Chicago Sun-Times

20 days to Camp: Cutler's risk taking dominates online chat

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Our daily countdown to training camp is being thrown off schedule just a little bit by some more company-imposed breaks, and Saturday is one of those days. So we'll post another countdown to training camp right now and get back to it on Sunday when we're welcome in the office again.

Once again, Jay Cutler dominated the conversation in an online chat hosted by KC Joyner. Talking football for an hour on on Thursday, Joyner got hit from many angles on Cutler. As you might imagine, he stuck to his theory that Cutler will win some games for the Bears but he will also lose some because of his risk taking. If you want to take a look at the entire chat, it's right here. Joyner watches as much tape as anybody doing statistical analysis out there.

"I've said it many times and I'll say it again, Cutler will make Bears fans remember Rex Grossman,'' Joyner said. "He'll make just as many crazy passes but won't suffer the Grossman fate because Chicago's fan base is so in love with him that they will forgive the nutty throws he makes in ways that they never forgave Grossman."

Think it could be so? Grossman came under fire during 2006 even when the Bears were winning. Could the same thing happen to Cutler? Our bet would be that he will have an extended honeymoon.

So, one chat follower responded, "That's the craziest assumption I've ever heard in my life. If Cutler is as bad as Grossman, you'll get promoted and Jay will be run out of town with JA [Jerry Angelo], Lovie [Smith] and company.''

Responded Joyner: "It's funny. Whenever I say Cutler will remind Bears fans of Grossman, they get all up in arms. All Grossman did was take Chicago to their first Super Bowl in years and the Bears fans couldn't run him out of the starting spot quick enough. They'll win with Cutler but man will they grit their teeth when he blows a game or two with his over the top risk taking.

"You know what really bothers me about Cutler? The idea that fans can't comment on him in a non-emotional manner. Every Bears fan thinks he is the next coming of Jim McMahon. When I point out that he has performance issues and that Grossman had those same issues, they just go overboard instead of saying, `Hey, that's a good point, can he improve in that area?'

"I'm basing my Cutler comments on three seasons of Denver tape breakdowns. He's a huge risk-taker and that equates to about 1 in 20 of his passes being an [interception] or near [interception] because of a mistake on his part. He'll win games in the Windy City and when he does, I'll hear it from Bears fans. I just want to hear from those same fans when his risk-taking costs the team a big game and I'll all but guarantee that will happen.''

If that wasn't enough Bears chatter for a one-hour session, Joyner was also asked about running back Matt Forte.

"Forte will be this generation's Brian Westbrook,'' Joyner said. "He'll have a great year no matter who is behind center for Chicago."

That stopped us for a minute and got us thinking. Typically, Forte has been compared to other tall running backs, Eddie George is the first that comes to mind. Running backs Tim Spencer, who coached George at Ohio State, has even drawn the parallels. We've heard people use Marcus Allen and Eric Dickerson as comparables also but think linking a second-year back to Hall of Famers is a little premature, maybe a lot premature. But Westbrook has been a dominant force in Philadelphia for some time. He's been an integral part of the Eagles' offense since coming into the league in 2002, and he topped 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in 2007.

Let's look at the numbers:

Matt Forte

2008--316 rushes, 1,238 yards, 3.9 avg., 8 TD, 63 receptions, 477 yards, 7.6 avg., 4 TD

Brian Westbrook

2008--233 rushes, 936 yards, 4.0 avg., 9 TD, 54 receptions, 402 yards, 7.4 avg., 5 TD

2007--278 rushes, 1,333 yards, 4.8 avg., 7 TD; 90 receptions, 771 yards, 8.6 avg., 5 TD

2006--240 rushes, 1,217 yards, 5.1 avg., 7 TD; 77 receptions, 699 yards, 9.1 avg., 4 TD

2005--156 rushes, 617 yards, 4.0 avg., 3 TD; 61 receptions, 616 yards, 10.1 avg., 4 TD

2004--177 rushes, 812 yards, 4.6 avg., 3 TD; 73 receptions, 703 yards, 9.6 avg., 6 TD

2003--117 rushes, 613 yards, 5.2 avg., 7 TD; 37 receptions, 332 yards, 9.0 avg., 4 TD

2002--46 rushes, 193 yards, 4.2 avg., 0 TD; 9 receptions, 86 yards, 9.6 avg., 0 TD

Forte had 1,715 total yards last season. That's a figure Westbrook has eclipsed twice. They're certainly different runners. Westbrook is more compact and shiftier, and when he's at his best he's averaging close to five yards per carry. Westbrook is probably a little better in the open field as a receiver. He's averaged 9.0 yards per catch throughout his career. The Bears are hopeful that a rebuilt offensive line and the arrival of Cutler will make Forte more efficient and get his average yards per carry up, closer to 4.5 than the 3.9 he has last season. It's a compelling comparison by Joyner, that is for sure, and it will be interesting to see how Cutler uses Forte as a target in the passing game.

*** Saw an interesting story earlier in the week from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. He detailed how few of the first-round picks from the draft class of 2005 have received extensions from their teams. Only three players from that round have been extended and Cole draws the link to the upcoming labor negotiations. These players will have five years of service in after this season but without a new CBA they will be restricted free agents following the season, the ones on five-year deals any way.

It's a good read and the accompanying list of players in the round got us to thinking just how bad the first round of this draft was. We're not making an excuse for the Bears bombing out with Cedric Benson at No. 4 overall, but picking the best player in the top 10 is a lot easier than picking the biggest bust. Benson has loads of competition.

