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December 04, 2006

Bronco's Update - Mastermind Throws Away Season on Rookie

In terms of Quarterbacks in Denver, the bar that Cutler has to exceed should not be Hall of Famer John Elway, but rather the two guys who started in Denver since Elway or the two QBs drafted this year before him. Let's talk being better than Jake or Brian Griese before we start talking Hall of Fame.

  • Brian Griese’s second season as a starter, he led the league in passing efficiency with a rating of 102, won 11 games, and led the team to the playoffs.
  • In three seasons in Denver, Jake has led the team to three playoff appearances and an AFC Championship Game and had seasons of 10-6, 10-6, and 13-3.
  • Griese won a national title at Michigan.
  • Plummer led ASU to within 2 minutes of a national title. Damn you David Boston...
  • Jake finished third in Heisman balloting his senior year at ASU.

These are two starters for Denver that have had proven success in both college and the NFL. Now, let's start comparing to the two QB's taken before him in this year's draft.

  • Vince Young finished in the top three for the Heisman.
  • Matt Leinart won the Heisman.
  • Both won National Championships.

Consider that in 4 years in College, Cutler never led his team to a single winning season and he played at a very mediocre program where there were no expectations. Vandy does not prepare a QB for NFL, especially Denver, expectations. And let's keep in mind that the passer ratings for both Leinart and Young are in the mid-60's. Ironically, that is exactly the passer rating that Cutler had tonight.

My pressing questions are as follows:

What is it that makes Jay Cutler a better QB than either the last two in Denver (Griese, Plummer) or the two drafted in front of him this year (Young, Leinart)—all four of whom have played in Rose Bowls, finished top three in the Heisman, and either won or came within a play of winning a National Title? Is Cutler’s talent so great that he overcomes the lack of expectations and big game experience in college and outperforms these players that came from winning programs where they stood out?

Cutler may be the next future Hall of Famer in Denver. But then again, how has Alex Smith or Aaron Rogers looked lately? How about Eli Manning the last few games? What about Big Ben's 20 picks this year? How about Akili Smith, Ryan Leif, Cade McNown, Joey Harrington, Drew Henson, and Dante Culpepper? All of these guys were first round draft picks (or in Henson's case would have been) that have failed to develop despite having as good of physical tools as Cutler. And most of these QB's played at big time programs and went to Rose Bowls or major college bowls. For every Tony Romo who has a glimmer of success early, there is an Andrew Walter.

The two most successful young QB's this season are Phillip Rivers and Carson Palmer. And what do they have in common? Lots of clipboard time as rookies. And both of these guys played under Norm Chow as their OC. Anyone know who is OC at Vandy? Cutler is not prepared for the NFL no matter how good his arm is. No QB is. Alex Smith wasn't. Vince Young and Matt Leinart are barely getting the job done. But the Mastermind things Cutler from Vandy is.

Well throw away this season and prepare for next season to look a lot like the one the Steelers are having right now. It is rebuilding time in Denver.

Posted by Justin at December 4, 2006 04:13 AM