One Bronco’s Garbage is Another Bear’s Treasure

Jay Cutler has helped make the Chicago Bears relevant again

The Josh McDaniels era may be over but the Jay Cutler one is just beginning.

If there is one move that Josh McDaniels could take back it would probably his decision not to work his problems out with Jay Cutler and ship him out of Denver as fast as possible.

The contrast in situation and the public perception of the pair has shifted dramatically in the last 2 years. Josh McDaniels is now sitting on his couch at home as the immature baby while Jay Cutler is an emerging leader on his way to the NFC Championship game.

Jay Cutler and his undeniable god given abilities has not made the mark on the NFL that many thought he could since he became the starter for the Denver Broncos in 2007. He is known around the NFL as much for his curt, pouty and childish attitude than for anything he has down on the football field.

Just ask Josh McDaniels, who was unconvinced of Cutler’s ability to lead a team. Big mistake.

His brash, my way or the highway approach led to not only the departure of a star quarterback but also his personal demise.

In a way it’s hard to disagree. Honestly, when I see Cutler with his helmet off I can’t help but think of a little kid who is moping because he doesn’t want to eat his vegetables.

However, on Sunday Jay Cutler was saying to us all that hey, I can be big game too. Even if it was against the Seattle Seahawks, the stakes were high and Cutler did not fold under the pressure of the first playoff appearance of his life.

As much as Jay Cutler has struggled in his time with both Denver and Chicago, it looks like he has turned a corner. Mike Martz has helped him find a comfort level that wasn’t apparent at the start of the season. He has dealt with the growing pains of a young offensive line and not coincidentally, now that the O-Line has started to come into its own, so has Cutler.

Josh McDaniels committed what should be considered the cardinal sin when it comes to building an NFL franchise. Getting rid of a potential franchise quarterback.

Mike Singletary was unable to make San Francisco a winner behind Alex Smith

Mike Singletary and Tom Cable have also felt the pain of trying to create a winning environment around a group of less than adequate quarterbacks and have suffered because of it. Obviously, Lovie Smith is reaping in the benefits of having that oh so coveted franchise type quarterback.

Don’t cry all Kyle Orton on me now because I understand that he had a very solid 2010, but the fact of the matter is that he does not hold the potential to reach the level that a guy like, well, Jay Cutler can reach. Tim Tebow, that’s a story for another day.

Cutler may not exhibit those outright personality/leadership qualities that are seemingly a pre-requisite to being a bonafide franchise quarterback. Statements such as telling the media that you have a stronger arm than Bronco legend John Elway is not the best way to win the respect of fans and teammates in Denver.

Nevertheless, those physical gifts that no one can take away from Cutler make him such a prized possession. It’s why the Bears were willing to give up so much to get the guy. For goodness sakes, he throws off his back foot harder than a lot quarterbacks do when their feet are set.

Talents parallel to Jay Cutler’s do not come around every day.

Watching the manner in which Cutler is conducting himself these days and the high level that he is playing at must have the Broncos organization seething.

They made a major gaffe in not trying to work things out with Cutler from the get go and who knows where McDaniels, Cutler, the Broncos and Bears would be at this point in time if the two sides had just given it a shot.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favor.

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21 Responses to One Bronco’s Garbage is Another Bear’s Treasure

  1. I would like to start off by saying that the guy that through the QB out the door is no longer a Bronco! I would have to say that he was the worst thing that ever happened to the Denver Broncos! He personly set the Denver Broncos franchise back 10 year!

  2. Marcus says:

    Good post. I like your site a lot actually.

  3. Tim says:

    I have to agree, Chris. I haven’t watched the Bears all that much this season, but I certainly get the impression that Cutler can be as frustrating on the field as he is off it. When he’s good he can be very good and when he isn’t he can be awful, but he’s a big step up compared to the Bears’ last Super Bowl QB, Rex Grossman.

    One – okay, two – of the things which have held my team (the 49ers) back over the past few years have been inconsistent play at the QB position and lack of continuity at both the head coach and offensive coordinator positions. With more continuity, Alex Smith certainly had the physical tools to do the job, but that ship has now sailed. Without consistent production at QB (and a lack of experience on the OL) we have struggled to get the best out of Vernon Davis and Frank Gore. Someone like Cutler could have been the difference between 6-10 and 9-7 the NFC West title (heck, 7-9 would have done it). Oh well.

