Monday, January 24, 2011

It is unfair to Jeff George to compare him to Jay Cutler

Now that Jay Cutler has again put himself in a position to be criticized, all of the comparisons of him to Jeff George are again coming to the surface.

This is patently unfair.  To Jeff George.

What I saw yesterday in the NFC Championship game was sickening.  Jay Cutler tapped out with a minor knee injury like he was playing in the Pre-Season or the Pro Bowl, instead of the biggest game of his career.  

He let Todd Collins take over HIS team because he got a boo boo.  

I'm not a doctor, but if his knee was stable enough to wander the sideline without ice or treatment - then he could have played.  Talent-wise, Jay Cutler on one leg is significantly better than a 85 year old Todd Collins.

After all, Jay has been playing on half a heart for years...  what's a little knee injury?

I wonder if in some future marriage he will tap out during a bedroom encounter and call up his neighbor to finish the job for him.

Say what you want about Jeff George, the man was tough.  The punishment he took behind the terrible Colts offensive line was just ridiculous.  It would only be fair to point out that they were not all that fired up to be blocking for him, but George still stayed in there and took it.

George never wavered on the opinion that it was *he* that should be leading his team.  Sometimes that was not true - but there is merit in that attitude.

I wrote earlier in the season that Cutler and Mike Martz were a couple doomed to fail.  That Cutler would never be able to execute Martz's offense.  

With the Bears resurgence in the second half of the season, it looked to *some* that I would have to eat my words.  What no one talked about was something that was obvious to myself as well as players who had played under Martz in St. Louis: the Bears were no longer running the "Mike Martz" offense.

Martz gave up on Cutler ever being able to execute a offense based on precise timing throws and rigid decision-making.  They basically "de-tuned" the offense and just let Cutler do what he has always done: sit back in the pocket and throw it to whoever had already gotten open.  Sometimes if you can pass block well enough, this can work.  But it is anything but Martz's system.

Collins came into that game trying to run the offense correctly - that is why he looked so bad.  The receivers and the rest of the offense had in the previous weeks gotten out of running the system as designed and could not just snap it back.  Unlike Cutler, Collins is a "system QB" and could have had great success in a Martz attack in his younger days.

So where does this leave Cutler and Martz?  Cutler will be back next year and will be the starter.  Martz will be there too unless he gets another job offer.  Martz only took this job out of desperation.  He needed to get back "in play" and had no other offers on the table.  

Working with Cutler will make him wish he sat this season out - he may never get another chance to be a head coach because of Jay Cutler: Coach Killer.


  1. I totally disagree with you that Cutler tapped. You saw him on the sidelines and he could barely ride the stationary bike. His throws were looked off all day and you could tell that knee was bothering him. You go with whoever gives you the best chance to win and a hobbled Cutler just wasn't enough.

    Remember Phillop rivers had a knee injury in 2007 as well vs. the pats. He played for one quarter and looked terrible despite being "tough". Its not about toughness, its about being physically able to perform and I believe Cutler just wasn't able to.

  2. Phillips had a torn ACL. That is a hell of a different thing than a sprained or slightly torn meniscus. Look it up.

  3. I understand that Cutler had an MCL sprain and not an ACL tear, but a sprain is still a tear. The severity of the injury (or degree or grade) was not specified. It could have been Freeney like (grade 3 ankle sprain although for this case it would be grade 3 MCL sprain) which is pretty severe.

    In Freeney's case, he only lasted one half before his ankle gave out and that was with two weeks of prior treatment.

    The fact of the matter is that we juhst don't know how severe the sprain was. Based on what i saw before the knee was aggravated, his throws were off. Now couple that with the knee injury and you want to throw him back out there?

    Again this wasn't him not being able to gut it out, it was Cutler simply not being physically able to make the necessary throws. IMO, this was a good move by the coaches to sit him.

  4. Many Many current and former NFL players disagree with you.

  5. well i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree...

  6. Jeff George took 56 and 37 sacks in his two worst seasons as a Colts QB. Cutler took 52 this year (in 15 games) and 35 last year. He didn't bitch once about his protection either year. Even better you and most NFL players clearly have no idea about MCL injuries at all. The coaching and medical staff were also the ones who kept him out of the game. Feel free to flame him for looking like a moron on the sideline, but Caleb Hanie said Cutler talked to him after every drive, something you didn't see from the TV feed. Once Hanie hit the game, Cutler was ineligible to go back in anyway (3rd QB rule). Blame the coaching staff for having Todd Collins as QB #2.

    "With a little bit more force, the next thing to go, in that situation, is the ACL," said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the orthopedic surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles and team doctor for Dodgers. "So anybody who has a Grade II or Grade III that doesn't have an ACL injury is lucky."


    "Initially, as soon as it happens, [the patient] may say, 'That feels unusual. Then keep playing,' ElAttrache said. "But as the knee bleeds, it becomes more stiff and uncomfortable. So initially, you might find a guy who can play a couple of series. But then when he doesn't move around, his knee will stiffen up.

    "Looking at it, as time went on, he became less mobile and more uncomfortable. If you feel you're not too mobile, you're not only putting yourself but your team at risk."

    Dr. David Thorson, who works with the U.S. Ski team, added that trying to continue to play would have increased the chances of Cutler tearing his ACL, a knee ligament that requires upwards of six months of rehabilitation.

    With the Grade II MCL tear, the usual healing time, which doesn't require surgery, is three to six weeks. Thorson added that Grade II MCL tears are the trickiest to diagnose. A Grade III is a complete tear, and a Grade I, he said, is just stretching, with a couple of fibers potentially tearing.

    Grade II MCL tears are somewhere in the middle.