A pass to Cutler

I recently spent some time in Chi-town and made the media rounds to several sports-talk radio stations. What I learned is that there seems to be some confusion about the maturity of Jay Cutler. Some fans are concerned or even outraged by the off-field behavior of the Bears’ new starting quarterback because he has been known to frequent a bar or two or five …

Only days into the honeymoon, Bears GM Jerry Angelo was fielding questions about the nocturnal activities of his new QB from the real Harvard of the South, Vanderbilt. Adding fuel to the fire, coaching legend Tony Dungy questioned Cutler’s decision-making as well. Add it all up, and you have a full-scale panic before the first bungled snap in training camp.

I have been extremely critical of Vince Young, not for his momentary sideline meltdown last season but for his decision to go back to Texas to be the big man on campus as opposed to moving in with his offensive coordinator for the summer until he learned the system like the back of his hand. Ditto that thought for Matt Leinart, who has “Going Back To Cali Syndrome.” Ditto that thought for JaMarcus Russell, who soon will be opening a Bentley dealership if he keeps adding cars.

Cutler gets a pass from me. Why? Because unlike those other talented QBs, Cutler knew the offensive system in Denver, and I have little doubt that Ron Turner‘s offense is not going to be as challenging as Mike Shanahan’s celebrated aerial attack. I think it’s unrealistic to think that a twenty-something millionaire is going to live in a convent.

In fact, it’s unfair to have that expectation of these talented kids. However, I do draw the line in the sand when it comes to learning your craft, and many of these kids don’t understand the dedication it takes to succeed at the QB position. As far as I’m concerned, have all the fun you want, but learn your stuff.

— Jamie Dukes

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