1. San Francisco, Alex Smith 2. Miami, Ronnie Brown 3. Cleveland, Braylon Edwards 4. Bears, Cedric Benson 5. Tampa Bay, Cadillac Williams 6. Tennessee, Pacman Jones 7. Minnesota, Troy Williamson 8. Arizona, Antrel Rolle 9. Washington, Carlos Rogers 10. Detroit, Mike Williams

Edwards and Brown have probably been the best players from the group and they've had serious injuries. DeMarcus Ware, selected 11th, and Shawne Merriman, selected 12th, have been far more productive than any of the top 10. Scan the rest of the round and most of it goes from bad to worse. Consider this, though, the best of the bunch ultimately could be Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, selected 24th overall. It's not out of the question.

If you're not doing back flips over Joyner's assessment for Cutler, we've got some other projections to break out when we return for business on Sunday.

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Well , to tell u the truth i think he's right......But i think cutler is more confident.and he has a familliarness with one rec already which will make him more comfortable...We will definately see now wont we and.yes if we cannot win with cutler there should b a coaching change..demote lovie to def co-ord fire babich and turner.But i very optomistic abot this season i think we'll do ok!! go bears!!!!And brad intresting topic see how many it gets goin!!lol

Risk taker or not, it does'nt matter! Cutler brings alot more to the Bears than Rex ever could have had. Rex tried and at times did very well. Injuries, questionable play calling, crappy offensive line play, not much for a running attack and no outstanding receivers plagued Rex's time here. Cutler brings a stronger arm, more athletic ability and will be the benefactor of better overall play and players surrounding him. Jay, I believe is just a much better overall QB than Rex and coupled with the afore mentioned benefits, we Bear fans should enjoy much better QB play for years to come! Will Jay make some plays that make us all scratch our heads? Yes, every QB does, but as Jay matures and contiunes to learn the better he will get and lets not forget he is a probowler only going into his fourth year!! Go Jay, Go Bears!

While I take Joyner's point about the emotional over-reaction to Cutler criticism and I respect his use of stats and analytics, nowhere have I seen him mention an adjustment to his Cutler predictions based on a different situation in Chicago.

While the Bears didn't have their best year on defense last year, Orton & co. didn't need to score at least 30 to win a game. Cutler won't have the pressure in Chicago to run up the score and gamble so much that he did in Denver. Accordingly, Joyner needs to make some sort of adjustment to his decision making metric. On the flip side you could argue that the Bears O-line isn't as proven as Denver's, but it's definitely been upgraded from last year and that shouldn't have the impact that playing from behind and having a sieve for a defense will.

Comparing Cutler to Rex without accounting for defense is a stretch. Plus, Rex's performance went off a cliff and never really rebounded which hasn't been the case with Jay. Some say opposing DC's figured out that Rex couldn't cope with the blitz, and had height and other disadvantages that the more mobile Cutler shouldn't suffer from. While Grossman-like performances maybe be within the realm of possibility for Cutler next year, I'd say that they're at the long tail of the distribution.

Will Cutler fumble snaps like Grossman did with regularity? Is Cutler's idea of scrambling running backwards 15 yards and throwing up a prayer like Grossman? Will Cutler throw that wounded duck to an open Berrian that got picked like Grossman did in the Super Bowl? Will Cutler shrink down to Grossman's 5'10" height? Will Cutler stand at the post game podium every week and say he won't do all this again and then do it again and again and again?

If Joyner thinks Cutler will mimick Grossman in these fan support killing categories, then we have been duped. Hopefully, Joyner is just comparing one frustrating trait and running with it to get attention.

According to KC Joyner Jay Cutler is going to take the Bears to the superbowl because he says that Jay is going to remind the fans of Grossman and then he says that ALL Grossman did was take the Bears to the superbowl. So I don't understand how all of his talk about mistakes and poor choices relates to grossman if all he did was take the Bears to the superbowl. It's clear that ALL joyber wants is to get fans up in arms then he wants to complain about the responses. He's a tool and Brad's a tool for going back to him instead of finding someone new who knows what they are talking about instead of just trying to instigate then cry foul when the responses come. I don't want to hear about how much film Joyner watches if he can't remember that Grossman had five games in his best year that resulted in worse quarterback ratings than Cutlers worse game in his whole career. Joyner is not trying to evaluate Cutler fairly. He's pulling a crap stir. Brad find someone else to quote. Who u crappin'.

1) I unemotionally state KC Joyner is an idiot.
a) We made the Superbowl despite Rex Grossman in 2006. I watched every game. Even many of his TD passes were near interceptions and I have not even mentioned that for 5 his games his passer rating was zero twice, around 20 twice, and just below 40 once. Rex Grossman got more chances in Chicago than he really should have and we were all calling for his head (and rightfully so) long before Lovie finally benched him.

b) Jim McMahon was a pretty crappy quarterback. He had the best defense for a few years in a row, the best offense line in football a few years in a row, and the best running back a few years in a row and he still was below average.

c) I'll evaluate Jay Cutler's risk taking when he is be backed up by a solid defense and doesn't have to score every time he gets the ball. However I don't know if that will be this year as we have major issues at safety and with our pass rush so our defense could possibly be bad this year.

Show me that Joyner and Briggs (for referring to him more than once and for trying to make him credible) aren't just trying to tear the Bears down or get their fans angry by showing me what Joyner was saying about Cutler before he was traded to Chicago. Show me a quote pre-trade where Joyner ranked Grossman over Cutler. Show me a quote from last year where he was defending Grossman for taking the Bears to the superbowl. I bet if Cutler went to Washington Joyner would be singing his praises about how great he's going to be there and how smart Washington was for getting him. This guys says all of his analysis is based on numbers. Show me Grossman's and Cutler's numbers and if he could keep his subjective "near interceptions" out of it that would be great.

The ultimate risk-taker was Favre. I always suspected he was, to a large degree, uncoachable, but the Packers put up with it because, despite the mistakes, he could bring the team back to win.

Grossman, OTOH, was coachable, it just seemed like he panicked more in the pocket and once his confidence eroded it was all down hill.

I think Cutler can override his mistakes and I will be interested to see how he progresses in terms of cutting down the risky passes.

