Posts tagged ‘jay cutler’
by Sean - posted Monday, June 1st, 2009
Rex Grossman…His name alone brings about a staggering variety and range of emotions that just might match the peaks and valleys in his play. He is the most polarizing Chicago sports figure of the new millennium, and maybe any millennium for that matter.
Not an easy task when you consider that Sammy Sosa went from helping the Cubs get to within five outs of a World Series to more or less run out of town after the following season.
His fall from grace might have been one of the roughest and most brutal ever for an athlete who didn’t break a rule, law, or get involved in some sort of crime/sex scandal.
As one of the last off the Rex bandwagon I can personally attest it was a bumpy ride.
How did he go from NFL Offensive Player of the Month for September 2006 and starting Super Bowl XLI to:
* Having his agent twitter about him just to make sure everyone knows he’s still around and didn’t secretly retire or give up football.
* Watching Kyle Boller, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dan Orlovsky, Patrick Ramsey and Joey Harrington all find jobs before him.
* And have his name surface as a possible try-out candidate for a new four-team football league that might last slightly longer than the XFL.
Where exactly is the rock that stops this bottoming out?
This is the end result of all the injuries, fumbled snaps, interceptions, constant media and fan scrutiny. A player with obvious talent, that once exuded unshakable and infectious confidence, being so broken that he can’t find a job in a league that employs the likes of Brock Berlin, Ken Dorsey and Marques Tuiasosopo.
But it’s easier to look back on Rex’s tenure in Chicago now, now that we’ve got Jay Cutler.
What was once a painful nightmare, an open wound, is instead just scar. Something fans can look back on with the confidence of someone who’s climbed the mountain and has a begrudging respect for all the trials and stumbles along the way.
The way Red Sox fans can embrace Bill Buckner.
The way Cubs fans will apologize to Steve Bartman—and they will once the Cubbies win it all.
Fans can look at Rex Grossman now and with wistful sympathy say, ‘He was simply over-matched.’ Injuries that derailed his development left him unprepared for the pressure of filling the most important position for the most important team in Chicago, especially during a title run.
Kyle Orton couldn’t do that. Jay Cutler can.
Jay Cutler makes it possible for a fan to suggest bringing Grossman back to be the veteran back-up this team needs and having people in the room pause just long enough to escape without bodily harm.
The Bears may never bring him back for an opening coin toss or to make an appearance at the fan expo, but at least people won’t go out of their way not to mention his name. Jay Cutler has done that.
And whether he plays in the NFL this season—as Rosenhaus insists he will—or not Rex will be remembered differently this year than anyone expected. Maybe he should send Jay a thank you card.
by Sean - posted Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
The NFL schedule makers are part gamblers, part fortune-tellers. They take educated guesses months in advance of how teams will finish and try to set compelling match-ups, especially down the stretch.
One such match-up they seemed to nail already was the final Monday Night Football game week 16, when the Minnesota Vikings are set to visit the Chicago Bears. Already potentially a showdown for the divisional crown the rumored return of Brett Favre shoots the potential ratings off the chart.
Imagine Brett Favre walking in to Soldier Field, wearing Viking purple instead of Packer green, and dueling it out with Jay Cutler for the NFC North. ESPN execs may require plastic surgery to remove the smiles from their faces. Tony Kornheiser is already losing what’s left of his hair trying to figure out how to fit in all the John Madden jokes.
It would be the NFL’s, ESPN’s and the media’s dream come true. A late Christmas present from Santa Claus.
And I think it’s going to happen.
It’s plain to see at this point that Brett Favre can’t help himself. Upset at ending his career with an interception in the NFC Championship game he came back last year and forced his way out of Green Bay.
Now unable to handle finishing his career collapsing down the stretch and taking the Jets from AFC favorites to out of the playoffs he wants to return to the NFC North with the Vikings. Favre simply wants to erase last year and prove the Packers wrong by going and winning at the place the refused to send him last season.
This guy’s ego is unbelievable.
Last year Bears fans could ignored the Favre drama. He was headed out of the NFC, and why should they care about a player who tormented them for years tarnishing his legacy? He was just another pro-athlete who didn’t know when to hang ‘em up.
But now it’s a different story. Now Favre is Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of Terminator, right down to the corny “I’ll be back” line. You can shoot him, run him over with a truck, blow him up, but he just won’t go away.
There is no denying the Vikings are a Super Bowl ready team that’s only missing the quarterback. They are being held back by having to choose from two inconsistent and mistake prone QBs – Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels – when they just need someone who won’t turn it over, hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and occasionally go deep to Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin.
Is Brett Favre really that guy at this point? His finishing kick in New York might suggest otherwise.
As a Bears fan, if the Vikings want to hitch their Super Bowl wagon to a soon-to-be 40 year old fading QB then I say “bring it on” and I am sure most Packers fans feel the same.
Who ever thought there would be a time when everyone in Green Bay didn’t love Brett Favre? That’s what an uncontrollable ego will get you.
So circle December 28th on your calendars now. It could be a movie script ending along the shores of Lake Michigan when Brett “The Terminator” Favre finally gets crushed, this time by Jay Cutler.
by Sean - posted Saturday, April 4th, 2009
Over the last few days the articles about Jay Cutler have been flying fast and furious. They’ve taken approaches as wide ranging as ‘Cutler is a whinny baby who will regret leaving Denver’ to ‘Jay Cutler is the savoir and Jerry Angelo is the messiah for bringing him here.’ I think the rational Bears fan knows it all fall somewhere in between.
