Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler ranked 8th best quarterback by ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski

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As many of you know, there are few analysts I respect more than Ron Jaworski of ESPN.

ESPN is televising a 30-part series of Jaworski's QB Countdown series, and he's ranked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler eighth overall.

Remarkably, Cutler didn't rank among the top 100 players, according to NFL Network. But Jaworski has Cutler ahead of many notable quarterbacks. For instance, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was ranked 40th on NFL Network, but Jaworski has him 15th. Within the NFC North, NFL Network has Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions at No. 41 but Jaworski has him 14th.


Where does Tim Tebow rank?

Jaws has him 30th... among quarterbacks.

Jaworski's top-ranked quarterback will be revealed Tuesday, July 10.

Here's what Jaws said about Cutler: "No. 8 on my big board is Jay Cutler. Physically, Cutler is as talented as any quarterback in the NFL. He's a power thrower with good accuracy. He has deceptive athleticism and movement. Not many bring the skill that Cutler has.

"One part of his game that I really like is his ability to step up in the pocket and drive the ball at the intermediate and deeper levels. He's an aggressive and confident downfield thrower. There's no hesitation at all. He turns it loose. He intuitively understands the NFL passing game. He knows when you get man coverage it's on the receivers to win. Cutler's going to throw the ball.

"Cutler has shown he can take over games. He did that against the Eagles on Monday Night last year. I remember it very well. When he went down after the Bears' 10th game, the offense crumbled. I don't deal in perception. Hey, I deal in reality.

"A couple of things about Cutler that still need to be addressed: his ball location can be a little erratic at times, and his red-zone efficiency must improve. Last season was his best in four years. He did not throw a red zone interception, but in the three previous seasons Cutler threw 13.That is not acceptable.

"Overall, I'm absolutely wowed by Cutler's ability to throw the football, even going back to his college career at Vanderbilt. Sure, he's exhibited some inconsistency in his six years in the NFL. He must clean up some poor decision-making tendencies. Of course he has to do that. But, if he can he will move into my top five."

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29 Comments

I have loved the Bears for forty years, but part of love (or so my wife says) is delivering honest criticism. The Bears offense for the last half decade has been at the bottom of the NFL, with talent that could make no other team. Dane Sanzenbacher? Frank Omiyale? Your best skill player is Matt Forte, a serviceable, durable straight-line back in the 90's Giants tradition? An offensive coordinator whose greatest claim to fame was his ability to kill (in order) 1. quarterbacks; 2. head coaches; 3. a city's fan base. Has there been a talent like Cutler who has had to face such organized obstacles to success?

The writer of the article is very confused. Jaworski's list is only quarterbacks and is his opinion alone, while the top 100 is for all players and is voted on by their fellow players. If Cutler is such a great QB, why don't his fellow players have him in the top 100 players in the league? The truth is that he has only had one winning season in the last 10 years, counting college and the NFL. Top 5 with improvement in the red zone? A top 5 QB is an elite QB who makes his entire team better, and Jay Cutler is not an elite QB, nor will he ever be.

ReTahraeb : You aren't counting the players that were around Cutler during his NFL career. Keep in mind when he had true WR's he went to the Pro Bowl. He's also been to the NFC title game, and was 7-3 and well on his way to the playoffs last year.

Make no mistake about it. Cutler now has a handful of weapons and an offensive coordinator who understands how to protect the QB.

People used to say the same thing about Eli Manning. Now he has had more success than his golden boy older brother Peyton in the NFL.

I understand that haters have to hate, and they rarely use actual perspective, but Jay has done more with less than any other QB in the league. Now he has Marshall again, Forte, Bennett and 2 other WR's that can go get the ball and I can't wait to see Jay's numbers (assuming he can stay healthy) skyrocket up the NFL charts.

Haters hate. Winners win. Players play.

I don't expect to see you back anytime soon eating crow once Jay dominates.

Jaworski is spot on in his analysis of Cutler. The strength of his arm and his athleticism are indisputable. He is truly as talented as any QB in the league. His arm strength is comparable to John Elway's in his prime. Elway has stated this himself, when Cutler was in Denver.

That said, Cutler's biggest downfall is Jay Cutler. Over half of what matters on the big stage of The NFL, is mental. If Cutler can somehow correct his personal attitude/ego and ability to be a team player, then he would earn the respect of the players around the league, and most importanly the players he huddles up with every Sunday.

