View Full Version : Football Cutler matures into strong QB for Denver - KC Star

09-28-2008, 07:11 AM

The Kansas City Star

Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall had to sit out the first week of the NFL season, serving a suspension for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.

Upon his return, he noticed something different about Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler. When Marshall had left the Broncos, Cutler was a young quarterback trying to establish himself.

When he returned, Cutler was a young Brett Favre.

“We have been getting a lot of questions about Jay lately,” said Marshall, who despite missing that first game leads NFL wide receivers with 24 catches. “He is the man. Jay is a guy that … is going to go out there and make as many plays as he can. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like he even cares about the outcome, and that is the type of guy I want to take in my foxhole.”

Cutler two years ago became the latest quarterback to try to provide the Broncos with a legitimate replacement for John Elway. The early results were mixed. The Broncos missed the playoffs each season, and Cutler had some rocky moments. But Denver coach Mike Shanahan stuck with him.

Now Shanahan is getting the rewards. Cutler is in the top three among NFL quarterbacks in attempts, completions, yards, completion percentage, touchdowns and passer rating.

By no small coincidence, the Broncos are 3-0.

“Normally, you have to have a quarterback that really wants to get better, that enjoys football, that studies the game, that wants to work out in the offseason, that wants to look at film in the offseason, that wants to study film of different quarterbacks on different teams, trying to get better, trying to get to the next level,” Shanahan said. “If you do that, you have a chance in the National Football League.

“Obviously, there are a lot of variables. You have to have a good supporting cast as well. But I think that’s what Jay has done. He has given himself a chance to improve, get better. (He has) a lot of confidence, which goes hand-in-hand with a lot of work.”

On the other sideline of today’s game at Arrowhead Stadium, the 0-3 Chiefs have no young quarterback they can hold up to the world with pride. They would like it to be Brodie Croyle, but he is 0-7 as a starter and won’t play because he’s still recovering from a separated shoulder.

So the Chiefs will go with 35-year-old Damon Huard as their quarterback.

“It’s real simple,” Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. “Mike’s been patient. He’s been very patient with (Cutler). He’s brought him along, and the guy’s gotten better. He’s learned from his errors. He stuck with the guy, and now he’s gotten better and now he’s playing well. He’s got some confidence, they’ve won some close games and they’re putting up a lot of points.

“They developed a quarterback. How about that? They developed a quarterback. They drafted a guy three years ago, and he’s finally playing good after three years. He’s playing like they thought he was going to. But they developed the guy, and it’s taken that long for them to do it.”

Cutler arrived in the same 2006 draft as Croyle, Cutler in the first round and Croyle in the third. The Broncos installed him as their starter late in Cutler’s rookie season, and the Chiefs didn’t get Croyle going until midway through last year.

While the Chiefs are still wondering exactly what they have in Croyle, they know they will have to be dealing with Cutler, 25, and Marshall, 24, for a lot of years.

09-28-2008, 03:40 PM

L.A. Chieffan
09-28-2008, 03:41 PM
He looked good today other than sucking

09-28-2008, 03:42 PM
Cutler still has makes poor decisions with the ball. He doesn't throw underneath enough and tries to force it downfield. He also locks on to his receivers far too much, particularly Marshall.

09-28-2008, 03:42 PM
He threw some nice picks today.