But perhaps the most stunning and inexplicable article I’ve read was one posted over at si.com “Kyle Orton could throw more TDs than Jay Cutler”. The bloggers five reasons are: receiving corps, offensive line, defense (Orton will play from behind), Josh McDaniels’ offense, and that Orton is underrated.
It an argument that on the surface looks completely reasonable and to some people might make them think that “hey, the Broncos didn’t make out so bad in this thing after all”. But I find the flaws in that to be nearly as bad by judging a starting pitcher simply on his win-loss record, too many other factors are involved.
Anyway, the whole point is this article prompted me to finally put down some thoughts on the situation. This is especially aimed at the writers and pundits who’ve been ripping Cutler and overhyping Orton since the deal… I’m looking at you Rick Morrissey, Gene Wojciechowski, Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth, Hub Arkush, Mel Kiper Jr., and this idiot who also wrote “Broncos won’t lose much if they trade Cutler”.
As a Bears fan I wish Kyle Orton the best in Denver. He was a solid football player for us and made the best of his talents and situation.
As a football fan I won’t be stupid enough to act like the Bears didn’t pay a premium for Cutler or believe that “giving up 2 first round picks isn’t a big deal because the GM would’ve screwed them up anyway” is a valid argument.
But for all the people on the “Kyle Orton is underrated” bandwagon, you are in for a bumpy ride. People talk about Orton’s great first half before the ankle injury but all it was were 3 good games against 3 terrible pass defenses (Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota) and that’s it
Orton lacks anything that really resembles mobility; he doesn’t side step the rush or extend plays. Additionally Orton has a ton of problems when having to come off of his first read, and if he does it’s generally to play it uber-safe and dump it to a running back.
It should also be noted that Orton completed one, ONE pass that traveled more than 30 yards in the air all of last season. That one pass was in the last game of the season, was under thrown, and would’ve been picked if Hester had not come back underneath the defender to make the catch.
It’s not a lack of arm strength, because his shorter and medium passes have zip, but a lack of trajectory as Orton just chucks up rainbows on any pass over 25 yards. And for a guy who’s 6’4″ he has an absurd number of passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
As for Cutler, as a Bears fan I realize he’s not a savior. He’s not Brady or Manning yet. He’s a gunslinger prone to mistakes from trying to make throws not even his incredibly gifted arm allows. I openly acknowledge and admit to all of that.
But this is also the first time in my lifetime the Bears have anyone playing the most important position in sports that is even remotely worth the term “franchise”. For once as a Bears fan I can talk about the QB making the players around him better instead of frantically figuring out how they were going to get better at the other 10 spots to raise the game of an average QB.
Jerry Angelo filled the biggest gap in any franchise in sports history. The Bears are THE original NFL team and yet Sid Luckman still holds 75% of our passing records. So should Bears fans care that he’s a “whiner”? Maybe it’s more likely that Cutler’s just a QB who has the leverage to get himself out of a situation he didn’t want to be in and did so. Isn’t that how the Broncos got John Elway in the first place?
There is a difference in weapons and offensive philosophy that could mean Orton throws more TDs than Cutler, but in this record breaking offense last year with the best players in the league the guy Josh McDaniels initially wanted – Matt Cassel – threw just 21 TDs, so this is no guarantee. More importantly I’ll take the balance of this new Bears offense that will not only be able to run the ball but throw it effectively to all three levels: short, medium AND deep.
Orton is what he is: 58% completion with a dink-n-dunk approach. He is passable and the very definition of an average QB. Jay Cutler brings a lot more than to the table right now and has the chance to get better. To get better here in Chicago and grow as the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future, as a Bears fan two first-round picks and a third-round pick is a small price to pay for that.
by Sean - posted Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Reported on ESPN.com and NFL.com the Bears have traded for disgruntled Broncos’ QB Jay Cutler.
While ESPN and NFL have not reported the details of the trade they have announced on ESPN 1000 that the Bears sent Kyle Orton, this year’s first-round (#18 overall) and third round picks, and a first-round pick next year to the Broncos.
This is completely stunning as a Bears fan… it’s almost inexplicable, but the greatest gap in any franchise in any sport has finally been filled. With Cutler under center the future job security of Jerry Angelo and Love Smith, not to mention the entire outlook for the team just shot through the roof.
While some have questioned in recent days whether it was worth a steep price to acquire a player seen in some circles as a prima donna or a malcontent, it was undoubtedly the right move. Quarterback is such a unique position in sports and one that it is so important to have filled. This season Bears fans will witness a quality of play in the blue and orange never before seen.
Being strong at QB can make the other 10 players on offense better. It’s a much easier situation to work with than what the Bears have tried to do since Jim McMahon, and that was have the other 10 players raise the quality of the quarterback.
This is truly a special day for all Chicago Bears fans. I’ll have a full analysis of the trade up later tonight and a special episode of Bearscast coming soon, but for now let’s all sit back and enjoy this ray of sunshine Jerry Angelo has brought Chicago on a cloudy day.