Cutler Gets His Way
By Bernie Lincicome
Great arm, mediocre head.
It has never been obvious that Jay Cutler is a thinker, his Vanderbilt pedigree aside. The comparisons to Brett Favre are apt in ability and in mind, all instinct and audacity.
Still, Cutler is smart enough to get exactly what he wanted, a new team, a place he is valued and rose petals strewn along Michigan Avenue if the sentiment from Chicago can be believed.
Cutler got a team with a defense, a team with a running game, a team with a proven coach, with an established coordinator and, if a little light in the pass catching area, a team with time to fix that.
As will be seen soon enough, it was Cutler who made Brandon Marshall a Pro Bowler, not the other way around.
The Bears are now not only measurably better than they were, they have every right to believe that they are. The Bears have the best quarterback they have had since Jim McMahon, who was more a force of nature than a quarterback.
The Bears now have the best quarterback in the NFC, no insult to Drew Brees. And they have him for the next decade. The Broncos should check and see if they still have their wallets and underwear.
On the other hand, the Bears have that most awful of conditions, high expectations.
Cutler handled his separation from the Broncos as he does a game plan, by feel and by faith in his own judgment, not always to the taste of his coach, the last one or the next one.
Mike Shanahan shaped Cutler with incessant review, and Cutler chafed. But he minded because Shanahan was who was. Rebellion did not come until Shanahan was needlessly shown the door, a casualty of the owner’s ego.
What Pat Bowlen has made of his once proud, dignified franchise is farcical, Raider-worthy, assorted scraps of blunders and bad judgment.
Assuming that Denver coach Josh McDaniels or GM Brian Xanders, the Katzenjammer Kids, even know what to do with the draft choices or with Kyle Orton, the episodic quarterback from the Bears, the Broncos are no better than an expansion team.
The dumbest quarterback trade, until now, was Atlanta letting Favre slip off to Green Bay, but Favre was not yet a Pro Bowler nor a 4,000-yard passer or in all ways the best young quarterback in the land, all of which Cutler is.
When anyone thinks at all of Jerry Glanville these days it is that he is the man who gave Favre away. McDaniels makes Glanville look like a miser.
So, this is more stupid, a move made out of spite and spit, most of the dampness behind the ears of McDaniels, while the Bears are leaving welts from pinching each other.
Cutler is not naturally cantankerous, not as he has been seen of late, nor a punk, nor moody. He has been referred to so often as Petulant Jay Cutler, it seemed to be his given name.
He is not sensitive as much as indifferent, and does not usually over-think things, or give anything other than football much thought at all. He played half a season when he was tired and losing weight, finally getting around to discovering he has diabetes.
Cutler is merely a football player, not instinctively out-going, not a media creature, though he had his own TV show in Denver, as dull for the audience as it seemed painful for him.
How he will handle the added public and press obligations in Chicago may be the hardest adjustment Cutler has to make.
The football part will be easy.