The real danger might be once he sees what a pile of dung he has in his receivers that he takes no risks at all.

Guess we'll find out soon enough.

Another great QB is a gambler and I think he has done okay in his career. Brett Faivre. I will take my chances with an aggressive QB who will win more games than he loses any day of the week.

Why are we re-visiting this Joyner clown? I don't care how much tape this guy watches, his assumptions are totally erroneous:

All Grossman did was take Chicago to their first Super Bowl in years...

For the 14 billionth time, that 2006 team won on the strength of its defense and special teams, all in spite of Mental Midget Rex.

Comparing Grossman to Cutler is like comparing raisins to oranges. Grossman had a tendency to shrivel up and disappear in the face of any kind of pass rush (like a raisin) while Cutler had one of the best (if not the best) QB ratings outside the pocket in the NFL last year (he could juice it like an orange on the run). As a Denver resident, the most exciting thing in watching the Broncos the last two years has been Cutler; I'm in heaven now that he's in Chi town. His ability to throw on the run and extend plays rather than wilt like a rag doll under pressure are what will help us forget Grossman. He'll do the occasional Farve imitation, but never will we be talking about train wrecks after 2009.

Writers at ESPN cannot be taking seriously, they are biased and ignorant. Cutler takes risks, many QB's do. But Cutler can see over the O-line from the pocket. Grossman could not. Grossman has a good are, Cutler has a great arm. Cutler went to a Pro Bowl last year, and I could go on. Cutler will take some risks sure, but if this Joyner clown thinks that the town will keep giving Cutler a free pass because we are so "in love" with him, he needs to actually come to Soldier for a game instead of just using his expert analysis braking tape. If he was real good at breaking tape, wouldn't someone in the NFL give him a job.
"Chicago fans are up in arms" that is the other problem with the monkey clowns from ESPN, when you disagree with them "you" are "up in arms, or over the top angry". I am not angry with Joyner, I know he is wrong.

Here is why comparing Cutler to Grossman is ridiculous: not only did Grossman take huge risks, but he didn't have any positives to make up for it. He was wooden in the pocket, didn't have any field vision, couldn't throw on the run, and couldn't complete a swing pass or a slant to save his life. Other than risk-taking, Cutler is the exact opposite - he can do all those things as well as any QB in the league. You might as well compare Favre in his prime to Grossman - yes, they were both "risk-takers", but does that make them similar?

Joyner is an idiot. I am going to stay emotionless here Brad just for you. I know Cutler is a risk taker, however he is nothing like Grossman. Grossman was not taking "risky" shots, he was reading defenses completely wrong and throwing it right to the defender. He was dropping the snaps more than kids in pee-wee league. He was fumbling the ball whenever he was touched. With Grossman, it was a mental issue, when he was hot & confident, he was good, however that was only about 10% of the time. Everybody should stop saying Rex got us to a superbowl, he did not, our defense got us to a superbowl in spite of him. In that superbowl, we did great, and everything was looking peachy, until he touched the ball. Cutler will have interceptions, we know, we have seen his numbers, but he is no Rex. His TD over Int numbers will be good, and he will have a ton of yards, and he will improve our running game, and keep the offense on the field for more minutes than Rex ever could. We will win the North, and be a contender for the Superbowl! BEAR DOWN!

The Grossman to Cutler comparison is on target in some respects and off in the most important...Grossman's strength was looking deep to shallow and being aggressive. Cutler may be the same in that respect but the difference can be found in the statistics and Cutler's mobility.

Cutler throws more touchdowns than interceptsion...a much higher completion percentage and far fewer sacks....I'll take that comparison any day...perhaps a more accurate comparison is Farve to Cutler but one should only make those comparisons after a person's career is over or at least well on its way...but then what would have to write about?

Hey Joyner,you are just another analyst who does not like Cutler. Why didnt you go through his college years as well,instead of just looking at a crappy Denver team he was on & neglecting to factor in the terrible defense. When the Bronco defense held opponents to 21 points or less he is 13-1!!! Cutler was taking so many chances cause he had to try to keep up with his porous defense! Denvers defense gave up a whopping 112 points in their last 3 games!! Cutler has a great team around him in Chicago,he wont have to take all those chances to make up for a pathetic defense!! Funny how people like you refuse to look at all the angles,just the ones you want to look at to make an invalid judgement! Cutler will Thrive in Chicago,maybe you dont know but the Bears are a running team,a good running team that will be even better this year with Cutlers arm and the rebuilt O-Line! We are not going to try to be the greatest show on turf,thats not Bear football. We will pound it on the ground and Cutler will thrive in play action! You have a right to your opinion,even though you are wrong,and Cutler will prove it this year,when he will be a top 5 Q.B in the league. Take care. BEAR DOWN! GO BEARS,2009 DIVISION CHAMPIONS!!

I find it amazing, that in all the talk of Cutler's risk-taking, people don't seem to factor in that he played for a team that had, what, the 26th ranked defense? Wouldn't you force 3rd down passes if you knew that when you punt the ball away, the other team usually scores? I would bet alot of money that a very bright guy like Jay (I live here in Nashville and watched him at Vanderbilt) will take less risks when he is confident that a punt won't mean points for the opponent. Also, in spite of what happened at the end in Denver, to the best of my knowledge, all his teamates love playing with him and respond to his quiet, confident leadership.

That guy Joyner is a complete Bozo. Cutler is already 3 times the QB Grossman ever will be. How many games did Grossman win for the Bears? Not very many; it was all the defense, special teams and running game. Doesn't anyone remember that? Grossman just had to make one or two plays each game. Grossman had one great month and a couple of okay games in 2006; he was not the difference maker in most of the Bears wins he was involved in. This guy needs to get real!

