Get on board with Jay; it's not too late

For RedEye

We have been programmed to give up on offensive football when it comes to the Bears. After all, most of the franchise's immortals are defensive players.

Initially, I was a frequent armchair quarterback critic of Jay Cutler.

A friend of mine, who is a music producer, came up with a phrase/song that signified Cutler's gunslinger mentality. It was called "Cutler Style." Anytime Cutler threw an interception, we played the video, which is still on YouTube, by the way.

After observing how Bears fans reacted to Cutler's injury in the 2010 season's NFC championship game against Green Bay, I knew he received a raw deal. Many people in the Chicago area enrolled in medical school overnight. The Monday afterward, everyone was an expert.

In the years since, many Bears fans have entered into the realm of "fan dumb" when it comes to Cutler. Many wanted the Bears to bring back Josh McCown, who was coaching high school football not that long ago, instead of Cutler.

Let's be thankful Phil Emery and Marc Trestman ignored those folks.

Even though I've been a Cutler apologist since that NFC title game, I've come to the realization that the upcoming season is his time to prove his worth.

Cutler now has all the weapons necessary to be successful. The last time he had an entire offense to work with was in his third season with Denver, when he made the Pro Bowl.

Bears fans look around the league and see what Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning have done and want the same from Cutler.

Remember, J'Marcus Webb was protecting Cutler's backside for the majority of the time. Also, remember the Sunday night game against the N.Y. Giants a few seasons ago when Cutler was sacked so many times he got up and went to the wrong sideline?

We saw what can happen to an elite quarterback when an offensive line can't provide decent protection (see last year's Super Bowl).

What quarterback you know can work under those conditions?

I'll wait.

Evan F. Moore is a RedEye special contributor.

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