Perhaps he would be very well served to call up Jaworski for some off the field counseling about how to handle the role of being the "leader" of your team, on and off the field. The top 5 is not out of the question, if Cutler could remedy this issue and bring The Bears to a long awaited Championship Game and Victory.

Retahraeb: Players play football--they don't analyze it. Personalities come into play, and many don't like Cutler. Many players don't like Suh, and guess what? He didn't even make the top 100. Yes, a top QB will make others around him better, but there's only so much one man can do--and the Bears have had NO talent around Cutler since he's been in Chicago. And you're going to hold against him that he didn't win in the SEC? at Vanderbilt? Be serious.

Jay will be ranked #1 after this year! GO BEARS!

ths top 100 is a literal childhood popularity contest, a glorified homecoming king. These are not decisions based on skill sets and ability, these are on who has been overhyped in the last few years. Jaws' analysis is done by A PRO BOWL QB and accounts for QB SKILL SETS. Something you and I will MOST LIKELY NEVER FULLY UNDERSTAND. So before you go bashing the EXPERT opinion of the EXPERTS you need to check yourself for ignorance, because you are wearing it on your sleeve.

@matt king: What has Cutler done to make you believe that he is not a leader? Or what has "the players he huddles with every Sunday" said to make you think that they don't respect him?

(Cutler "is not a leader" remains the laziest criticism of him as a QB. Convenient and easy to say, nothing at all to back it up.)

Stated with perfection. Thank you.

Wow...lots of opinions....let's review some facts here, some of which are unmentioned.

Cutler has been working from a hole on 3rd down moreso than most QB's in the league, thanks to the short term memory (or lack thereof) of Frank Omyale, etc. How many times was Cutler in a hole and trying to make something happen? Add to that Mike Martz's love of the 8-step drop, which had DE's salivating knowing (1) Cutler had 8 steps going backwards before he would set and throw and (2) few if any of the Bears O-linemen could stop a strong wind let alone a motivated athletic DE. Add to this the fact that Cutler often was having to wait for receiverd to get more than 10 yards downfield because he was operating from a hole, and you have an unsustainable situation. Cutler was made to look much less capable because he was running for his life. Put either Manning back there or even Aaron Rodgers with the same receivers Cutler had and see if the results differ.

Last of all, Mike Martz had zero concept of clock management. 2 years ago against Seattle at home, with the Bears down by 2 scores and 10 minutes left in the game, Martz is still calling running plays up the middle of the field! I know---was at the game and left early because even I could see they would not have time to win. Hester even ran back a kick for a TD late in the 4th--had Martz managed the game clock with a little foresight, they might have had a chance.

So while Cutler has great tools, he has been handcuffed by a coach calling plays that, for example, someone like Jim McMahon would have audibled out of--but Cutler didn't even have the personnel to be able to pull that off. Sorry, Kahlil Bell as your #2? When Forte was out, the opponents dialed in on Cutler and as a result he was lucky to escape alive.

The Bears will be a LOT better without Martz, with Bates and Tice calling the plays and with the additon of some legit receivers.

FB - There has never been any indication, at Vandy, in Denver, or in Chicago, that Cutler didn't have the respect of his teammates, that he wasn't a team player.

_____

Cutler's biggest flaw isn't likely to improve dramatically. He's a "gunslinger", which is instinctual, and as Jaws notes, when he sees man, he'll go for it. Sometimes that will result in some poor decisions, but Cutler had tremendously improved on things last year, despite the noted discord with Martz. You don't want to tell him to not to trust his instincts, so you'll live with some of the "gunslinger"

What needs to happen is for the offense to fit Jay Cutler's skills. 3-5 step drops will not only help the OL in protecting Jay, but it'll make Jay go through his reads, and thus, hopefully, not force as much action. What needs to happen is for Jay to take advantage of his mobility, which will force DB's to pay attention to two areas, which could create openings. What needs to happen is for the Bears to utilize TE's to attack the seam, where Jay's ability to fit balls into windows can happen.

I am cautiously optimistic that the Tice/Bates offense can achieve these things. I've long felt that Jay could be an elite QB in the game, and if the offense suits his game, I think what you could see him put up some huge numbers. With Marshall, Hester, Jeffrey, plus his security blanket in Earl Bennett, there's more skill on the offense ... in a long time.

That last post should've been directed to matt king. My fault.

One other point - while Garrett Wolfe never panned out, and Chester Taylor never was, there's a part of me that wishes we had a more versatile, shifty back on the depth charts, someone who can give Forte a breather on 3rd downs occasionally, while adding a different component to the passing game.