I was a big Grossman fan when he came out of florida but the differences between cutler is grossman played with (small hands) and coughed the ball up every time he was touched. Also, I've read cutler is mobile and has good footwork and can buy time rolling out and make throws on the run. I have not seen cutler play much(at All) so i appreciate an honest article about his limitations and still stand by my bets that the bears go to the superbowl. If they beat the AFC powerhouses is another story!

Sorry, but I'm not convinced by the comments I read here that Joyner actually knows football. It's one thing to pore over stats and watch film, quite another to actually understand the game. If you watch Cutler and watch Grossman, there's no way you can say they're comparable in any significant way. Starting sometime in 2006 (probably after the Dennis Green game) Grossman started playing scared. Cutler exudes confidence. Cutler buys time in the pocket, Grossman is a sitting duck. Cutler reads defenses fairly well, Grossman doesn't have a clue. Etc. The fact that they both take chances relative to other QBs is only one aspect of their games.

And another thing: I'm sick of reading about how Grossman "took" the Bears to the Super Bowl. The fact is that the Bears got there in spite of Grossman and on the backs of a top defense, which was waning at the end of the season due to the losses of Mike Brown and Tommie Harris, and top special teams, along with a decent running game from Thomas Jones. If Joyner really thinks Grossman got the Bears to the Super Bowl, he definitely does not know football.

Comparing Cutler to Grossman is just an attempt at baiting Bear fans. The two players are nowhere near comparable. Cutler is bigger, faster, taller, more athletic, and has a better arm. Grossman has a nice arm, but especially after the injuries, he is a short, squat, sitting duck.

Joyner is just doing the typical blowhard ESPN pundit thing. His opinion that Cutler will throw a lot of picks and even lose a couple games may turn out to be true, but comparing him to Grossman is just stupid.

In comparing Cutler to Grossman, you have Grossman not able to scramble, Cutler has good scrambling ability to buy time and make plays. With Cutler I believe the turnovers from poor center to QB exchanges will improve, Grossman botched many snaps. Arm strength, both are good but Cutler is more accurate. Mechanics, Grossman's mechanics went from Ok to poor based on the pass rush (that is why teams blitzed so much, Grossman could not handle the pressure), Cutler has exceptional mechanics.

Yes, Cutler does make some ill advised passes at inopportune times but so does many young QB's, that will improve with time and maturity. The best time to pick up a good young QB is after they have learned the NFL for 3-5 years.

Grossman is a good #2 but Cutler has the ability to be a top 5 passer in the league. Right now I would rate Cutler as in the top 10 in the NFL at the QB position. What is great, is that he should only get better during the next 10 years.

Bears, the time is right to get Cutler signed to a 5-10 year deal ASAP.

Why does risk taking have to remind us of Rex Grossman? Why can't risk taking remind us of Brett Favre?

Rex was too short and immobile to make it in the NFL. He could throw the deep ball but made bad decisions under pressure. Many of his interceptions (particularly in the Super Bowl) were more like punt returns as Rex tended to just throw it up for grabs. Cutler, like Favre, has a better arm and gets intercepted trying to force balls into coverage.

It's a small point but a significant one. K.C.'s analogy is similar to saying Jalen Rose will remind us of Michael Jordan because they both take a lot of shots.

Cutler like Grossman? Rex taking us to the SB? Joyner is the worst. I mean c'mon, the whole thing about Rex taking us to our SB would not exist if our D had not played like they did. Our record would have been even worse if the D had played like they have been for the past 2 years.
And Cutler taking too many risks? He had to, denver had no running game. What else could the OCs do apart from saying: WRs run, QB throw?1 in 20 passes being an int or near int? Thats what 5%? I'll take that any day. We probably had about 10-20% with Grossman and a little less with KO.

Responded Joyner: "It's funny. Whenever I say Cutler will remind Bears fans of Grossman, they get all up in arms. All Grossman did was take Chicago to their first Super Bowl in years.

Why is it always Grossman that took the Bears to the Super Bowl, it was never the defense or the running game? This comment proves Joyner is full of his own garbage. He accredits Grossman for doing something he didn't do. He "Took Chicago to the Super Bowl" I say the defense and running game took Chicago to the Super Bowl. Most people say Cutler reminds them of Favre, again a risk taker but a risk taker with a lot more talent then Grossman. Grossman was a spread offense QB, with bad feet, who could not read a defense and locked onto his recievers. Cutler has none of those problems. He was trained to run the WCO by the best their is, his arm and talent level are far beyond Grossman. Grossman, Favre and Cutler are all Gunslingers, or at least have that mentality, but Cutler and Favre have the stuff to back it up, Rex never did. Don't give me the recievers garbage either, he had Moose and Berrian, thats a pretty good pair. He also had Thomas Jones at RB, who did Cutler have at RB? Why was Cutler forced to Gamble, how many times was he playing from behind? I don't know about games that Cutler gave away, and I have seen every Bronco game from last year. I do know he led his team back for 7 come from behind wins over the last two years and that is pretty close to being best in the league.

In 2006 the Bears defense gave up 15 points a game, 3rd best in the NFL. In 2007 and 2008 the Broncos gave up, 25.6 pts and 28 pts a game. Maybe I missed something, but just maybe, that has something to do with Cutlers win loss record, just maybe. You know how many teams have winning records that give up over 25 let alone 28 points a game? I don't I can't find any.

Rex has been in the league 7 years, his first 3 years , he threw for all of 1300 yards, 4 TD's and 6 int's. Grossmans QB rating is 70.2 and falling.

Let see what did Cutler do his first 3 years, he threw for 9,204 yards, 54 TD's and 37 int's. OMG how did I not see it before Rex and Cutler are Twins. Cutler also has over 400 yards rushing, Rex has 80 in more than double the years, their the same. Cutler has a very weak passer rating of 87.1.

Ask yourselves this, is their anyplace Rex has outperformed Cutler? The answer is no, it's not even close. Joyner is just talking smack to draw in attention, kind of how a former writer at the Times used to. Ring any bells?

