NFC North Q&A: After six mediocre years with Bears, will Jay Cutler reach potential?

When Chicago traded for Jay Cutler in 2009, Bears fans thought the answer to their decades-long quarterback problems had arrived. A young, strong-armed quarterback who had put up some impressive numbers in Denver seemed just the ticket. But the Bears have made the playoffs just once in six years with Cutler, who has played with a revolving door of coaches and coordinators. Will Cutler finally make it all click this season, with Adam Gase as his offensive coordinator?

Rob Demovsky, Packers: That depends what you think his potential is. Early in Cutler’s career, scout after scout would include Cutler when I asked them to list the top five or top 10 quarterbacks in the league. They loved his arm and his mobility. But it has been years since any scout put Cutler in that list, and there is enough scar tissue to suggest he won’t get back there. Just look at his career record against the Packers: He’s 1-11 against them, including playoffs. He has never beaten them at Lambeau Field. If you can’t beat the best team in the division, how good can you really be?

Ben Goessling, Vikings: The Bears hired Marc Trestman two years ago because they thought he could fix Cutler. Two years later, he’s out the door, along with his entire staff. I wish Gase the best of luck in his attempt, but I’m not sure he’ll fare any better. The Bears, as usual, will have plenty of weapons at Cutler’s disposal, and perhaps Gase’s time with Peyton Manning will rub off on Cutler. But I’m not sure Cutler is going to change at this point. He has been difficult to manage for most of his career, and given that he's 32, I don’t know that he’ll suddenly transform into a great teammate and responsible quarterback.

Michael Rothstein, Lions: The short answer here is no. Cutler is 32 years old, and typically, by the time any player -- including a quarterback -- hits that age, he kind of is what he is. Yes, Adam Gase has experience working with Peyton Manning, but Jay Cutler is no Peyton Manning. Statistically, Cutler had the best completion percentage (66.0) and most touchdowns thrown (28) of his career in 2014, but I think what you’ve seen from Cutler is what he is. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He is a slightly above average NFL quarterback. That should still be enough to win a lot of games.