|04-30-2006, 01:55 AM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Denver CO
Older Cutler-Heavy article from Page 2
I didn't know that Cutler was the SEC player of the year.
If Jets fans want an on-the-field Namath, they'll have a much better shot with Broadway Jay. Like Namath, Cutler has a gun for an arm and a quick trigger. Like Namath, he plays with a cocky, captivating flair.
But the better comparison is to a young Favre. Here is a young gunslinger who will try just about any trick shot. At Vandy, he pulled off most of them because he (and in turn, his receivers) believed he could. Cutler is fearless to a fault. If necessary, he'll run over a linebacker for a first down. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, this kid is as bench-press strong and durable and as mentally and physically tough as any college quarterback I've seen.
But yes, I must disqualify myself. I'm a Vanderbilt graduate.
Then again, that should qualify me to assess Cutler. As I've written, I'm one of those weirdos who chose my college for the education, not the sports. I wouldn't care if Vandy didn't field a football team.
Yet three years ago, friends in Nashville began to tell me I had to check out this kid Cutler. I started watching him early in the 2004 season and couldn't stop. Last season he took a team that might not have one other player drafted and won at Arkansas and at Tennessee and took Florida to two overtimes in Gainesville.
I've been raving about him on television since last September. So I'm not some draftnik who decided he was the Next Great Quarterback because he benched 225 pounds 23 times at the combine. Trust me, Cutler can move and throw on the move. Cutler can make every pocket pass you'd ever want an NFL QB to make, with mustard or touch, and he often did so with unblocked defenders knocking the snot out of him.
In the SEC, Cutler was competing against consistently faster and tougher defenses than Leinart faced in the Pac-10. Cutler was named the SEC's player of the year.
Yet now ESPN draft analysts from Mel Kiper Jr. to Mark May are calling Cutler overhyped? Have mercy on any team that passes on (1) Young and (2) Cutler. Jay Cutler from Santa Claus, Ind., will give some team -- maybe Minnesota, all the way down at No. 17 -- a big present.
I had to stifle my amazement the other day when the coach of an NFL team with a lousy quarterback told me his staff's biggest concern about Cutler was: "How would he handle it if he had a pretty good team around him? Would he screw it up? Try to do too much?"
OK, Favre occasionally tried to do too much in his early years in Green Bay. Then what happened?
It's no coincidence Favre's agent, Buss Cook, sought to sign Cutler, and did. Cutler is the flip side of Leinart. He's a small-town guy who'd just as soon hang out in the weight room with his linemen.
This is what an NFL team should wonder about Leinart: Does he want to be a celebrity or a pro quarterback? The obvious answer is both. Clearly, he has campaigned to play in New York, for the Jets, because he and his management team need the Broadway stage. Yet what will it matter that People magazine voted Leinart one of America's most beautiful people if he's just another struggling quarterback?
Clearly, Leinart signed with Creative Artists Agency because he wants to be more than a football star. He hangs out with Nick Lachey and Ashton Kutcher. On Thursday he met with Donald Trump. Is it possible he's getting more publicity for doing nothing more than hanging out with "friends" like Paris Hilton?
Matt Leinart is the biggest risk of the three quarterbacks. Maybe he'll soon have his own reality show -- "Behind the Bust." Maybe someday Leinart will play a fictional quarterback in a movie about winning the Super Bowl.
Enjoy it, Jets fans.
If Leinart had played at Vanderbilt, he'd be just another second-day pick with the usual fifth-round knocks -- subpar arm, inconsistent accuracy, limited mobility, flimsy self-confidence, and questionable toughness and passion for football.
Last edited by easymobee; 04-30-2006 at 02:03 AM..