View Full Version : Jay Cutler's Pro Bowl Journal: Day 2

02-05-2009, 08:47 AM
Jay Cutler's Pro Bowl Journal: Day 2


Editor's Note: Throughout this week, Jay Cutler will share his experiences at his first Pro Bowl.


KO OLINA, HAWAII - My first day of practice began with an omelet and a playbook.

They have an unbelievable and expensive breakfast buffet at the hotel we are staying at, so I grabbed an omelet and some juice and sat with Casey around 7:30. The table we were at was on a deck overlooking a pond with small hammerhead sharks swimming around. Just unbelievable. We started flipping through the playbook to see what kinds of things we are going to be doing on Sunday. I guess some of the plays are similar to what the Ravens do but obviously scaled down. Itís going to be fun, and weíll open things up a bit.

We changed into our practice uniforms at this makeshift locker room, really just a ballroom, at the hotel, and bused about 15 minutes to the high school for practice. I felt like I was back in high school riding over dressed for practice Ė It was fun. There were probably 50 fans or so waiting by the gates when our buses pulled in, so the natives were ready to go. I thought about how someone told me the Pro Bowl TV ratings are better than most other sportsí big regular season and playoff ratings, and I absolutely can see why. Even in a place like this, with so many other things to do, people still love their football.

Practice started around 9 a.m. and went about an hour. It was windy but I think I threw pretty well. I was a little rusty Ė dropped a snap and had a lot of guys give me a hard time about it Ė but I definitely wasnít the only one who struggled. It was amazing to line up and see the talent we have out here. Itís pretty easy to blend right in, and thatís fine with me. There are some positions, like the offensive line, where guys are playing on a different side than they did with their teams during the year. Kris Dielman of the Chargers joked with me that our line could be in trouble because there are so many left guards and no true right guards, but I donít buy it at all. The pass protection with players of this caliber will be just fine. Cam (Cameron) pretty much ran our whole practice offensively. About 15 minutes until it, the kids from the high school got a little break from school and filled out the stands. Not a bad deal for them.

When we got back to the hotel, we just got some lunch and took it easy and hung out by the pool for the day. Very low key. I thought about going to North Shore to check out the beach, but Shane Lechler suggested we go Wednesday because there are going to be better waves. It should be fun, so Iíll keep you updated.

I hung out a lot with the offensive linemen, Kris Dielman with the Chargers and Nick Mangold, a center for the Jets. Great guys and obviously unbelievable football players. Nick and I were both drafted together in 2006 Ė He was taken 29th and I went 11th. We talked about a lot of the guys from our draft class and how theyíve done in the league. It was a pretty good draft class for the guys from Ohio State, like Nick, and they had a few players taken in the first round that year, including A.J. Hawk. I was joking with Nick that they look exactly like each other. Also spent time swapping stories with Steve Hutchinson of the Vikings. Peyton (Manning) must have seen me talking to the linemen and came in and asked those guys if their quarterbacks took care of them at the end of the year with gifts. You gotta take care of your linemen for taking care of you. Told him my guys back in Denver had nothing to worry about Ė Proud to tell him that I brought in a tailor right to the facility and had them fitted for suits this year. Not sure what Iíll do next year to show my appreciation for everything they do. Maybe real nice overcoats for those Denver winters.

I knew something was up when Dielman and Nick asked me for my phone when we were standing by the pool. I didnít think anything of it, foolishly, and being a Pro Bowl rookie, I gave it to them. As soon as they got it, they pushed me right into the pool, shirt and sunglasses and everything. They had a pretty good time with it. Rookie initiation. Thanks guys.

After I changed, I got to spend some time with little Wes Welker of the Patriots. We had a good time joking around. He had (quarterback) Kliff Kingsbury with him as a guest - Kliff was his quarterback at Texas Tech and had a brief stint with the Broncos a few years ago before I got there (2005). I busted Wesí chops a lot for running the same type of routes during the season, but he must be doing something right to have over 100 catches for the second year in a row. Heís a lot like Eddie (Royal). Kliff and I talked a little about how well we think Jeremy Bates is going to do at USC as offensive coordinator. Batesy also was his position coach when he played for the Jets.

Also got to meet Archie Manning for the first time on Tuesday. That was pretty cool. Talk about a quarterback family. At one point, it was Archie, Peyton, Eli and myself talking. All SEC guys.

Wednesday is going to be a big day. Weíve got the diabetes kids coming out to practice, and Iím looking forward to visiting with them after. A lot of guys are doing good things in the community out here during the day. B-Marsh went over to this military facility for a few hours on Tuesday. Rumor has it, he crashed a flight simulator, but you didnít hear that from me. Either way, I know he had a great time over there.