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Old 03-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default Clark Judge: Losing pretty Cutler making winning ugly Plummer look great

Start your engines...

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/11510371

So now Jay Cutler is mad as hell and sure looks like he's not going to take it in Denver anymore. Great. Almost makes you wish the Broncos never disposed of Jake Plummer, huh?

Well, it does me. If ever there was a quarterback done wrong it was poor Jake. He didn't throw the tightest spiral. He took too many chances. And he threw unnecessary interceptions. He was booed at home, booed on the road and shredded weekly by the hometown media for his flaws. In short, he was embraced like the Avian flu.


So what's to like? This: He was 40-18 as a starter. All the guy did was win.

He took the Broncos to the playoffs in 2003. He did it again in 2004. He had them in the 2005 AFC Championship Game. Yet he was gone two seasons later, shuffled off to Tampa Bay to make way for Cutler, the second coming of John Elway. Only, he's not. He's not even the second coming of Jake Plummer, and, no, I don't care that he throws a fast ball like Randy Johnson or that his right arm can launch space shuttles.

I want someone who can win, and Jay Cutler is 17-20 as a starter, failing to reach the playoffs in his NFL career. Plummer not only got there three of his four seasons in Denver, he took the Cardinals to the playoffs in 1998, their first appearance in a non-strike year in over two decades.

Denver never had a losing season under Plummer. It hasn't had a winning season under Cutler. Draw your own conclusions. I have, and they go something like this: Plummer knew how to win; Cutler knows how to throw a pretty pass. I know which I'd rather have.

When the Broncos drafted Cutler they were coming off a 13-3 season where they beat New England and were one win from the Super Bowl. But after losing to Pittsburgh in the conference championship game, coach Mike Shanahan decided he could go no deeper into the playoffs with Plummer. So he traded up for Cutler.

For Plummer, the message was clear: His get-out-of-Denver ticket had just been punched, and Cutler would succeed him in no more than a year. Anything short of the Super Bowl wouldn't matter for Plummer, who could take his 40-18 record somewhere else and watch what could have been.


Cutler and Plummer, side by side in 2006, have had far different results. (US Presswire) Plummer didn't sulk. He didn't demand to be traded. He didn't threaten to move. And he never asked to meet with his head coach or demand an explanation.

"Jay is going to be a hell of a player," Plummer told me that summer, "but, hopefully, when his time is right. Until that time I'm going to be the one taking the snaps.

"Fans always like change. I understand that. It's almost like having an old girlfriend. You always think the pasture may be greener on the other side. But until Jay is ready they're going to have to deal with me."

Now that's what I want to hear from my quarterback. Don't tell me your feelings are hurt. Don't go running to your realtor. And don't mention the name Matt Cassel because if you're more concerned about what is beyond your control -- and, contrary to what he might think, Jay Cutler is not running this show -- you're doomed as a quarterback.

Of course, Jay Cutler is not doomed. He has a long career ahead of him, and he has a world of talent. What he doesn't have is the guts of Jake Plummer, and too bad. He could learn something from his predecessor. In fact, the more I hear Cutler whine the more I'm convinced Denver owes Plummer an apology.

He didn't score many style points while he was there; he just won. For some reason, that wasn't enough. So he was sliced, diced and spliced by his critics. Cutler, on the other hand, is cut a break ... and for what? He took over his rookie season when the Broncos were 7-4 and lost three of five starts. No problem there. Rookie quarterbacks struggle. But then he was 7-9 in his second season and 8-8 in his third. Worse, the Broncos positively self-destructed last year, blowing a three-game lead with three weeks to go.

Yeah, I know, it wasn't Cutler's fault. It might have helped if Denver had a running back who could stay in the lineup for three weeks or a defense that didn't leak like the Titanic. But all the Broncos had to do was win one freakin' game in three tries, and they couldn't pull it off. Blame the defense all you want, but look what Cutler did down the stretch: Nothing.

