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Compare and contrast: Jay Feely on Jay Cutler, Ryan Pace on Drew Brees

A player who was here for a month nails Jay Cutler's lack of leadership.

Jay Feely was a Bear for a month and figured it out: Jay Cutler isn’t a leader and can’t grow into it.

“I don’t think so,’’ Feely said Wednesday on Sirius XM radio. “Not as a leader. That’s not who he is. You’re going to have a vacuum there. So you have to know that as a general manager and head coach, hey, we’re not going to have that leadership from this position, so we really need other guys that are going to step up and are going to be our verbal leaders.’’

That’s how you get Brandon Marshall and his loud fake leadership that no one wants to follow. And that’s how you get to 5-11.

Feely didn’t say much that we didn’t already know, or at least strongly suspect. But again, Feely was here for just December in place of injured Robbie Gould and he nailed it.

“Here’s my thing with quarterbacks in general: You are the person that every guy in that locker room looks to,’’ Feely said. “When there’s a problem, they look to the quarterback. They want the quarterback to lead. When you have a quarterback who doesn’t like to lead, it leaves a hole in that team.’’

Feely played with Brett Favre at the end, Eli Manning near the beginning and Mark Sanchez somewhere in the middle. He has seen a variety of talent and locker room personalities, and knows when a group is rudderless.

Feely has played for seven teams in his 14 NFL seasons. He started under Dan Reeves and then moved to Tom Coughlin. Not a lot to yuks there, but no lack of discipline and confidence.

He played for both Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians in Arizona, two guys who’ve won games and respect in equal measure. So he knows a coach who utterly abdicates leadership when he sees Marc Trestman, and knows how perfect new coach John Fox is for the Bears’ empty and sometimes toxic situation.

“They lacked leadership in the locker room from players and also from the coaching staff,’’ Feely said. “Trestman was a super-nice guy. I really liked him. But I don’t think he held guys accountable enough, and I don’t think he had enough leadership in that locker room.

“Talent is not an issue, That team is loaded with talent. I think John Fox is the guy to go in there. He’ll bring discipline, which they need. He’ll bring accountability, which they need. He’ll get the most out of those players.’’

Now, can rookie Bears general manager Ryan Pace figure out who he has to get out of that locker room first?

How can Pace let the Bears founder around for another season following a turnover-prone quarterback who doesn't want anyone to follow him?

Let’s compare Feely’s comments on Cutler to Pace’s comments on Drew Brees during his introductory news conference:

--“The quarterback obviously is a critical, critical position to achieve sustained success.’’

--“I witnessed previous things with Drew Brees that I have in my mind that I know why he was successful and those are ingrained in me.’’

--“Intangibles’’ matter far more with the quarterback than any other position.

Pace said he wanted to get to know Cutler before concluding what we all know already: The quarterback can’t check all the championship quarterback boxes.

By saying he wanted to get to know Cutler, Pace avoided saying Cutler’s dour personality is nothing close to the example anyone would choose for the most important leadership role on the roster.

Pace indicated everything changed with the Saints when Brees went to work with Sean Payton. The coach and quarterback exuded leadership, confidence and, yes, charisma.

Pace always mentions charisma. Cutler forgot to get in line the day that was passed out. Ditto, leadership. He has shown no desire to change either now.

What has changed since Cutler got here, however, are head coaches, offensive coordinators and excuses for not winning a Super Bowl or even getting to the playoffs.

The main thing that hasn’t changed is Cutler. Even someone who was here for just a month knows it.

Connect the dots, Ryan.

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