Originally written on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 8/26/12

Jay Cutler finished the third preseason game against the New York Giants an unspectacular 9 out of 21 for 96 yards and one touchdown.  Cutler's first real return to action exposed him for the QB he is, an extremely gifted quarterback physically, who has some of the worst fundamental flaws in the NFL.

Cutler's refusal to get better from a fundamental standpoint is downright maddening.  His reliance upon his arm strength rather than proper footwork and mechanics to make throws causes him huge accuracy problems.

It's beating a dead horse with Cutler and it will continue to plague the Bears offense.

Certainly it's only a preseason game, but the fundamental flaws to Cutler's game will eventually keep the Bears from winning games.

To be fair, Cutler did experience some pressure from the Giants front four.  However to be fairly critical in the evaluation the vast majority of the pressure was not so bad that it should have kept Cutler from completing his passes.

Perhaps the most mind-blowing missed pass was to a wide open Earl Bennett over the middle.  Cutler looks left tries a slight pump fake then immediately tries to throw to Bennett.  Cutler does not have his shoulders square to his target and his footwork is completely off.  The ball sails on him and goes right over Bennett.

This type of fundamental flaw is what keeps Cutler from being an elite QB.  Cutler completed 58-percent of his passes during the 2011 season.  To be fair he was also the victim of 21 dropped passes likely one of the highest drop rates in the NFL.

Had Cutler completed all 21 of those passes his completion percentage would have gone up to 64-percent, good for among the top five in the NFL.

The fundamental flaw in this otherwise simple logic is this, we don't know how many of those drops occurred during Cutler's missed five games, and we know that it's impossible to expect a receiver to go through an entire season with zero drops.

Those drops are also not likely to diminish in 2012 with the arrival of Brandon Marshall.  Marshall was tied for second in the NFL with the most drops among receivers with 14.

But this article isn't about other QBs, it isn't about the Bears wide receivers, nor is it about the Bears offensive line those are three separate articles entirely.

This article about Jay Cutler and the need for him to improve on his fundamentals and his consistency as an NFL quarterback.  His footwork  needs to improve to increase his accuracy.  There is no reason Cutler shouldn't be on of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL. 

While Cutler is better than every Bears QB that has come before him, he should also be held to a much higher standard than what amounts to some of the worst QB play in the history of the NFL.  

Cutler  needs to play at a level among the best QBs of the last decade and his accuracy and production should reflect that. 

It's past time Jay Cutler takes him game to an elite level, and his game by game production needs to be relatively consistent for the next four to five seasons.

The lifespan of an NFL QB is longer than many other positions, but what is apparent is Jay Cutler is in the prime of his career.  His development as an NFL QB needs to be at the highest level he can achieve, his skills are maxed out and his play should reflect that.

Now more than ever Jay Cutler's play needs to be as such that he can carry this franchise, carry this team.  The Bears made this trade with the future in mind, the talent around Cutler is as good as it's ever going to be and the results need to reflect all that the Bears gave up for.

The Bears traded for a franchise quarterback, it's time for Jay Cutler to completely take control of the franchise and lead it to a never before seen level of success.

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