|11-27-2006, 03:32 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arcadia, CA
Time to pass the torch
Time to pass the torch
Broncos return to work with Cutler's promotion a snap decision
By Mike Klis
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:11/27/2006 01:12:29 AM MST
Cutler: "I'm confident in what I can do on the football field. ... I'm excited about the possibilities, but we'll see what happens (today)." (Post file)Rather than sit around and let all the spine-tingling reports suffocate him, Jay Cutler stayed true to a planned respite and got out of town for a few days.
News like this travels fast, of course.
Cutler will replace Jake Plummer as the Broncos' quarterback starting today, when the players begin preparation for their game Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Thing is, The Kid Who Would Be Quarterback is not yet convinced he will be the quarterback.
"I'm excited and everything, but I'm keeping my feet on the ground until I hear from Coach Shanahan," Cutler said. "I'm not going to get too excited until I hear it for real. If they make the switch, they make the switch. If they don't, I'll continue what I've been doing."
Cutler, a first-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt, can expect to hear about his promotion from Mike Shanahan soon after the players report back to work around 11 a.m. today for film study and a short workout.
The Broncos are 7-4, which currently would put them in the AFC playoffs with one of the final postseason berths. But they have also lost two in a row for the first time in 30 games, their offense is sputtering at 17.7 points a game and their defense is gassed.
If the Broncos want to bring a playoff game before their home fans, they likely would have to win four of their final five games - a difficult task considering such playoff-aspiring opponents as Seattle, San Diego and Cincinnati are left on their schedule.
While blame for the Broncos' slump hardly lies exclusively at Plummer's nimble feet, the team appears emotionally downcast after blowing a 17-point lead to San Diego at home Nov. 19, and getting run over at Arrowhead Stadium by Larry Johnson and the Kansas City Chiefs on Thanksgiving night.
From high school on up, history shows nothing can energize a team like a change in quarterback. Besides, Cutler has the better arm.
"When you see him in practice, he lights the place up," said Gil Brandt, who spent nearly 30 years running the Dallas Cowboys' scouting department and now works for the NFL as a senior analyst. "I think they had to do something to get their team pepped up. And I think this guy will bring it. I think it's a smart move by Mike."
Cutler was impressive in four preseason games, but until he performs when it counts, the question is whether the Broncos would have a better chance at the Super Bowl by staying patient with the veteran Plummer, or taking a chance on a more talented thrower with zero experience.
The great Peyton Manning was 3-13 as a rookie. Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman had a first-year record of 1-15. However, those rookie quarterbacks broke in with poor football teams.
The Broncos believe their situation is closer to that of the Dolphins in 1983, when Miami went 12-4 with a rookie Pro Bowler in Dan Marino, and the 2004 Steelers, who went 15-1 with first-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Although Cutler has an arm strong enough to throw a 20- yard out pattern to a closely guarded receiver, don't be surprised if the Broncos initially ask him to manage a basic ball- control game.
And if it's third-and-long? Put it this way: The Broncos do have a playoff spot to secure and only five games remaining.
"I'm confident in what I can do on the football field," Cutler said. "We've got a great defense. Our offensive line is playing pretty good and we'll get our running game going again. So it would be an exciting situation if I do get a chance to go in there. I'm excited about the possibilities, but we'll see what happens (today)."
Staff writer Mike Klis can be reached at 303-954-1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITS A PLAYOFF HOCKEY NIGHT IN PITTSBURGH!
Last edited by SoCalBronco; 11-27-2006 at 03:36 AM..
|11-27-2006, 03:56 AM||#2|
Persona Non Grata
Join Date: Jan 2003
So has he been getting reps in practice or not? It seems like there's been conflicting reports about that lately.
|11-27-2006, 06:49 AM||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2004
|11-27-2006, 10:12 AM||#7|
For The Glory Of The City
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Kansas City
Ah, when I first read this subject header I thought SoCal was passing his mod powers to yavoon. My bad.
|11-27-2006, 10:13 AM||#8|
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Twixt Hell & Highwater