In his last three games he had two touchdown passes and four interceptions. Worse, he lost to Buffalo at home on the next to last weekend of the season. I don't want to hear how he threw for 359 yards or 316 the next weekend against San Diego. He didn't win. Period. End of story.


Jay Cutler has the tangibles, but ... (Getty Images) So his defense stunk. Kurt Warner's defense in Arizona wasn't all that great, either. And the Cardinals' running game was worse than Denver's. In fact, it was worse than everyone. But Arizona pulled the mother of all upsets by winning the NFC and coming within 45 seconds of knocking off Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII. Warner overcame the club's shortcomings because that is what good quarterbacks are supposed to do.

Cutler is acknowledged as one of the game's top young quarterbacks, yet he can't overcome much of anything. And that is a problem. He can complain about Philip Rivers, but I know which one I'd trust in the clutch -- and it's not Cutler. He can complain about his new head coach, too, but this just in, Jay: Josh McDaniels didn't draft you; Mike Shanahan did. And while I don't agree with how this was handled -- or mishandled -- it is a reminder to Cutler to wake up and realize the NFL is a business.

It is also evidence that Cutler might not be the quarterback we thought he was. So he lives in the shadow of Elway. Big deal. So did Jake Plummer. In fact, Plummer was closer to the Elway era than Cutler, so the contrasts were more apparent. He didn't throw like Elway, but he did find a way to win -- and isn't that how we measure our quarterbacks?

When, at last, Plummer was dismissed by the Broncos, he didn't cry or rant about the decision. He simply retired, exiled by a team and a city that didn't appreciate him.

Cutler was supposed to be an improvement on Plummer, but while he has the measureables -- the size, the big arm, the accuracy -- he's as short on the intangibles as he is on victories. The guy needs to toughen up and drop his woe-is-me mantra. If he can't get over what happened here, how does he demonstrate to teammates that he is resilient; that he is someone they can trust when their world is crumbling? And how does he prove he can shut out everything around him on the field when he can shut nothing out now? More to the point, how does he prove he can beat San Diego without the help of referee Ed Hochuli?

Maybe he can't. Maybe we should face facts and realize that while he's no John Elway he may be no Jake Plummer, either.


Oh man.

See you on page 15!


Last edited by Popps; 03-16-2009 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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He keeps this up and his career will be short, toughen up and act like an all pro.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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Look, this isn't about Plummer. I'm shocked anyone is writing about him, at this stage. It just shows you that Judge has paid pretty close attention to what's happened in Denver over the past decade.

But, it IS about a QB needing more than a big arm to be a winner and a leader.

Cutler has a long, long way to go before he's either.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Plummer is class act compared to the way Cutler is acting. The drafting of Cutler was a larger slap in the face to Jake, then any potential trade would have been for Jay.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:33 PM   #5
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Almost makes you wish the Broncos never disposed of Jake Plummer, huh?


Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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Almost makes you wish the Broncos never disposed of Jake Plummer, huh?


Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
I think he was appealing to people who enjoy winning games.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
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Seriously though, you put Cutler on the 2005 team and we are probably SB champs.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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Seriously though, you put Cutler on the 2005 team and we are probably SB champs.
Sure.

He couldn't beat Buffalo at home (0 TDs 1 INT), but he would have beaten the Steelers.

No doubt.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:42 PM   #11
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I think he was appealing to people who enjoy winning games.

People like you ran off the reason we won games during the Plummer era:





You got the defense you deserved when you started calling for Larry Coyer's head. Don't talk to me about people who enjoy winning games while you're pining for Sandpoint's fourth greatest handball player.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:44 PM   #12
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Sure.

He couldn't beat Buffalo at home (0 TDs 1 INT), but he would have beaten the Steelers.

No doubt.
Oh yeah, yet another game in which the defense gave up 30 points. Yeah, Im sure its also Cutlers fault for not scoring 53 against San Diego right?
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:48 PM   #13
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People like you ran off the reason we won games during the Plummer era:





You got the defense you deserved when you started calling for Larry Coyer's head. Don't talk to me about people who enjoy winning games while you're pining for Sandpoint's fourth greatest handball player.
Cry me a river.

