Barn with the wife.

• Who could resist chance to spend glorious winter in Minnesota?

Best headline "Nats advise Strasburg to wait a few weeks to cash that bonus check."

And finally -

Comedian Alex Kaseberg: "Personally, I cannot imagine an NFL without Brett Favre - primarily because he won't give me a freaking chance."

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