Go Lions

We don't need "shifty", we need more power (arrrr arrrr arrrr).....Michael Bush!!!

What? But that would mean Devin Hester might not be the top 10 receiver he was voted as, and that is clearly not possible. Or how about when Olin stated Omiyale was a top level tackle. Which clearly he is. Or how about Tebow the great. My goodness he made the top 100, he was so good that the Broncos dumped him and now he is a backup for the Jets. John Kuhn ranked above Lynch and Chris Johnson, or Sproles about Turner. Charles Woodson the second best corner in the league? A few years ago sure but he clearly has gotten better with age, that's why he plays nickle so much now, that's what great corners do, the move to nickle.

Okay yes Cutler out played Rivers, Vick, Ryan and Stafford head to head last year. But... Ummmm, but? Okay no where to go with that other than a lot of players and fans can be stupid.

Want proof?

"retahraeb | July 4, 2012 9:20 AM | Reply"


"The writer of the article is very confused. Jaworski's list is only quarterbacks and is his opinion alone, while the top 100 is for all players and is voted on by their fellow players. If Cutler is such a great QB, why don't his fellow players have him in the top 100 players in the league? The truth is that he has only had one winning season in the last 10 years, counting college and the NFL. Top 5 with improvement in the red zone? A top 5 QB is an elite QB who makes his entire team better, and Jay Cutler is not an elite QB, nor will he ever be."

Sean I am pretty sure he didn't even read your article and has never watched a football game before. Lucky for you he posts here.

We signed Micheal Bush

First off, Sean, you couldn't be more correct. There has been this outcry in baseball that the fans shouldn't vote for the players because they vote in the wrong guys and here you have the players in the NFL doing the same thing.

As for Cutler, some of us on here have been preaching the truth since he got here. When Jay was traded from the Broncos, not one analyst or "expert" said it was a bad move for the Bears. They all couldn't believe that the Broncos would be that stupid. And Peyton Manning aside, the Broncos will still be looking for a franchise QB 3 years from now. I love Manning, but I think hes going to make them good enough to seem interesting, but not good enough to win it all. But all the arrows on Cutler were pointing up.

But lets not forget what this "QB machine" the Chicago Bears have done for Cutler since he's been here. Let us count the ways that they have helped him.

*Have pretty much ignored the offensive line {other than Carimi} and have put a fat, cement footed, oaf to protect Jay's blind side.
*As other teams have moved to the larger and FASTER wide receivers who can not only run past defenders, but out muscle them as well. The Bears draft guys who know 2-3 routes and none of those involve going across the middle or fighting for a ball.
*Gone through OC's like Disney stars go through rehabs. Jay has spent more time on his back than a Kardashian, But then we want to know why Jay hasn't matured. Really?

And even now, the Bears have ignored the Offensive Line again. And as I have said many times, it doesn't matter how wide open Marshall is or how many sacks McClellan gets if by game 11, Jason Campbell is your starting QB due to injury. Leave Jay alone and blast those that need blasting. #1. Angelo. Worst GM in the NFL in the past 25 years. I will take Millen and Al Davis over him. #2. Lovie Smith for letting the Martz fiasco go on as long as it has.

Gearheadboy, you are absolutely correct, except for #1 on your list. Put Ted Phillips and the McCaskey family. I listen to a podcast that regularly features Ted Sundquist (as well as bits on the NFL Network, like, oh, the Draft...) and the man is more poised, articulate, prepared, reflective, and in command of the small details of football than Angelo could have ever hoped to be, he who seemed always addled, as if one's dotty uncle at Thanksgiving. I'm sorry, but when the search firm you've paid a few hundred grand to go find a quality GM comes back with the suggestion you hire Sundquist, then hire the man! But no. Phillips took the other guy, and we lost a decade in which one of the all-time great defensive players was on our squad. Pathetic.

I agree with the #8 ranking, on ability alone (arm strength and mobility), Cutler is among the best. Now, is Cutler among the elite in the NFL yet as a quarterback, no. I agree Cutler hasn't been given much to work with here in Chicago as far as having a receiver, hopefully that problem was tooken care of this off-season with the Marshall trade and the drafting of receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Evan Rodriguez? And yes the line hasn't been up to par either for Cutler, but a lot of the line woes gotta fall back on Mike Martz and his scheme. When Martz was in Detroit their QB's were getting smacked around and everyone was ready to run their line out of town like they are here in Chicago. Once Martz left Jeff Backus and crew settled down and their line was alright, I say give our line a chance under Tice, Webb or Williams might be a lot better not being left on an island much like Backus play improved with a change of scheme.