In his first 3 years Cutler has been better than Favre was in his first three. Take out both their first years, to be fare to Favre and Cutler is still better. Better than Elway his first 3, way better than Rivers, better than Big Ben, his numbers are best compared to Tom Brady's. Not to mention Cutler was sick as a dog most of his second season. Joyner is an idiot.

Joyner is trying to have a debate about Cutler, he just wants to discount all the facts and numbers and say I watched film so it's ok to do that. "Rex took Chicago to the Super Bowl." Please put down the pipe idiot.

And yes this is the real Creighton and f*** Joyner, and where is Brando, f*** you too f**. I swear to god I hate when s*** like this actually makes news. I have to interupt my me time in the summer to post a retort to another idiot who deserves to have his opinion on sports reguarded highly about as much as Ahmadinejad deserves to be reguarded highly as the president of Iran. Shock jock garbage with no substance, thats all it is.

Their you all got a Creighton rant, now it's back to me time and pool parties.

I agree completely- Cutler is a risk taker- And I LOVE IT!! Just like I loved Rex Grossman! (a statement I'm sure will get me some flak)

I will take a gunslinger over a game manager ANY DAY OF THE WEEK and twice on Sunday (when it counts)
A game manager will have the Running back lead the team in receptions. A GM will have MANY more 3rd and long 3 yard passes- which results in a PUNT! A game manager will need to be PERFECT to win a game- he can't have a "bad" game because he can't/won't force throws into tight spots when it's really needed... A game manager won't LOOK down field- because he already dumped it off to a TE or RB.
A Game Manager CAN'T Throw it DEEP!
A Game Manger will NOT make the Receivers Better.
With the focus on Cutler and Grossman- they both MADE WR's- Namely Royal, Marshall, and Berrian- All of whom would not have made the strides and improvement without the Gunslingers throwing to them. How many WR's had Kyle Orton made better? ZERO!
Man I can't wait until we have some exciting QB play- either way- you gotta take the bad with the good! Who leads the NFL in career TD passes? oh, yeah he also leads in INT's too. I'll take that! Go Bears! I can't WAIT!!

Reading Joyner's statements I'm guessing that Brett Favre never took chances with his throws... Nor did Fran Tarkington (anyone ever hear of that guy?).

The way Joyner's talking it appears that he's more about calling attention to himself (ESPN job security seems to be based on this kind of entertainment), and less about the accuracy of the analysis. At times it sounds like he's shooting from the hip.

Unfortunately ego based observation is not an uncommon trait in the world of sports team discussion. Peruse any set of ten or more blog comments following a Briggs article on the Bears and one finds that cool minded objective analysis can sometimes be a rare commodity. Himself being a homer, Briggs is not all that bad at doing what he does.

Regarding Cutler, I'd be more inclined to pay attention to what Troy Aikman's opinion would be, provided the former Dallas quarterback did his homework properly and studied the tapes. -LH

I agree with Joyner. Cutler is a risk taker and so was Grossman. But it seems to me that Cutler sees the field better than Grossman ever did. He is shiftier and avoids a rush better. Basically Grossman just went down. The trump card for J is Forte. If Cutler has a backfield receiver that can get 4+ yards per carry and catch 60 passes per year, he doesn't have to be so much of a gambler. Cutler is taller, stronger, and can hand off to Forte and Kevin Jones, which he didn't have the last two years at Denver.

Opinions are like a$$holes......everybody has one! Or should I say, Joyner is one! Get a real job! GO BEARS!!!!

KC is bizarre and Brad I gotta give you two thumbs down if you agree with him.... He might as well have said Brett Favre and Grossman are on the same level too.... Sure, Cutler threw some picks but so has Favre and those two are on entirely different levels then King Rex... I too watched every Denver game and there is no way you worry every time Cutler drops back the way you did with Rex, in fact in 2006 and subsequent years you were surprised when Rex didn't turn it over...unfortunately Rex lost his confidence and couldn't lead himself much less a team...I hope the guy regains it in Texas but Cutler has a real shot for the hall of fame with his skills... only time will tell if he can make it happen but he sure is a fun guy to watch


bear fans know their history and they know their football,the one thing that stands out the most about grossman is his inability to improvising.Rex had no mobility what soever,he also was injury prone,rex had the arm but he could not run worth a lick. Jay is young (just turned 26) has a strong arm,and CAN RUN OUT OF THE POCKET and improvise. He will have a good year,and thats why us fans like cutler,yes he has a gun and will try to squeeze balls in,but people also can compare favre to grossman but thats unfair,cause favre can improvise like cutler,and the biggest thing cutler is accurate! has a good comp %,grossman was awful he was not accurate

Hey genius, just so ya know, I am not being 'emotional' right now. A bit bored of the Bear-bashing, maybe, but also content after giggling so much at you and your 'professional' observations. So thanks for that. I love to laugh. ;) Anyways - Grossman was short. Cutler is tall. Grossman had stubby fingers and small palms. Cutler has longer arms and big hands. Grossman negotiated a collapsing pocket with about as much dexterity as an iron statue. Cutler can scramble. Grossman could not toss the slant, could not throw on the run. Cutler can gun it across his body while mobile. Grossman stared down his receivers in a panic. Cutler keeps plays alive with his feet and lives long enough to evaluate second and third options. Grossman watches the pro bowl from his couch. Cutler GOES THERE AND PLAYS. :)
So... um... yeah... these two REALLY have a lot in common. *coughs*
Grossman did not LEAD us to the SB, and Mcmahon was not a great QB. Without Payton to hand the ball to and w/o that D he would have been average at BEST. So jog on, bitter little man. No sale. In your angry little 'pay attention to me 'cause I'm six years old and cranky' rant you said "It's funny..." - lol! - NO, NO, NO, my friend... YOU are funny.



