Bears quarterback Jay Cutler hasn't finished an entire 16-game season since 2009. Last year, he missed five games and couldn't finish two others due to groin and ankle injuries. Staying healthy has been the focus of Cutler's offseason, and the hope is bulking up helps him achieve that goal.
"Jay has really worked hard in the offseason, and he has always been a hard worker in his conditioning and his training, but he has really amped it up," Head coach Marc Trestman said in a recent radio interview. "He's bigger, he's stronger than a year ago, and he has really focused on staying physically well for the entire season. That's No. 1 — we've got to keep him standing, keep him safe. And we see the improvements he's made in working on different issues in his mechanics, and I think he's feeling very comfortable back there in Year 2."
It would also help if the Bears protect him up front, something they drastically improved upon from 2012 to 2013. Cutler is in a QB-friendly system, surrounded by a couple of outstanding wideouts -- the two best in the league? -- and one of the league's top pass-catching running backs. However, Bad Jay Cutler still showed up way too often last season. He is still committing too many turnovers and has never thrown more than 27 touchdowns in any of his eight seasons. Maybe that will change with those hinted-at mechanical improvements. The upside is certainly there with Cutler in this offense, but I think he's a low-end QB1 at best. FFToolbox's initial 2014 rankings, to which I don't contribute, has Cutler ranked seventh among quarterbacks. I think that is too high.