With all that being said, has Cutler really ever tooken over a game while he's been here in Chicago? To me, a QB taking over a game does it with his arm, you gotta come in and put up 300 plus yards, complete at least 60% of your passes, and throw 3 or more td passes, thats taking over a game as a QB. In 2009, Cutlers most productive year as a passer here in Chicago, he did it once vs the Cardinals in week 9, Cutler put up 369 yards passing, completed 62% of his passes, and threw 3 td passes, thats taking over a game as a passer. The Bears lost but Cutler did his part. In 2010, in week 1 vs the Lions, Cutler put up 372 yards passing and completed 65.7% of his passes, only threw 2 td passes, but that aside, thats taking over a game as a QB. In week 12 vs the Eagles that same year, Cutler threw 4 td passes and completed 66.6% of his passes, only 247 yards passing, but 4 td passes is taking over a game as a passer. The game vs the Eagles last season I wouldn't put down as taking over as a passer, the Bears got the win, and the 2 td passes and 0 ints is sharp, but only 208 yards passing and 56% completion percentage is more game manager like than it is saying he took over a game as a QB. Now, the week 1 game vs the Falcons, 312 yards passing, 68.7% of his passes completed and 2 td passes is taking over a game as a passer. Should be interesting, hopefully under Tice Cutler can get it together on a week by week basis GO BEARS!!

Oh my!! What a horrible insane crazy crazy list! Here is how the list should be as put together by yours truly.

My List of teh Best QBs to ever play in the NFL

#1 Garrett Wolfe (Also the #1 bestest player in all sports history ever)
#1 Danny LeFevour
#1 Caleb Hanie (Best QB on the rsoter last year. Can't understand why he was let go??)
#1 Kylie Orton (His neckbeard drives me wild!)
#1 Rex Grossman
#1 Cade McNown
#1. Chris Leak
#1 Todd Collins (Mega Beast)


Oopsies! I guess their all tied at #1 but there's nothig wrong with that now is there because who ever dons a Bears jeresey is the bestest and desrves to be "tooken" in the first round! Tee hee hee!!

But oh my! It's almost 11:00 PM! Goodness I'm such a party animal to be up so late drinking warm choclate milk and rocking hard to Enya! Maybe I should ask my doctor to up my Xanax dosage because someone needs to calm the storm known as Hurricane Bumstead!

Oh well Go Bears!!

"Players play football--they don't analyze it."

LOL!! Really?! So what exactly is the purpose of watching other teams on video each week during the season? Is it cheaper and more entertaining than Netflix? LOL!!!!

Once again you show a lack of insight into football. Taking over agame has nothing to do with the numbers. If you have a great offense and your team is playing against scrubs and your receivers are open all day long and your QB puts up nice stats, that is not taking over a game. Taking over a game is when your offense can't get anything done and in this case your QB does everything for the offense to make them viable. You want to put numbers on a QB taking over a game? The first Detroit game you saw Cutler take over the offense, he was the entire offense and kept them in the game. He destroyed Min this year but I wouldn't say he took over the game cause the Vikings suck. Then again without him they almost lost to the Vikings using a 3rd string QB. He took over the Philly game this year and the SD game. Sorry he didn't put up your special Kevin numbers but anyone who watches football knows he took over those games and anyone who watched the Bears knows he carried the offense.

You think padded stats mean you take over a game? No QB, no matter how good he is can make a reciever get open. Your talking about a QB on an offense that did not have the ability to audible. Makes it kind of hard to take over a game when your offense can't even audible out of a bad set. Even so Cutler took over games and made the offense viable on many occasions.

You don't think Cutler took over the Dallas game in 2010? Do you watch football? How about the Philly game in 2010 did he take that game over? I would say hell yes. The Jets game in 2010? He was the offense. How about that playoff game against the Seahawaks? He was the offense again. The Pit win in 2009 was all Cutler.

Generally speaking Kevin you don't take over a football game for an entire game. Did Eli take over the offense in Giants game against Seattle this year? He met all your stat qualifications after all. Oh wait it was a loss and he also threw 3 picks and had two fumbles. I can't say he took over that game. Did Eli take over the game against the Giants in the Super Bowl? He sure did in the 4th, oh wait he didn't meet your qualifications so it does not count. That win is only good for a Super Bowl ring, but not a official Kevin Armstead game takeover award.