Bear the **** down, Chicago!!!!!

Frank Gore (3rd rd) and Brandon Jacobs (4th) are the best players from the 2005 draft thus far

No comparison at all. Joyner doesn't know what he is talking about.
Football expert. My A_s.
Grossman doesn't have a starting QB job. He may not even cut the mustard in Kansas to make the team.
So how can you compare QBs from opposite extremes?

Attention whore likes attention. Who knew?

Guys, this guy is a moron. His website is a joke. He says outageous crap out of not sheer ignorance but completely trying to bait Bear fans. He's a troll. The more people "up in arms" as he puts it the better for his readership.

The thing is guys that these "predictions" are absolutely meaningless. When he's wrong you won't even hear a "oops,my bad" from the guy because he'll be on to saying something more outrageous to garner attention.

In short ... he's NckBeardSucks with a wider array of interests.

// Good to have you back Creighton ... but you cannot imagine how many closeted homosexuals want to see you in a thong. It's truly disturbing.

You know....Cutler has some simularities to Grossman.....hard worker, strong arm, teammates respect him, but here's the diffrence. Cutler looks DOWNFIELD while Grossman watched the passrush.(Joyner even made this reference in his little Cutler Slam-fest chit-chat) Cutler has the athletic ability to keep a play alive while Grossman was a stiff in the pocket. EVERY great QB in history took risks, Montana, Elway, Farve, Marino, ect. Joyner is right about alot of things but he simply has this one wrong.

So Brad, it's nearly unanimous: Joyner doesn't know what he's talking about. Please quit using him as a source of anything, you're far too good for this garbage.

Don't be enamored by people who are good at stats or watch a lot of film. If they know the game in addition to doing those things, their knowledge will be enhanced. But if they don't know the game to begin with, stats and film won't help.

Yes, on the surface, Joyner seems correct. Cutler and Grossman can be compared because they are both "gunslingers". However, what is also missed by just focusing on the "gunslinger" is other aspects of the two quarterbacks. As nearly everyone here has pointed out, you also need to compare teams they played on (ie defenses), accuracy (Cutler is much better), and physical abilities (athleticism, height, arm strength - Rex has a decent arm but it is nothing compared to Cutler's).

You can look at Joyner's points and agree with the argument that Cutler is not an elite quarterback - yet. The greatest quarterbacks of all time could win games and manage games. Cutler has proven that he can win games - he (thanks to the team he played for) has not proven he can manage a game. I believe he will develop this, although I'm sure there will be some rough moments.

No, Cutler is not yet in the class of Manning or Brady. He is not a perfect quarterback. However, he is still young, has all the physical tools, can win games, and is a lot closer to an elite quarterback than Grossman.

By the way, thanks, Brad, for pointing out different views on the Bears and Cutler. I know some people don't want to see a different opinion but I do like to read them, even if I don't agree (or maybe it is because I don't want to agree). Just reading all positive stuff would get boring. Thanks again!

Wow... I will never understand the mental block in Bears fans that is Rex Grossman. It's become like a hate crime now. The shear mention of his name will make normally sane Bears fans become like the most vile creatures in history- Hitler or the KKK... Do you hear/read yourselves when writing comments about Rex?
Rex is gone... You helped make that happen, with the vile way you treated him, you should be happy, leave it at that.
The fact is- He was the starting QB the last time the Bears went to the SB. The fact is- he's the Best QB the Bears have had in 11 years. (stats, starts, wins) That's not saying much- but it's something.

I can't wait for Cutler to get his Bears Career stated- I do believe that he will be a great addition. But I fear these types of Bears Fans for Cutlers sake.
This type of treatment of another human being is sickening. Learn from it people.

Haha. Joyner is afraid like the rest of the league is.

The Bears have the 2nd most wins in the NFC the last 4 years (to the Giants). They have done so with terrible quarterback play.

Joyner knows the truth. It is almost unfair to the rest of the league that the Bears now have a legit quarterback. They will predictably ROMP thru the schedule and dominate all comers in the playoffs. It will not even be fair.

14-2, and then beat the Patriots in the superbowl 46-10. Oh yea!

"I'm basing my Cutler comments on three seasons of Denver tape breakdowns. He's a huge risk-taker and that equates to about 1 in 20 of his passes being an [interception] or near [interception] because of a mistake on his part. He'll win games in the Windy City and when he does, I'll hear it from Bears fans. I just want to hear from those same fans when his risk-taking costs the team a big game and I'll all but guarantee that will happen.''

It's unfortunate I'm so late to jump in on this.

My reaction, these three years came during Culter's 1st 2nd & 3rd year within a passing-oriented offense. Does anyone thing that Shannahan encouraged Culter to not take chances as he grew? Does this analysis consider how many mistakes came during come from behind efforts?

Statistically speaking, when projecting the performance of a QB from yr-to-yr, each year is a different animal, but especially so during their initial years.

How many times have we heard the analysts speak about the game slowing down for quarterbacks as they mature. Is it that hard to anticipating Cutler improving; did we as chicagoans see Grossman improve?

Did grossman? Lead us? to a superbowl? I don't think so. This guy is a tool (joyner) ESPN (or whoever) would be better served with Brad Biggs

I'm a Bronco fan and huge Cutler fan. Jay is nothing like Grossman. His risk taking is not as bad as the writer seems to throw out there.

He'll fling some out there but he's a little methodical with it. If the intended receiver can't catch it, it's going to be a hell of an attempt for the DB to catch it.

You will be amazed at the windows he gets the ball through. But he does it consistently.

The misconception of interceptions thrown by Cutler is that he takes big risks but what's not looked at is how many times he actually threw the ball last year. 600+ times and the only guy with more throws was Drew Brees. Brees faired well in the INT area but also is a established vet. Last year was the first year Cutler was really leaned on.

Cutler did very well and I anticipate him doing great with a DEFENSE (can't stress that enough). He'll find a receiver to get the ball to.

