To completely blame Fox and Pace for Cutler’s steady Bears decline would be unfair. They were trying to make chicken salad. It was the previous administration that gave Cutler a sweetheart contract, making him unable to get cut for two seasons without massive salary cap implications.
The problem is that Fox and Pace failed to groom a young quarterback who could ultimately take Cutler’s place if things didn’t work out. None was selected in Chicago’s previous two drafts.
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This left the Bears desperate enough to give Glennon a bloated contract in a free-agent market once again lacking established talent.
Glennon’s deal will likely be structured in such a fashion that he could be released in 2018 or 2019 without a crippling cap hit if things don’t work out. His arrival also doesn’t preclude the Bears from using the draft’s No. 3 pick or their second-rounder on a developmental prospect, with the thinking Glennon could serve as a bridge until that quarterback is ready to play.
Kids Matt Elam Jersey But it looks like Fox and Pace are coming to the end of the road unless Glennon can buck past precedent and make a quick impact on a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2010.
Maybe pitchers were getting knocked out earlier because of a corresponding increase in offense; runs were up big time, and the average length of a start last season dropped to 5.6 innings, the lowest figure in the past 10 years. That’s not significantly outside the range of the previous nine seasons, however; starters averaged between 5.8 and 6.0 innings over that time.
Maybe, and this is more plausible, managers were more vigorously protecting their fragile assets and reducing workloads. That can at least explain the increase in starts of between 80 and 99 pitches.
Or maybe, managers weren’t going to allow lesser starters to be exposed and were more willing to mix and match earlier in games.