Bears' GM Emery Calling Jay Cutler His "Franchise" Quarterback Is a Mistake

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) walks of the field after a play against the Houston Texans in the first half an NFL
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) walks of the field after a play against the Houston Texans in the first half an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

After three offensive coordinators and soon-to-be two head coaches, Jay Cutler is the Chicago Bears "franchise" quarterback, General Manager Phil Emery confirmed at his post-season press conference on Tuesday.

Emery's press conference was held a day after he fired Head Coach Lovie Smith after nine seasons with the Bears. In a very candid and refreshing press conference, Emery admitted that it was the Bears offensive futility that cost Smith his job.

Emery spoke of the need for a new coach who inspires leadership. He spoke of how he needs to replace the offensive line. He spoke of the need for running back Matt Forte to contribute more, and how the offensive coordinator needs to do a better job getting Forte the ball.

All true. The one problem with an otherwise inspiring press conference was the one name he left out. Quarterback Jay Cutler.

Not only did he not site Cutler in his list of areas that need to improve or be replaced, but he went a step further and said Cutler was his "franchise" quarterback.

Team Chairman George McCaskey went all in on Cutler when he told the Chicago Sun-Times that "Jay Cutler is the most talented quarterback the Bears have [had] here in the last 60 years."

Really? Cutler threw 19 touchdowns for 3,033 yards this year for the 28th ranked offense. Rex Grossman threw 23 touchdowns for 3,193 yards in 2006 for the 15th ranked offense, his first full season playing.

I wrote here last time that Cutler continues to get a free pass in Chicago. Emery's and McCaskey's comments regarding Cutler confirms my suspicion that the Bears' management believes he's the quarterback of the future, no questions asked.

There is no doubt that Cutler is the best quarterback the Bears have on their team. He probably is better now than any quarterback that the Bears could get in next year's draft with such a low first round pick.

But it's the mind-set that the Bears don't need a backup plan at quarterback, and that there's no need to explore trade options or free agent quarterback signings that's going to be the Bears' downfall in the long run.

With Cutler as quarterback, the Bears' offense has ranked 23rd, 30th, 24th and 28th in the league.

During this time, they've fired two offensive coordinators and a head coach.

Current coordinator Mike Tice might also be fired after finding himself on the hot seat this season, which would make it three coordinators fired.

What other quarterback needs so many people to get fired before he can lead his team to a Super Bowl championship?