15 on 6: Cutler still in pursuit of perfection

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15 on 6: Cutler still in pursuit of perfection

Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010
7:07 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

It's easy to travel back from Toronto feeling good about a Bears victory.

Defense preserved a win and the offense converted 58 percent of their third downs along with scoring down in the redzone when goal to goal situations arise.

Lovie Smith nailed it in his postgame press conference, "it's a good place to start for growth". The bears were balanced running and passing, but your imagination runs wild what they are capable of - if or when - they put it all together.

Jay's stats look nice: 97 rating, 2 TD's, 17-for-30 for 188 yards, but he should have shredded the Bills and their last ranked defense. He was inaccurate with some throws which should have been easy completions and made some ill-advised passes as well. Throwing the ball late to Greg Olsen on a middle read when he was triple covered is just never going to be a good outcome. Jay is lucky to be playing the Bills on that play, whose lone interception this year is by linebacker Andra Davis, and he did not even suit up on Sunday.

I only bring this decision up because the bears left points on the board again! The following play, Robbie Gould missed a 42-yard field goal.

When you are struggling offensively, points are at a premium and jay needs to respect that.

Jay nicely tucked it and ran several times earlier in the game and this situation called for it as well. The bills dropped eight into coverage and were playing prevent almost daring Jay to dump it off and kick a field goal. If he just tucks it and runs, he gets 5-10 yards and Robbie is kicking a 32 yarder instead. A good defense intercepts that throw and Robbie would not of even run onto the field.

Clean it up

A lot of positives, but Mike Martz cannot let a win cloud what Jay needs to correct.

Poor footwork and three poor decisions are all correctable. A 188-yard game should have been 250. A nail biter should have been blown open.

The pursuit for the perfect game continues.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

This is apparently the week of Jay Cutler news.

Reports surfaced earlier this week the Bears are pushing hard to find a trade partner for the enigmatic quarterback, though Ian Rapoport reported the organization informed Cutler in mid-January they were shopping him around.

It seems clear Cutler's time in Chicago has come to an end and an ensuing move is more of a formality at this point.

But apparently Cutler may not even suit up again...for ANY team.

Rapoport reported on NFL Network Wednesday night Cutler is mulling over retirement, even as he's healthy and working out now after shoulder surgery.

"There's no guarantee Cutler even plays in 2017, one of several veterans who are still considering whether they want to play or not play, retire, walk away. A lot of things at play here for Jay Cutler."

Host Dan Hellie immediately followed up, asking for clarification on the retirement part.

"It is a consideration; it's something he's confided in people," Rapoport said. "But Dan, I would say, it's not a surprise for quarterbacks this age. We've heard [Ben] Roethlisberger talk about it; we've heard Tony Romo talk about it. If it's not perfect, if he can't find the team he wants or the contract he wants, it's very easy for Jay Cutler to walk away."

Whoa.

Cutler, 33, has made more than $112 million in his 11-year career and is owed at least another $2 million in 2017, even if he's cut by the Bears.

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Bears also announced the additions of assistant coaches Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II Wednesday morning:

Staley will replace Clint Hurtt as outside linebackers coach and Swinton will be the assistant special teams coach under Jeff Rodgers.

Swinton is reprising his role he held on the Bears coaching staff in 2015 before leaving to take a promotion with the San Francisco 49ers special teams. 

Hurtt left the Bears to take a position as the defensive line coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Staley spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Division-III John Carroll University, the alma mater of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.