Interesting article and comments. I was and am a Rex fan who thinks he got a really raw deal from Bear fans, but Cutler is doubtless considerably better. The real issues this year though are how much improved the offensive line turns out to be and whether or not the defense can generate at least some semblance of a pass rush. Let's hope both aspects show enough improvement that the Bears can get a few laugher wins with Cutler lighting up the scoreboard and Forte running and catching at aan all-pro level.

KC Joyner is paid to sling BS. Nice job he has. And some people live to worry.

See you on Family Night.

Hey Dimmn:

I agree that Rex got poor treatment from Bears fans who have been known to always pull for the second stringer and boo the starter since the 60's. I actually liked Rex more than Orton, but I also can recognize that Rex did not improve his play over the years and that Cutler has far more upside than Rex.

But to associate Bears fans to the KKK or Hitler (when Rex Grossman's name is mentioned)is a little bit of hyperbole, an exageration of enormous proportions, don't you think? If Bears fans are that nasty then we should also compare them to Stalin as well.

Dimmn, don't get me wrong I do believe that Rex got the shaft from many Bears fans but your comparison is not viable.

I don't think anyone can base anything the Bears do this year strictly on the play of the quarterback for the following reasons:

1) New D-Line coach; If Marinelli can get the most out of these guys, we'll be back in the Top 10 defensively
2) Lovie calling the plays on 'D'; We can't get Rivera back, but this has got to be better than Babich
3) New O-Line; Orlando Pace and a true blocking TE could do wonders
4) Healthy (for now) corners; If Vash and Peanut stay healthy they'll look like 2006

Joyner is right. Cutler will make some questionable throws. Every QB in the NFL makes questionable throws. Mad Mac did it all the time. Let's not forget this is a TEAM game...

Joyner sounds like he knows a lil' something about football. There is a lot of hype on Jay Cutler, and I definately bought into and continue to buy into the hype. I think being a bears fan and wasn't even born when they won in '85 I've been used to seeing horrendous qb play for our teams. I remember our '01 team that went 13-3 with jim miller and shane matthews-horrible. I remeber the '05 bears with one of the best defenses they had in recent time with orton at the helm as a rookie, not even eclipsing the 2000yrd mark as a qb. I think some running back had more rushing yards then he had passing. lol Then I remember 5 good game grossman played and lot of bad games he played. Some of those teams within those first 5 games were garbage anyway, no disrespect to grossman. Anyway my point is not only the fans but anyone that knows anything about football knows that the bears are just one of those teams that never seem to get it right with getting qbs. Just to give another example, I remember the year Kordell Stewart played for us and this back to miller and matthews named Henry burris, damn those were hard times. watches qbs consistantly trip over their lineman's feet and getting sacked, fumbling, etc. Chris Chandelor at 50yrs old. lol People are conditioned to seeing failure at that position that even when someone as great as Cutler comes to town, it just seems too good and so unreal to be true. But the fact of the matter is it is true that we finally got a great qb. Cutler has the machnics to be a great qb, things that you can just see without looking at the stat sheet. Doesn't throw off his back foot, does fumble snaps with consistancy, if a corner is sticking with a receiver and culter does take the risk, he knows how to drop the ball over the shoulder opposite to where the db is so the receiver can make a play on the ball not wrestle a way a interception. Cutler has better size and height for the position, better arm, better decision making, much better pression and check down passer, better on his feet, etc, etc, etc. Everybody was on Cutlers nuts when he was a bronco, even comparing him to the great Elway, and even Elway admitted that Cutler has the better arm. Now that he's a Bear Espn commentators are knitt picking the minor falses that Cutler has in his game. And when that can't do that, they question his character, not knowing what truely went on behind the scenes, can't comment on s**t you don't know. Then, last but not least they question the receivers and defense. Here are some points to kill those arguments, Qbs are more valuable then receivers and often times even make receivers who they are. Want to argue my point, ask Randy Moss about his days in Oakland, ask Chad Johnson if he would rather have Ryan Fitz whats his name at qb or Carson Palmer, ask T.O. how comfortable he feels playing with trent edwards who might be discent but is no Steve Young, McNabb, Romo, and not even a Jeff Garcia gay or not. lol Who the hell is a Deion Branch, definately not a pro bowler but Brady won 3 super bowls with a receiving core that people probably couldn't even name, Branch won 2 of those Superbowl mvps by the way because brady was able to make something out of what the "EXPERTS" would consider a mideocore wr core. Trent Green was great qb for the chiefs, even had 3 consecutive 4000yrd season. Do me a favore "EXPERTS" and name 1 receiver outside of te Gonzalez, lol. didnt stop Green from doing his thing. Greg Olsen and Clark are better than your average TE in the league and Olsen particularly has the same abilities as the elite te's in the league. Forte is even a good receiving back, similar to priest holmes, faulk, westbrook, etc. You don't always need a moss, t.o. or ocho cinco to be a good qb, infact don't a lot of these guys create bad press and conflict with qbs. then the "experts" would critisize us for getting a burress or matt jones, or marshall, that's all these comentators do well is critisize underdogs teams like the bears and hang on the nuts of teams like the patriots, an aging team the lives off picking up older players to contribute but are still favorites to win it every year. Sorry, for typing a essay length comment but I get so tire of hearing the some bs comments about the bears, always being said that we were a qb away from being a great team, now we have that great qb and people still doubt. one last point, many rookie receivers have come into the league and made a name for themselves, and I feel if Ingelesis (who played with the number offense in college) and Knox a 5th rounder (but was the in the top 3 in the 40 with a 4.34 and has a near 40in vert and has hands) if these guys get the playing time and start along with hester( who has rediculous play-making ability) Cutler will get the ball to them. The leading receiver might just be our TE which is okay, Chargers do just fine with that, but everyone will contribute to the passing attack. Please don't place judgement on receivers that played with questionable qbs on our team, which in turn limits the amount of plays in the playbook a coach would call in game for the qb to make. what, you gonna open the playbook up for a turnover machine like grossman, or a game managing qb like orton, can't even really place blame on coaches either when you look at it that way.

