ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden couldn't believe his eyes, so he dialed up a replay.
It was the second quarter of last Sunday's game between the Bears and the Dallas Cowboys, and quarterback Jay Cutler prepared to take a shotgun snap on third-and-15. Gruden was impressed with Cutler's touchdown pass to Devin Hester, and Cutler's read on a touchdown to Greg Olsen.
But the throw that he had to watch multiple times was Cutler's 59-yard completion to receiver Johnny Knox.
"The ball he threw to Knox was 60 yards in the air," Gruden excitedly said, noting that he confirmed the distance.
Gruden said he counted five passes when Cutler didn't even set his feet.
"And the ball comes out like a rocket," he said.
Gruden said he's been around some talented throwers, like Jeff George, Randall Cunningham and Brett Favre.
"But I have never seen a live arm like Cutler's," Gruden said. "He rivals [John] Elway, and Favre of 1992, 1993 and 1994. Cutler is a certified Bomber. He can wing it. What I saw in Dallas was rare.
"And against Minnesota," Gruden said, referring to a Monday night game Dec. 28, 2009, "he made three or four throws that were nothing short of astonishing. He's a power pitcher."
Gruden said Cutler is fortunate to work with new Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
"I think Mike Martz is good for any quarterback, because he understands how to get people open, he's aggressive, and he instills confidence in any quarterback," Gruden said. "He's an excellent coach for Jay Cutler."