Dan Hampton: Bears win more Super Bowls with Jay Cutler

ESPN logo
Sunday, July 9, 2017

The 1985Chicago Bears team that won Super Bowl XX is still considered one of the best ever and was supposed to be the start of a dynasty. While the Bears failed to win more titles during that era, Hall of Fame defensive lineman Dan Hampton says they could have used one key ingredient to repeat: quarterback Jay Cutler.

"If my team had Jay Cutler at QB we would have won 4 Super Bowls," Hampton said, according to a tweet by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where the former player was attending an event Saturday.

It's not the first time Hampton has expressed this sentiment about Cutler. In 2015, he said his Bears would have won five Super Bowls with Cutler. As far back as the late 1980s, Hampton had complained about Jim McMahon's role with the Bears, and the quarterback has fired back -- once calling Hampton a "whiner."

The 1980s Bears were led by one of the most dominant defenses ever and Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. McMahon was the franchise quarterback, but the "punky QB" was limited by injuries throughout his career.

After going 15-1 in the regular season in 1985 on the way to a title, the Bears came back the next season with a 14-2 record and hopes for another championship. But McMahon played only six games that season because of injuries, and coach Mike Ditka surprised everyone by starting late-season pickup Doug Flutie in the playoffs. The Bears were rolled by the Redskins 27-13 in the divisional round.

Quarterback Mike Tomczak played much more over the ensuing years than the banged-up McMahon as the window closed on the defense's dominance.

Cutler is the Bears' all-time leading passer, but in his eight seasons in Chicago, the Bears made the playoffs once. In 2011, they made it to the conference championship game against the Packers, but Cutler went down with a knee injury and didn't play the second half, and the Bears lost 21-14. Some questioned whether Cutler could have played, creating more Chicago QB controversy.

The Bears parted ways with Cutler after an injury-plagued 2016 season.