Saying "the most popular quarterback in Chicago is the second stringer" is one of those statements that while true is also totally deceptive. The reason is this: While it's true that Bear fans have long hated their starting QBs, the reason for that hatred is not the fact that they were starters, but the fact that they sucked. No one liked the second string QB more than McMahon. I wasn't following the Bears closely in '95, but I'll bet that was also true about Kramer. Remember, just because one thing follows another doesn't mean that the first thing caused the second. As long as Jay Cutler plays as well as everyone reasonably expects him to, there's no reason to expect Bear fans to give him a hard time.

I was never a Rex-basher; I even kinda liked the guy (not as a QB).

But Rex couldn't even beat out Kyle Orton. Why are Rex and Jay even in the same conversation? No disrespect, but is Mr. Joyner saying the Broncos are better off having Kyle?

(Although I do wish both Rex and Kyle the best. Too bad things didn't work out in Chicago.)

I think the term "near interception" is about as valid as a "slightly pregnant".

A "near interception", as far as I can tell, is something that this particular writer (and I use that term loosely) made up just to try and make his agruements sound more plausable. The "near interception" is nothing more than a pass where the DB had a chance to make a play on the ball. Every pass thrown into a tight spot (wether it's picked, completed, dropped or batted down) is a "near interception". I would like to see what Joyner would say about the Likes of Brady or P. Manning and their "near interceptions" (both have been known to thread the ball into some tight spots).

Being an ex military person I know you are suppose to respond to items within the domain of facts, reasons and logic. Somehow I’m perplexed by the comparison of Cutlers risk taking being compared to Rex Grossman performance by K C Joyner. I’d be the first to say that despite the impression Rex put on after all the booing, the blitzing, the fumbles and the interceptions took it’s toll and lead to his demise as a quarterback in Chicago. However there is an empirical upgrade in the selection of Jay Cutler based on stats, size, and mobility. I’m comfortable in accepting the fact that Cutler will make mistakes but I fail to see how the comparison to Grossman is formed to elicit anything except an emotional response. Empirically looking at each you will find that both have played in roughly the same volume of games Rex has 36 as a Bear and Cutler 37 as a Bronco. If you look at the pain that caused fans the most duress by Grossman lets say interceptions and sacks if you was to know fumbles Grossman has 19 Cutler 16.
Grossman has 58 sacks and loss 420 yards, Cutler took 51 sacks and lost 307 yards. In looking at this it should be fair to look at the number and percentage of completed passes as well, Grossman threw 962 balls completed 54.2% of his passes for 6164 yards. Cutler threw the ball 1220 times completed 62.5% of his passes with for 9024 yards. The outrage in the Bear fan base gets emotional because if you look at these guys side by side the fans know Cutler is the better player. Look at the difference across the league six teams where vying to get their hands on Cutler at the cost of two first round draft pick. Grossman was fortunate to find a team to take on his services in a reserve capacity in the NFL. Joyner can’t help but be looking for an emotional response when he knows the Bear fans have been looking for stability at quarterback the last twenty years. I say it’s only logical that he gets the emotional response he’s soliciting because he for sure has not endured the pain which is a completely emotional characteristic of the argument. I say even if it cost JA and LS their jobs it was worth the trade to upgrade this position than to pass is to the next available spot and than be stuck again. I like Kyle but he has no where need the arm strength and speed of Cutler. Mr. Joyner Bear fans are prepared to accept the mistakes Cutler will make and we assure you it won’t be compared to Rex Grossman they will all be his own.

Joyner made his call....

What I know is:

Cutler is twice as mobile and has more scrambling ability then both Grossman and Orton combined.

I also know that Cutler can make all the throws over the entire field, you can't say the same about Rex or Kyle.

Rex had a big arm but remember how awful he was on those sideline throws ??? Orton could dink and doink with the best of them but he was bad with the deep ball.... Cutler has shown he can throw the pill to all levels effectively.

The Oline is upgraded.... Pace replacing St.Claire is enough for me but Omiyale though not exactly a proven commodity is a big dude that has played effectively when called upon in Carolina. Tait was a warrior but he was suffering from bad ankles. Williams taking over at RT instead of LT is huge because it will allow him to get his feet wet without having to protect Cutler blindside.

Even if the O-line doesn't gel right away and Jay gets some pressure early the unique intangible is that Jay has the ability to feel the pressure and escape it. He should help out the O-line on passing downs just as much as he will help the the other positions on the team improve. Forte and Jones will enjoy defenses keying on our QB for a change. The TE's and WR's will have more opportunities with more accurate passes coming at every level on the field. The Defense will enjoy watching the Offense actually stay on the field for more then 3-plays half the game. ect...ect...ect....

Go Bears !!

Speaking of hating quarterbacks, does anyone else remember the 1990 (I think) home game against the Chiefs (once again, if my memory is correct) and Mike Tomczak, who was starting in place of the injured Jim Harbaugh, getting booed mercilessly? When they panned the crowd they showed some guy screaming and booing and pointing at his crotch. I remember Paul Maguire saying something like, "Hey Bears fans, why are you booing? This is the best you got now." Now those were some good times! And while I agree that the hatred of Grossman did get excessive, keep in mind that Tomczak was a backup on the beloved 85 team (played excellent guitar on the Superbowl Shuffle :)) and was the starter for a playoff victory over the Eagles in the 1988 playoffs. Plus, the guy wasn't even drafted out of college so you couldn't even claim he was a wasted draft pick. If Bears fans can turn on Tomczak that viciously, then no one is safe.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 10, 2009 11:59 PM.

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