The fifth player to go under the microscope of my six-part series looking at quarterbacks trying to make the leap from "solid" to "elite" status will be the physically-diabetic, seemingly manic-depressive, mentally narcissistic, humorously-ballistic (that’s scientific mumbo-jumbo for your upper-arm) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
If he retired today he would go down in sports history books as a poor-man's Brett Favre. For a guy who rarely steps into his throws (or cracks a smile), it’s surprising NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t sat down to talk with him about taking some heat of his slant routes so he doesn’t take a Cover 2 linebacker’s head off. The guy has an absolute cannon.
After Favre’s Jenn Sterger story last year (the Weiner-Pic Scandal), I honestly think Cutler should give a DNA sample to see if he’s one of Brett’s illegitimate children. I’d bet my next semester’s tuition they’d be a match. And these days we all know that’s no small chunk of change. I kid of course, but any time a Packer fan has a chance to take shots at Favre and Cutler in the same paragraph, well then carpe diem and all that.
All bias aside, writing from a journalistic viewpoint, Cutler has been known as one of the most bi-polar quarterbacks in the league during his five and a half year career. His 93 touchdowns would be admirable if he didn’t have 86 interceptions to go with it. His NFC Championship run last season would be impressive if he hadn’t have gone out with a semi-serious knee injury in the third quarter; causing many players and members of the media to question his toughness.
Whether he wasn’t tough enough to push through it, or he was legitimately hurt, only Cutler knows. But what really struck me about it was the expressionless look on his face as he sat by himself on the bench for the rest of the game. So you got hurt in a big game — yeah, it sucks — but what separates the big-Bob’s, from the average-Joe’s is how you react to that situation.
Packers cornerback Charles Woodson gave a teary-eyed Hollywood-like halftime speech to his teammates with a broken-collarbone in the Super Bowl. The fourteen year veteran had spent years earning the unquestionable respect of his teammates. They took his words to heart and it showed as they came out in the second half and won the game.
Whenever the camera went to the injured Cutler last year, you didn’t know if he was watching the NFC Championship or a documentary about sock-making. That’s why I don’t think Cutler will ever go down as one of the greats.
Sure Bears hall of fame linebacker Brian Urlacher talks up Cutler to the media, but when you watch Cutler interact with his teammates, you can tell they tolerate him because of his talent, instead of respecting him because of his character
I think somewhere around the time people were talking about Y2K Favre lost the latter trait. I don’t think Cutler’s ever had it.
Poor guy, maybe it’s because he never knew his father (okay, seriously, that’s the last one).