  4. bronumber6 says:

    Of course Cutler’s going to say he has a better arm than Elway. Because he does.

    Too see what else Cutler has to say, check out my blog at

  5. Cutler gets a bad rep because he doesn’t “do the dance” for the media. his teammates have ALWAYS loved him, no matter where he has been. As a Gator fan, I have been able to follow the guy since he was at Vandy. When he first got there, they asked him to go from a spread, passing offense in high school to running the triple option at Vandy. and he did it, without a peep. I think part of his reticence with the media here has to do with the fact that it is still, for the time being, Brian Urlacher’s team. And you have a strong personality like Kreutz on the offensive side. I think he likes his personal life being, well personal. rust me, I would rather have the guy who avoids the media and is labeled a “jerk” than to have a guy like Bart Scott of the JEts or TO, who cant shut up.

  6. TylerThePackFan says:

    all i’ve heard is whining and all i’ve seen is interceptions.

    guess we’ll find out next week.

  7. armaan192 says:

    Hey Chris good blog post. I think it is more that Mike Martz has made Jay Cutler relevant again. Cutler always had the ability to pull off the big throws and throw it hard down the field. He showed that in Denver and why McDaniels got rid of him, I still have no idea. It may have been the fact that he didnt like all star players with great talent (Marshall, Scheffler, Culter..etc.) McDaniels is a good OC but has a lot to do on the way to becoming a solid head coach in this league. I still think that if Singletary had a QB he could make things happen. I feel that Cable is a coach who has a lot of off the field issues which contribute to the locker room and their new head coach will be a good step in a fresh direction but how many new directions do the raiders need? It has been for ever since the Black and Gold have been legitimate playoff players. Who knows, but McDaniels couldnt do it with a decent pool of players and Singletary couldnt do it with bad players..

  8. In a very “what have you done for me lately” league, it doesn’t surprise me that the Broncos traded Cutler for Orton. At the time, the trade seemed almost pointless, and in Orton’s defense the Broncos’ offensive line is a joke.

    Now, Cutler has turned out to be impressive, but still at times shows signs of Rex Grossman-like poor decision making.

    He isn’t an elite quarterback, and I don’t even know if he’s a franchise player either


  9. kendellchad says:

    Oh but he is a franchise player…for the Bears that is. Who haven’t had a quarterback since Mac left in 1989. Ironically I railed against aquiring Cutler for all the same reasons mentioned here. Also I thought, at the time, the Bears gave up too much for him…but hey what do I know? Looks like it hasn’t set them back any.

  10. Bheise says:

    There is no denying the fact now that Cutler is a franchise quarterback. All he’s done is lead the Bears to a #2 seed and 1 win from the Super Bowl. Yes, he may have character issues, he’s a bit smug at times and has shown a tendency to be anything but a leader, but when he’s on his game he might just be as good as anyone. I also agree that the career paths that Cutler and McDaniels have taken are quite ironic. Daniels star has fallen out of the sky and Cutler keeps getting brighter. There’s no way looking at it now that anyone can defend shipping him out. Throw in the fact that McDaniels also parted ways with Brandon Marshall and Peyton Hillis and just wow….what can you say about that.

    It just goes to show that you can never give up on a talent like Cutler until he has played his way out of the league. The light bulb can instantly come on and the next thing you know you’re set for 10 years at the position. Yes, Cutler lacks a certain tact with the media and certain situations but it stems from the competitive nature it takes to be a QB at the NFL level. That’s never a bad thing. Good analysis. This weekend’s battle between Rodgers and Cutler could/should be a good one.

  11. Hey man thanks for checking out my blog, I really appreciate it!

    Great point about just how fortunate teams are to have above-average quarterbacks. Sure did realize that this year as a Niners fan, even though Singletary said earlier in the season that the quarterback is no more important than anyone else (yeah, right). One common trait between every playoff team this year: above-average QBs.

    Orton did a fine job–better than most expected, but anyone would take Cutler over him. Hiring McDaniels left the Broncos in a hole and without Cutler and Brandon Marshall, but he did bring in Tebow, who I think is going to be a very good NFL QB because he knows how to win. That means much, much more than any “mechanics” or “coming out of a spread offense” argument.

