Chicago Sun-Times

What about Jeff George?

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Jeff George is 42. Yes, 42! But earlier this month, amid all the annual Brett Favre retirement drama, George lobbied for himself on sports talk radio station KFAN in the Twin Cities.

Ridiculous, you say? Well, Mark Brunell is 39, and he's still got a job in the league.

I remember George posted a video on YouTube of a workout at his alma mater, the University of Illinois.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrnXYypoURU

It showed that he can still throw the ball.

During my sportswriting career, I'm not sure I've seen any quarterback throw the ball so hard and so accurately, and I've covered the likes of Favre, Randall Cunningham and Daunte Culpepper. What George did in 1999 was remarkable. After Dennis Green benched the struggling Cunningham, George nearly rallied the Vikings to a second-half comeback in Detroit, completing 10 of 12 passes for 214 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

George went 8-2 down the stretch as a starter, and his numbers were eye-opening (23 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 94.2 passer rating). Then, in two playoff games, he threw seven touchdowns against one interception, with the Vikings losing a shoot out the eventual Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams.

The No. 1 pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, George was ripped for assorted reasons, but he was a solid citizen in his lone season with the Vikings. Randy Moss and Cris Carter loved the way he threw the ball, and Culpepper picked his brain. Plus, perhaps most important, he was a stand-up guy to the media.

I know there's one person who is always pushing George for president: Jason Whitlock.

The popular Fox Sports columnist, and formerly of the Kansas City Star, played high school ball with George, and he recently deified his friend (again).

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/still-idolizing-jeff-george-after-all-these-years-080510

By now, George surely would embrace his role as Jay Cutler's backup. And, given some of the criticisms Cutler has endured, George is equipped to perhaps offer his insight as a former top pick.

Guaranteed money has been a sticking point in the Bears' search for a veteran quarterback. But, George isn't in the proverbial drivers' seat anymore; he'd take the league minimum, carry a clipboard and offer his insight of an offense he's familiar with.

As I mentioned in today's story, the Bears are not done addressing the quarterback position. Given how strange the whole process has been, it'll be interesting -- and somewhat fitting -- to see if George enters the picture.

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19 Comments

I don't think Jeff George would be the best mentor type for Jay Cutler, and besides, Cutler's at a point in his career where he shouldn't need a mentor type behind him. I don't think he wants one anyways with the whole "Mike is the man comment." What Cutler needs is more reps in Martz's offense, not a veteran backup.

One of the knocks on George in the past has been his lack of leadership skills. I realize he might of been a good citizen in Minnesota, but thats probably because he was in a point of his career where he realized maybe he should start taking the game a little more seriously. The bottom line is George is 42, hasn't thrown in an NFL game in 4-5 seasons, and like I said above, Cutler doesn't need/want a mentor type anyways.

If Caleb Hanie's gonna be ready by the opener, Chicago will be fine. Now, I don't know the extent of Hanie's injury, all I know is what I read and what Chicago is saying, and again, their saying he'll be ready by week one. If, and again for emphasis, IF Hanie's injury is a little worse than Chicago is letting off, maybe a guy like Patrick Ramsey wouldn't be a bad name to look into. Again, hopefully Cutler doesn't go down with an injury this season, he's been pretty durable throughout his career anyways GO BEARS!!

Interesting concept, Sean. George would probably come cheap enough,and his arm is as good as anyone's.As I remember him, he's a guy who needs good protection to be effective and, though strong, has limited mobility. He might be a good information source in game preparation as well, considering his experience with the Vikings.

Why George, Montana busy?

Sean,

Really?..George? Wasn't there talk of bringing him in a few years ago in the beginning of Lovie's tenure when they eventually brought in Jeff Blake? Bottom line is this. The BEST backup QB for Cutler right now is a healthy Hanie. Not that he's the most talented of anyone out there, but there seems to be this emphasis on having someone with experience in the Martz system. Well, to my knowledge, Hanie has had his nose in Martz's playbook since Martz arrived. That has got to be better than a Trent Green or McCown who haven't seen his playbook in at least 3+ seasons at the minimum. Although, I don't mind the Ramsey suggestion.
What I would like to see is the Bear's scour the waiver wire next week when rosters are cut for some OL help. It's usually the first cut where the talented players are let go. Teams usually do this so the player can catch on with another team and it allows for their younger players to step in and get additional work the last 2 weeks of camp. If the Bears can find 1 guy who is better than either Marten, or Asiata, I would bring them in. I would also like to see this kid Walter get some snaps with the second string offense. I have seen enough of Beekman to know what he can and can't do.

