Yes, it was just preseason, and yes it was the very lowly Oakland Raiders, but Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears looked about as dominant as one could expect last night in exhibition game number three. Cutler and the offense looked as “midseason form” as that tired cliche says.
Phil Simms knows a thing or two about quarterbacking, as he was named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXI, after he led the New York Giants to a 39–20 victory over the Denver Broncos and set the record for highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl, going 22 for 25 (88%). Simms currently works with Jim Nantz on the CBS’s lead broadcast team for the NFL. He’s been with CBS since 1998. Phil Simms currently hosts Inside the NFL on Showtime (another CBS holding) with Warren Sapp and Cris Collinsworth.
The first stop for Simms and Nantz this season? Why the Chicago Bears, hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in week one actually. During NFL CBS Media Day, I had an exclusive with Simms, where I asked about Cutler and the Bears
“I think Jay Cutler is probably learning things about the quarterback position that he has never had mentioned to him in his life,” Simms said.
“So is that important? You’re right, it is. It’s very important. You take somebody with his talent and you tweak it a little, you get greatness. You could coach somebody else and coach them enough to be their greatest, and still have an average player, but Jay Cutler is an extremely talented guy, and there’s no doubt he needs to polish his game,” Phil Simms continued.
“If he polishes it up a little, then it’s going to turn out really well. And also the other thing, he’s probably been given less than anybody in the league. I watch ‘em and when I watch the games and I go ‘if he wasn’t the quarterback they would never score.’ He’s avoiding the rush, he’s making good throws, but that never gets recognized by the national media, they’re just going to go on the numbers,” Phil Simms elaborated.
“I’m anxious to see, I’m really excited about having them week one,” Phil Simms continued.
Last night, Cutler really connected with Alshon Jeffrey over and over. If he continues to establish rapport with him, the Bears will really excel this year. You know that Cutler and Brandon Marshall will have a connection this year; just like last season.
Phil Simms and Jim Nantz will call Denver at the Giants in week two. Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers in week three. They’ll have the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Minnesota Vikings in week four.
Other CBS NFL analysts on the Bears outlook this season
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)