Bears head coach John Fox has maintained that Chicago is Mike Glennon's "team," but a quarterback controversy could be inevitable after the organization traded up in the draft to acquire Mitchell Trubisky last month.
According to the team's all-time leader in nearly every passing statistic, the Bears must take a patient approach with the 22-year-old, even if it costs them in the short-term.
Jay Cutler joined "The Herd" on Monday and explained to guest host Doug Gottlieb where the Bears need to focus moving forward.
Cutler, who left the NFL to join FOX Sports as an NFL analyst in a move announced last week, also addressed his departure from Chicago and his new career.
Doug Gottlieb: “I’ve heard you say that [the Bears] ‘shouldn’t play Trubisky. No matter how far downhill it goes, you should let him sit, you should let him learn, you got Mike Glennon, you’ll be fine.’ Can Chicago create the type of environment that allows him to be successful?”
Jay Cutler: “I think they can. I think they’ve got the people there that know what it takes to have a good quarterback. I mean you look across the league and to have good quarterback play, you’ve got to have good players around the quarterback. That’s just kind of how it goes. There’s no one out there winning games and throwing for huge numbers unless they have some [good players] around them.
"I think maybe the one rare exception to that rule is Aaron [Rodgers], because he makes so many plays outside the pocket and on the run. Other than that, guys have really good players around them.
"I think the Bears know that. You look at the roster now and I’m sure there’s going to be some guys that flash and are a little bit unexpected. And maybe the kid comes in and he’s unbelievable and he lights up training camp and he’s a lot more ready than anyone thinks. That’s definitely a possibility.
"But with Dowell [Loggains] there, the offensive coordinator, and John Fox, he’s been around the block a lot, and Ryan Pace coming from New Orleans, seeing how they mold around the quarterback - they’ve definitely got people there that know what they’re doing, it’s just finding the right guys.”
Patrick GorskiPatrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Doug Gottlieb: “Give me the quarterback who’s a lot better than we think, he’s just not surrounded by a good enough cast.”
Jay Cutler: “I think Matt Stafford’s starting to get a lot more [publicity]. People are starting to see how talented he is. And, I mean, he’s gotten a lot better as he’s gone through the league like anybody else. He didn’t win a lot of games early on. He’s a super, super talented guy, he just didn’t have a lot of weapons. He always had Calvin [Johnson], but you can only pump it up to Calvin so many times per game. You’ve got to have a good defense, special teams, and you’ve got to have a really good offensive line. Everyone’s starting to realize how good of a player he really is.
Matt MartonMatt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Doug Gottlieb: "You've been through a lot with the Chicago Bears.... When you found out that they were going to release you, how did you feel?"
Jay Cutler: “It was mixed emotions. I had a good feeling that it was coming. In my exit interviews with Ryan Pace - I mean he’s a positive guy and I wish him all the best - I had a gut feeling they were going to go in a different direction, you know, and I think that both sides kind of felt it was time. For the good or the bad, whatever it is. I think everyone just felt it was time to go in a different direction.”
Dennis WierzbickiDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Doug Gottlieb: “Had you decided to retire before you did the FOX interview and audition?”
Jay Cutler: “I was definitely leaning that way. I was pretty set that if it went well with FOX that, ultimately, that would be the route I would go.”
Doug Gottlieb: “How did you prep for the audition?”
Jay Cutler: “That’s a great question. You know, I’ve watched sports my whole life. You hear analysts and the play-by-play guys and you know that that’s part of the game, but I’ve never sat down and thought about ‘what if I was actually doing that job, what all does that entail? What goes into that? What do you say?’
"So I had to go back and watch games and be like ‘alright, what’s the analyst saying? When does he talk? When does he not talk? And kind of just see what that dance is like between the play-by-play and the analyst. It was interesting. And I’ve watched enough football and been around football enough to fill in the gaps and add some different perspectives to it. I think there’s definitely an art form to doing that job, which was completely foreign to me.”
Benny SieuBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Doug Gottlieb: “If retired Jay Cutler could tell rookie Jay Cutler how to better navigate the league, what would you tell yourself?”
Jay Cutler: “I don’t think rookie me was even ready for anything that I could tell him right now, to be honest. I think you have to go through some bumps and grow and experience some things. I think it’s a progression as you go along, and I think that applies to life in general. I don’t think 18-year-olds, 20-year-olds, 22-year-olds are really every going to take all theadvice in the world that their future self would give them.”