“We made that decision. We went through a process of thoroughly evaluating the roster. We’re moving forward with Jay Cutler as our starting quarterback.”
Those were the words of new Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace when asked about the situation regarding the Cutler Question. Despite loud rumors of possibly trading or cutting the veteran quarterback, Pace insists he will be under center in 2015 at Soldier Field. Yet that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the long-term outlook. Pace, if he’s as smart as people say is sure to be looking three or four years ahead. Can he reasonably say Cutler will be that option that long?
That’s why he may choose to get situated right away with a young quarterback in the pipeline, and all signs point to Oregon star Marcus Mariota.
Here are some reasons to believe it.
Let’s get the easiest one out of the way first. Above anything else, Mariota is a talented football player. One doesn’t win the Heisman Trophy without talent. One doesn’t claim two Rose Bowl victories without talent. CBS Sports has him ranked as their third best overall prospect on the board. Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN has him rated 6th on his big board with this to say.
“I think Mariota has done as much as you can at this point in the process to separate himself from the “system QB” label. He can certainly say he has all the tools. What’s great about Mariota is how, despite the rushing yards, you simply can’t call him a “running quarterback.” It’s just way off base to say that and says you’re not watching. He’s a good enough passer that even if you judged him on his passing exploits alone you’d have a really good prospect. He showed improved accuracy and anticipation, and sure, the ability to throw on the run or simply take off and pick up chunks of yardage won’t exactly hurt.”
Suffice to say there is little Mariota can’t do on the field from a physical standpoint. All the criticisms on him are nitpicks from playing in a spread offense to not being very vocal with teammates to never calling plays himself. Just FYI. All those issues can be learned and Mariota has never give any indications he’s unwilling to accept that responsibility.