I'm not going to get into Coyer for the obvious reasons, Taco. Suffice to say, things don't always work out.... and even quality people run their course.

I didn't "call for his head," either... I just said our results in the playoffs were unsatisfactory, and I'm sure Larry Coyer would be the first to agree with me.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:49 PM   #14
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Oh yeah, yet another game in which the defense gave up 30 points. Yeah, Im sure its also Cutlers fault for not scoring 53 against San Diego right?
Well, I'm not sure.

See, here's the thing... it depends who's playing QB on whether or not 30 points matter.

Sometimes it DOES matter, and then other times... say, if your team gave up a playoff record in the first half, it doesn't matter. (Depending on who the QB is.)

I just get so confused!
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:51 PM   #15
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I expect better from Clark Judge.

Had Cutler enjoyed the defenses Plummer did, the Broncos might have won a Super Bowl.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:53 PM   #16
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I expect better from Clark Judge.

Had Cutler enjoyed the defenses Plummer did, the Broncos might have won a Super Bowl.
The defense that gave up a playoff record and allowed 35 points in the first half to Indy, or the defense that didn't stop Pittburgh on a single drive for the entire first half of a playoff game?

Which one of those?
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:54 PM   #17
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Sure.

He couldn't beat Buffalo at home (0 TDs 1 INT), but he would have beaten the Steelers.

No doubt.

Cutler was brilliant that game, completing 25 passes for nearly 400 yards. The defense gave up 30 points. If Plummer had been the starter, you'd have been singing his praises, and blaming the defense entirely for the loss (and you'd be right considering they gave up 14 points in the fourth quarter).

You have a real tough time maintaining any level of consistency.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:55 PM   #18
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Cry me a river.

I'm not going to get into Coyer for the obvious reasons, Taco.

Yeah. Obviously you have a hard time admitting when you're wrong...


Quote:
I didn't "call for his head," either...

Hahahahahahahahaha!

Reinventing history is what you're best at.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:57 PM   #19
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The defense that gave up a playoff record and allowed 35 points in the first half to Indy, or the defense that didn't stop Pittburgh on a single drive for the entire first half of a playoff game?

Which one of those?
You and I both know Plummer was only ever IN the playoffs because of Denver's defense.

Saddle him with the defenses Cutler had and you get Arizona days redux...
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:59 PM   #20
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I really question Clarks sanity. Thats just a silly comparison at this point. Pointless.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:00 PM   #21
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You and I both know Plummer was only ever IN the playoffs because of Denver's defense.

Saddle him with the defenses Cutler had and you get Arizona days redux...
Look, Boob... your track record on being correct about anything is about as abysmal as it gets around here. You're literally a running joke, with your posts being bumped to the front page almost daily for laughs. So, no offense if I don't take you too seriously.

Anyway, don't shoot the messenger. This is just another professional writer, a pretty good one in my opinion, who sees a problem in Jay Cutler's game, and it's not his arm.

This isn't about Plummer... although it is a riot that he brings him up. It's almost like someone asked him to rile up the Mane, and this is how he figured he'd do it.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:01 PM   #22
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I really question Clarks sanity. Thats just a silly comparison at this point. Pointless.
I actually agree. It was nice to win, but getting over the hump wasn't about a QB. It was about a real defense. We put all of our chips on QB, and have gone downhill ever since.

But, a bunch of us told you that was going to happen, so I'm not surprised.

The real story in this article, to me... is a darned good sports-writer (yet another) calling into question Cutler's ability as a leader/winner.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:05 PM   #23
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Cutler was brilliant that game, completing 25 passes for nearly 400 yards.
0 TDs. 1 INT.

1 Loss.

Brilliant.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:06 PM   #24
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Yeah. Obviously you have a hard time admitting when you're wrong...
.
Taco, does Coyer have any connections to this board? Any reason I might not want to go too far into it that you can think of?
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:07 PM   #25
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0 TDs. 1 INT.

1 Loss.

Brilliant.
Did you even watch the game or did you just look at the box score?
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