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Does Lovie Smith’s Future Depend on Jay Cutler’s Success?

The Chicago Tribune chats about the union between coach and QB – Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler. They say that Smith’s future could directly be tied to Cutler, and his success this year and beyond in the Windy City:

The union of Jay Cutler with new offensive coordinator Mike Martz is supposed to be the move that catapults the Bears into the fast lane. The play caller has had tremendous success and not just in St. Louis where he worked with a future Hall of Famer in Kurt Warner. Statistically, his passing offenses made significant jumps in Detroit and San Francisco and Martz has simply raved about Cutler, calling him one of the most intelligent and gifted passers he’s ever been around.

But intelligence and skill only went so far for Cutler a year ago when he led the NFL in interceptions and was particularly awful in the red zone, costing the Bears two games right there. Cutler possesses the arm strength to stand out in Martz’s scheme and the belief is he has the accuracy to excel. It’s a timing based system and he’s going to need to be on the same page as his receivers, the ones that looked like they were in different chapters of the playbook at times in the beginning of last season.

General manager Jerry Angelo essentially hitched his future and that of coach Lovie Smith to Cutler when the bold trade was made more than a year ago. As team president Ted Phillips announced at the Three Bears press conference in early January, the status quo hasn’t cut it, and the Bears must show substantial improvement in 2010. Most figure it’s playoffs or bust. So Cutler, who clearly wasn’t enthused to be working with Ron Turner a year ago, needs to embrace the scheme.

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