I love him one week. He drives me crazy the next. I think he’s the best young QB in the NFL one week. I wonder how he even got a scholarship to Vanderbilt the next. I think he’ll be the one to lead the Bears to a Super Bow one week, so we don’t keep having the ’85 Bears jammed down our throats. I figure we’ll end up in the basement with him the next. I’m talking about Jay Cutler, the mercurial, sometimes punky, ridiculously strong-armed and stubborn quarterback who hails from Santa Claus, Indiana. I’m also talking about the heir to Brett Favre’s oft-maddening throne.
Brett Favre is one of the most frustrating athletes of all-time. Of all the sports I can think of, I don’t think any athlete has ever had so many people pull their hair out when he plays and in the next moment, scream in jubilation. He goes through all of that retirement malarkey and you hate him. He throws a touchdown pass and smiles like a little kid and you love him. Growing up, I was excited for two games on the Bears schedule every year. Both were games against the Packers. I wanted to see Favre throw sidearm passes while falling, scramble for his life for a first down, and run the length of the field to lift a receiver or back in the air after they scored a touchdown. I loved seeing Favre run like a mad man to throw a block, or get in the face of a defender (see: Warren Sapp) who clearly wanted nothing more than to obliterate him. I also wanted to see Favre throw into quadruple-coverage, take sacks because he refused to throw the ball away, and practically cost his team a chance to win because of his reluctance to use a little common sense while playing. I wanted to see Favre throw for 300 yards with 4 TDs and 150 yards 4 INTs in the same game.
Jay Cutler has become that guy, except I don’t want to see the 150 yard/4 INT game from him. I know it’s coming, but I just hope it comes in a game that’s meaningless or when the Bears are ahead by 7 touchdowns. Cutler has some of the worst mechanics a quarterback could have, but he somehow makes it work more times than not. He throws off his back foot, throws while flatfooted, throws across his body, back towards the middle of the field while running to his left, and has been known to throw side-armed a la Brett Favre, or Dennis Eckersley. He throws into double- and triple-coverage. Instead of throwing the ball away, he’ll try to fit it into a window the size of Paris Hilton’s brain. Jay Cutler is the type of quarterback that makes a fan age rapidly. He’s also the type that almost forces you to defend him with such a vigor that others think you’re secretly in love with him.
He’s an athlete. He’s 6’2″, 225, and has the ability to run around defenders. He’s tough as nails. I’ve seen him run the ball many times, and have seen him slide or run out of bounds less than half the time. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady might as well switch their names to Staypuff. When others say he has no fire, I don’t see it that way. I just see a guy who realizes that when you’re up, you can always go higher, and when you’re down, you can always go lower. Why go apeshit when the team loses or wins big? JCut has to be a smart guy. He went to Vanderbilt. And that arm…
That howitzer of his is going to lead the Bears to a Super Bowl victory when all is said and done. You can book it. He’ll have plenty of “Brett Favre games”, where he’ll look like a surgeon, dissecting opposing defenses. He’ll also throw 4 picks, lucky to have not thrown more. His attitude will rub me the wrong way when he brushes off questions about a bad throw, and his attitude will make me proud to be a fan of his when he reacts with a “So what?” expression when a brainless member of the media (and there are PLENTY) mentions a hot streak. He’s not Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers, or even Vick or Rodgers. But dammit, he’s my quarterback, regardless of his penchant to invoke memories of Brett Favre–good and bad.
P.S. I miss Karen and the Moondance Woman!!!
P.P.S. One time, when I was at asshole camp…