It's pretty easy to tell when a QB stepped it up and took over an offense if you actually watch the game. Let me get this right though, you picked a game in which the Bears got destroyed 41 to 21, a game in which the Bears only scored once in the first three quarters and where down 34 to 7 in the 4th. A game in which Arizona brought out it's scrubs and the Bears managed to score against the scrubs really late in the game with no chance of winning. That's how you define taking over a game? No, no, and hell no. Bears got thrown a beating and could do nothing against CardS first team.

Watch a game man, no way in hell did you watch that 2009 Arizona game and come away with that being a game that Cutler had taken over. Nobody would come away with that thought. It's like Baseball Kevin you gotta watch it to get it. Watch a damn game. Quit trying to qualify players to your own magic numbers, that you pulled out your backside. Your the same guy that talked about the greatness of Hanie, Collins, and Dan freakin LeFevour before they ever played, but now Cutler has to qualify for some insane numbers that you ripped for the darkside of your backside in order for you to say he is good or that he has taken over a game. And your lone example of your magic idea of taking over a game is a blow out loss to Arizona, as a game that he took over? Really? How on earth did this make any sense even to you as you thought it up? A QB or any player takes over a game when he takes over a game. It's that simple, there is no number for it, a guy does it when he does it, and you have to see it to understand it.


John Elway managed that little stat feat of yours 5 times in his first 10 years, and 9 times in his 16 year hall of fame career. Cutler has done it 3 times in his first 7. And lets ignore those pesky 4TD games Jay has had when threw for like 70 percent, cause he didn't get 300 yards he didn't take over the game or do his part. Or those 3 TD games he has had where he had 350 yards but only had a sucky completion percentage of 58.

Man Elway must have sucked I mean in 16 years he only did that nine times he even went 3 years in a row without doing that. He should have been chased out of the league.

2010, Jay Cutler vs. Dallas 3 TD's 72% PCT, but only 278 yards. You suck Jay Cutler.

2010 Against Philly, 67 PCT, 4 TD's but only 247 yards. You Mr. Cutler are a bag of steaming garbage.

2011 ATL 69 PCT, 312 yards but only 2 TD's. That is so weak. Thank god Kyle Orton was not here to witness this weak performance. It would have made him sick.

2009 Vikings, 4TD's but only 57 PCT. and 273 yards. This performance made me sick even his game winning 4th QT TD. Disgusting

2009 Detroit, 4td's 61 pct, but a disgusting 276 yards.

2008 67% 300 yards but only 2 TD's. You make me sick Jay Cutler.

2008 SD, 72%, 450 yards, 4 TD's. Perhaps the only semi decent game Jay Cutler has ever played.

2008 Browns, 447 yards, 3td's but a disgusting 58 pct completed. You make me sick Jay Cutler, you make me SICK!!!

2008 kc, 80 pct. 286 yards and only 2 TD's. You see people this is a classic example of how not to play QB.

2007, KC, 74 pct, 4TD's but only 244 yards, what kind of weak @@@ QB play is that? 244 yards? I can throw for 244 yards while blindfolded, tied up and only using my toes to throw the ball while someone plucks the hairs from ny nose.

Jay Cutler must go, bring back Orton.

PS I am not Creighton, nope, nope, and hell nope. I am the Farmsteader.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BEEAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

"Tooken" hahahahaha, I am no one to poke fun at spelling, but considering how often Kevin does it. Tooken had me laughing all day, and I keep using it now. "Who Tooken my Keys? I gotta go."

Enya, ha, well played sir. That sounds like a real Kevin party.

Good morning TROLL.

Your argument exemplifies retardation.

You have no idea what you're talking about. Cutler worked miracles last season that led to a five-game winning streak that didn't end until he was injured. He had no receivers and no line, yet he still managed to win those games. There aren't many QBs that could've done what he did, and that alone makes him elite.

Cutler being ranked at 8th best in the league is really a stretch at this point. I agree that he could possibly perform at that level with the help he has received with Marshall and the additional help in that position picked up in the draft, the RB's Bush and Forte will help Cutler as well.

But really, to date Cutler is in the middle of the pack for actual performance and started to look very special last year until hurt in game 10. Decision making, turnovers in redzone and his leadership will determine if he can make the Top 10 in the league. Cutler certainly has the talent but does he have the discipline and leadership skills, not yet!

2012 will be the proof is in the pudding!

jay cutler is by far the best quarterback in a long time for the bears as you can see withought him the bears fail take caleb when he goes in the bears do terrible and now jason camble when he goes in the bears fail

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on July 3, 2012 9:09 PM.

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