The most obvious thing that makes this a terrific hire is that Jay Cutler wanted it. Or, if he didn’t push for it in the Lake Forest hallways, he at least didn’t drop an F-bomb the way he used the last quarterbacks coach.
Cutler worked with Bates as his quarterbacks coach in Denver, where Cutler had his two most accurate and least abused seasons. Compare and contrast his last two seasons with the Bears that ended with injury.
It doesn’t matter that Bates has never called plays for Cutler. It’s that he knows what plays to call.
His successful history with Cutler leads you to believe he’ll suggest to offensive coordinator Mike Tice --- no, wait, push hard for --- every kind of play that puts Cutler in the best spot to succeed by taking advantage of his greatest assets.
Sort of the opposite of Mike Martz.
Last year’s Bears offense was at its best after Cutler publicly slapped around the idiot play-calling that displayed no clue regarding the talent on the team, just adherence to the playbook’s seven-step drops and chalk outlines.
In Denver, Cutler ran bootlegs and rollouts --- moving pockets that took advantage of his ability to throw accurately on the run, as opposed to his vulnerability because of no pockets with the Bears.
In Denver, Cutler ran a West Coast offense with a 60-40 pass-run ratio. That won’t happen here, if only because the Bears don’t have the Broncos’ reliable offensive line. Broncos linemen have always been taught to play dirty with the leg whips. Bears linemen have always been taught to play out of position.
I mean, just look: The left tackle is a right tackle, the left guard is a tackle, the center is a guard, the right guard is a center, and the right rackle is a guard. Go ahead, Jay. Say “Hike.’’ Dare you.
So, when you think about it, the best thing Bates can do to help Cutler is tell everybody the line can’t pass block.
The next-best thing Bates can do is tell everybody that Devin Hester is not the Bears’ No. 1 receiver.
Or tell everybody the Bears don’t have a No. 1 receiver.
Or even a No. 2.
Because until someone with authority understands how lame the line and receivers are compared to the Super Bowl-winning New York Football Giants, Bates won’t mean squat as Cutler again will be all dressed up with no place to throw.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun