It’s time: Jay Cutler must go
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Do you remember when Bears chairman George McCaskey said his mother, Bears owner Virginia McCaskey, was “pissed off’’ because the team was so bad?
It was late-December 2014, and Mom had agreed to the firing of second-year coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery after they had put up back-to-back 8-8 and 5-11 seasons.
She was disgusted and angry, said George, and whoa, baby, she was 91. Make way for the nonagenarian!
Virginia will be 94 in four months, and God bless her George Halas soul, but the Bears are 6-12 since that 2014 firing and the subsequent hiring of the revisionist tag team of coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace.
Indeed, the Bears are 0-2 this season and in last place in the NFC North. They have so many injuries and so much confusion that a 5-11 season seems like a reach.
Will Virginia be ticked off enough if that were to happen that she’d agree to the trash-canning of second-year guys Fox and Pace, a la her Trestman and Emery dumping?
Not certain. How ornery and impatient can 94-year-olds be? It was nonagenarian comic George Burns who said, “I don’t even buy green bananas.’’
But Virginia’s steam pipe should be spewing pretty good right now, age be damned.
The Bears embarrassed themselves and the entire franchise on ‘‘Monday Night Football,’’ losing to the Eagles and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz 29-14. In the process, they had to make an entire country think back to when the Bears were an actual threat to do anything.
When was that?
Uh. We have to go back to early in the Lovie Smith era, like a decade ago when the Bears went to Super Bowl XLI and got waxed by the Peyton Manning-led Colts.
Lovie’s ultimate reward? He was fired in 2012 after his team went — steady now — a mere 10-6.
A 10-6 record seems like Greek mythology for the current Bears. Remember, Fox historically is a genius in his second year, always turning his teams around after a developmental year. He did it with the Panthers. He did it with the Broncos.
Meet the Bears, Mr. Fox. There’s something fundamentally wrong here, in Year 2, and — who knows? — maybe you’re a large part of it. Maybe time has passed you by. Maybe . . . aw, phooey, maybe the Bears are simply doomed as currently constructed and managed and coached and haunted.
And if there’s a symbol of this team’s mediocrity, dispassion and lack of leadership, it’s quarterback Jay Cutler.
If you saw Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee yelling at Cutler as the quarterback came off the field after a turnover against the Eagles, you know there’s a vacuum of epic proportions on the Bears.
Can you imagine a linebacker, a defensive player who has nothing to do with the offense — an injured one in street clothes, no less! —yelling angrily at Tom Brady? At Drew Brees? At Trevor Siemian, for God’s sake?
Never. Or when he does, he gets cut or busted down severely by the head coach. Or by the quarterback, who tells him to go fly a kite and die.
Cutler is a strong-armed athlete with zero soul, zero charisma. He can’t help his blank “Cutler face’’ any more than you or I can help our squashed noses when we smell a dead skunk on the highway.
Cutler hurt his thumb at some point against the Eagles — or maybe it was against the Texans the week before, but nobody will admit it — and he didn’t finish the game, turning things over to journeyman Brian Hoyer, who, amazingly, is 15-11 as a starter in the NFL.
Hoyer is not the future. He’s a finger plug in a leaking dyke. But Cutler is not the future, either.
He has shown what he is — a cannon-armed passer with nary a drop of social skills or fire in the belly. All was proven when McPhee yelled at him, the putative leader of the team.
No matter what the Bears say to diminish the incident as just teammates being teammates, it’s not true. Cutler does not lead this team. He runs it the way that idiot teacher did in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’’ the character played by Ben Stein, who monotones, “Bueller? Bueller?’’ until some idiot girl tells him Bueller is “sick.’’
If spitballs were common in Bears offensive meetings, Cutler would get plastered from behind.
Symbols in our lives are more important than we realize. On the Bears, Cutler is an eight-year symbol of blah. Of losing. He must go for the Bears to be reborn.
And they must be reborn. Because they are an NFL laughingstock.
Burns once said, “When I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick.’’
The Bears understand.
Follow me on Twitter @ricktelander.