Cutler says Bears will make playoffs

By S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist

For those Bears fans out there who know (or care), the NFL draft took place last weekend, and the Bears are basically the same team as they were before the draft.

Admittedly, it was difficult to get even remotely excited for this year’s draft, because the Bears didn’t have a pick until the third round (75th overall). When a team has as many holes as the Bears do, the draft is absolutely vital, and as any Bears fans know, the Bears do not draft well.

The Bears gave up their first-round draft pick to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler and their second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Gaines Adams, leaving them with no real opportunity to improve their team via the draft.

With their first pick in the third round, the Bears selected Major Wright, a 5-foot-11, 206-pound safety out of the University of Florida. If the past is any indication to the future, Wright will most likely be an afterthought during his first season with the Bears. Last year, the Bears selected Jarron Gilbert and Juaquin Iglesias in the third round—both were irrelevant during the 2009 campaign.

Other picks for the Bears were Corey Wootton, a defensive end from Northwestern, Josh Moore, a cornerback from Kansas State, Dan LeFevour, a quarterback from Central Michigan, and J’Marcus Webb, a tackle from Texas A&M.

It’s no surprise to anyone that the 2010 draft for the Bears won’t produce much during the 2010 season, but the Bears believe their activity during free agency will be enough to take their team to the next level.

During last weekend’s Bears Expo at Soldier Field in Chicago, Jay Cutler made the following statement to a fan during a question-and-answer session: “We’ll be in the playoffs,” he said.

They’ll be in the playoffs? That’s a pretty bold statement coming from a team that finished in third place in the NFC North with a record of 7-9, five games behind the Minnesota Vikings.

Granted, the Bears did bolster their defense with the acquisition of Julius Peppers—but can one player really take a team that was going nowhere and put them into the playoffs?

My guess is no, but I have most certainly been wrong before. I just don’t see it. Not this season, at least—not under Head Coach Lovie Smith and Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz. There are just too many things wrong with this team to say they will be in the playoffs after the embarrassment that was the 2009 season.

Maybe Cutler is right; maybe he knows something I don’t. I guess Bears fans can just cross their fingers and hope for the best.

Prove me wrong, Jay.

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From the April 28-May 4, 2010 issue

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