From the NFL Camps: The Heat is On!
~ Amy Lignor
As we bid farewell to another NFL camp week, the list of pressurized players is growing in size. There are many who will state Brady has the most to prove this season because of his silly headlines; others state the entire offensive line of the Broncos and/or the offensive line of the Cowboys have the most pressure, because they will each have to step up and protect their QB. However, one of the most pressurized players who actually needs to keep his job this year because, unlike RGIII if he plays bad, this one won’t even get another shot on another team. Who, you ask? Jay Cutler, QB of the Chicago Bears.
Jay Cutler was in the news last season constantly for throwing interception after interception and walking around every game looking like a little child whose pony was taken away by a big, bad monster. From Bears camp this past week, the news for Cutler is good. No, no smiling still. (The guy really might want to go in for a plastic surgery smile implant). Only Grumpy Cat can wear that face and make money. There is a new coach for Cutler – John Fox – as well as a new coordinator – Adam Gase – as well as a new quarterbacks coach – Dowell Loggains. That’s a lot of “new” to help Cutler out, so if the dude fails this time, he really will have no one else to blame. However, starting off this season, Cutler’s arm looks good. The aim is on. The ball is reaching the right people and thus far no interceptions have been logged during practice. It looks…and we’re just saying looks because you never know with this guy, like he is fully conscious of the fact that this season coming up will be his last if he doesn’t prove that he is a QB worth having.
And there are receivers – not big names…yet – but they will be. A. Jeffery and Eddie Royal are making names for themselves in the Bears camp. And RB Matt Forte will certainly add skill to the team.
But, yes, this is Cutler’s pure pressure season. He has to win; he needs to win over really annoyed and aggravated Chicago fans, as well. And that will be just as hard as winning the games. Chicago is an institution that sleeps, eats and breathes football. They had the Super Bowl Shuffle, and if they don’t get the big prize again, it is an absolute certainty that Cutler will be shuffling on out of Chicago and into an early retirement.
One other tidbit, not from Cutler’s painstaking practices, comes from the San Francisco camp. The already messed-up team that is looking to resurrect itself from the depths of…well, you get the drift here. Aldon Smith, a player that San Francisco would really like to actually have play, just cannot live a life without DUI’s and a plethora of other charges, no matter how much he babbles about “never doing it again.” Well, the 49ers had enough of all this. Aldon Smith was let loose; he’s gone from the unit and gone for good from San Fran. According to the coach, they have done everything they can to support Smith and see him through his hardships – trying to ‘clean him up,’ etc. But, they finally had to face the facts that Aldon Smith needs to want to clean up and keep playing football. For right now, he just wants to continue being a moron. And the 49ers can’t risk having him on the field and dragging them down when they are trying like heck to pull themselves up. He is now a free agent, but all teams should realize the word ‘free’ is not a synonym for Smith. He comes with a heavy price, and one that will currently render any team nothing but trouble.