  12. mattmulkeen says:

    Hey Chris thanks for checking out my blog, sorry I’m a little late responding. I think you’ve made some great points about Cutler. What has always amazed me about the sports media is how much they celebrate Brett Favre, but yet destroy Cutler at the same time. Sure, Favre has done much more over his career than Cutler has yet to achieve, but Cutler is the closest thing to a Favre style gunslinger in the NFL today. Once you step beyond the elite quarterbacks in the league, I think most teams would be mistaken to not be interested in Cutler. Josh McDaniels clearly made the mistake of alienating himself from his franchise quarterback in Cutler (and from his big play WR in Brandon Marshall). The fact that Lovie Smith still has his job secure in Chicago while McDaniels is no longer in Denver has largely been because of how the two have handled Cutler. With all of that being said though, if Jay goes out and throws 3 interceptions this Sunday everyone will be talking about the downside of the gunslinger style he employs when he plays the quarterback position. Great blog by the way, I look forward to reading it in the future.

  13. Kyle says:

    Interesting take, but I’m going to actually disagree. Buckle up, this is going to be long. I think you’re conflating winning and/or skill with leadership. Most Bears players don’t seem to look at him as a leader. When they say things about him like “he is who he is” (Greg Olsen) and don’t generally defend him when ESPN writes a story about what a childish jerk he is…that doesn’t strike me as leadership.

    There’s a difference between being a leader and playing good football. Cutler is a solid football player. He’s got a boatload of God given talent and a lot of things that you can’t teach. To call him Favrian in one sense is true. But that’s a two-sided coin. There’s a half-dozen current NFL QBs I’d take over him in a “clutch” situation, and he’s no leader of men. A QB doesn’t always have to be a leader, and a leader doesn’t have to be a QB. But most elite QBs ARE leaders. And that’s something that until his attitude and people skills improve, he’ll always struggle with.

    To your other thesis point: the Broncos likely made a mistake in getting rid of Cutler.

    That’s more difficult to claim. While Denver had a variety of QBs cobbled together throughout the year, Cutler took virtually all the snaps for the Bears. In that sense, Chicago had something resembling of an advantage.

    However, if you take Denver’s team passing vs. Chicago’s team passing, something interesting emerges:
    Denver: 57.6% completion; 7.4 ypa; 252.4 ypg; 25 TD, 12 INT; sacked 40 times; 86.8 QB rating
    Chicago: 59.2% completion; 7.3 ypa; 188.4 ypg; 23 TD, 21 INT; sacked 56 times; 79.5 QB rating

    Even if you take just Cutler’s numbers, the picture doesn’t get a lot rosier. Cutler vs. Orton leans slightly in favor of Orton (backed up by the NFL’s stats), which tells me that Cutler is in the playoffs because of his defense, not because of any superior physical skills or leadership on his behalf. He’s very talented. But he’s the last reason the Bears are in the playoffs this year, and they may actually be there in spite of him.

    Would Denver be better off with Cutler? I’d say they would. If for no other reason than the fact that they didn’t have anything remotely resembling a contingency plan in place to replace him (as the Packers had with Rodgers behind Favre). A similar situation is unfolding now in Minnesota with no one to viably replace Favre on what is an otherwise fairly talented team. Orton is solid, but likely isn’t a long term answer; nor is Tebow or Quinn.

    Nevertheless, good entry, thanks for the comment on my blog, and I thought I’d do you the courtesy of doing the same. Enjoy the NFC Title game and the rest of the football this weekend!

  14. chappy81 says:

    I think Cutler is a good QB, but at the same time I think it’s the Bears defense that’s the one helping him out more than anything. Just knowing he doesn’t have to put up 28-30 points a game has to calm him down a little bit.

    As a Raiders fan, I’m just happy McDaniels screwed them as much as he did!

  15. npt87 says:

    Good entry man! Sorry it took me so long to take a look at some of your articles. I enjoy your take on some of the stories in the sporting world. I am actually going to be writing a post tonight on the MLB off season. Please feel free to check it out. Also I really would love for you to send my link to some friends, and I will do the same.

  16. Pingback: Emotional Disconnect

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