Something you may have wanted to mention was the last team George played for, The Bears, back in 2004. So he's been with the team before and they didn't let him play last time in that shambles of a season. So I can't see him trusting Lovie to give him a fair chance this time around. I don't see the big deal anyways, Hanie will be as good as any veteran that was available, if needed.

What about Kellen Clemons

:o, really? 3 things, has not played in forever, is well known for not reading his playbook, is a pure read and react QB.

Any chance of luring Brett Favre out of retirement?

Sorry, Sean; Brunell may be 39, granted, but have you seen how crummy he has been for the last few years? Please fortify your argument with a better example. Maybe you forgot to eat breakfast?

Gotta agree with Santa Barbara Tom on that one, Sean what have you been smoking lately, Jeff George in the end of August by the time he would be signed, two weeks before kickoff of the NFL season without any knowledge whatsoever of Martz's offense.

I would rather see Jeff Garcia in there, at least he has moxy, can move a little, uses his brain and if I recall has some exposure to Martz's offense.

Heck maybe we could bring back Aikman or Steve Young, I saw Fran Tarkenton was available, Bobby Douglas perhaps, Jim Kelly, come on there are some great QB's out there.

Earth to Sean come in please? I would think it is the altitude but Chicago is not much above sea level, maybe the oxygen content has diminished recently. OMG Jeff George?

Sean, really like you a lot for a guy from Minnesota but all I can do with this idea is gasp for air!

"Plus, perhaps most important, he was a stand-up guy to the media."

Really? His being a stand-up to the media was "perhaps most important"? Forget the stats, the leadership, the touchdowns, you think his treatment of the media is important at all - let alone most important? Really?

This is a perfect example of the media having no clue what their place in society is. Frankly, I would not care if my QB EVER talked to the media if he was a good leader, a good passer, and the team wins. I don't care one bit about how the media gets treated. I find it regretable that how you treat the media has significant influence over how the media treats you.

"Plus, perhaps most important, he was a stand-up guy to the media."

Really? His being a stand-up to the media was "perhaps most important"? Forget the stats, the leadership, the touchdowns, you think his treatment of the media is important at all - let alone most important? Really?

This is a perfect example of the media having no clue what their place in society is. Frankly, I would not care if my QB EVER talked to the media if he was a good leader, a good passer, and the team wins. I don't care one bit about how the media gets treated. I find it regretable that how you treat the media has significant influence over how the media treats you.

"Plus, perhaps most important, he was a stand-up guy to the media."

Really? His being a stand-up to the media was "perhaps most important"? Forget the stats, the leadership, the touchdowns, you think his treatment of the media is important at all - let alone most important? Really?

This is a perfect example of the media having no clue what their place in society is. Frankly, I would not care if my QB EVER talked to the media if he was a good leader, a good passer, and the team wins. I don't care one bit about how the media gets treated. I find it regretable that how you treat the media has significant influence over how the media treats you.

If George had played in Martz's system at some point then it might make sense. Otherwise I really don't think George would be a good fit since he hasn't played in such a long time and he would be learning a new offense. I will say that George did have an incredible arm. I remember watching the Indiana state finals in what was then called the Hoosier Dome in 1985 and it was incredible how loud it sounded even way up in the stands when a George pass hit a receiver's hands. You would see the play and then a second later you would hear this loud "pop". He had so much talent - he should have been a much better player.

Jeff, the media, unfortunately, is needed. It's why we call it the Fourth Estate. More to the point, though, I think Sean was just being facetious. He has a sense of humor - be on guard.

Thanks, Tom. There's a price for sarcasm. People don't always pick up on it

Jeff George's only success came while he played with that offensive juggernaut in Minnesota. He is a thrower, not a quarterback. I agree with Dahlllama - Jeff Garcia would be a better choice with his moxy, and because he uses his brain - more of a McMahon type. The gunslinger type is more exciting - think of Jay Cutler - but the jury is out on whether that style will work in Chi Town. I want it to, but have my doubts.

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but Gruden just commented on Cutler's rocket arm, and Jeff George is the original Mustache Spiral of the 90's.

Those are the only 2 reason's to watch Jeff George. Oh, and 3rdly, to watch his tirades against the media. LOL

Jeff George looks pretty good after Monday night, wouldn't you say? Cutler's backups left one wanting, to say the least.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 19, 2010 9:28 AM.

Cutler on if he wants veteran QB: "Mike is the guy" was the previous entry in this blog.

Jerry Angelo addresses a variety of subjects is the next entry in this blog.

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