On Wednesday, April 9th, my article “Cutler Will Prove His Critics Wrong” was published in The Daily News Journal. It’s an interesting take on the subject, and quite the opposite of the overall consensus. The article caused even more debate among pro football fans, and for that reason I thought I’d share it with you here.
What is your take on the Cutler and Broncos fiasco?
Hargrove: Cutler will prove his critics wrong
The saga inside the walls of the NFL that had sports media protagonists eating cake out of their hands for nearly a month has finally come to a close.
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen issued a statement early last week saying they would try and grant Cutler’s request to be traded. By Thursday, that request was granted.
The motive behind Cutler’s trade request comes from the infamous feud between Cutler and rookie Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels. It seemingly transcended from a conflict between two super ordinate men to a reality TV soap drama and, finally, into an all-out war between the entire Broncos’ franchise and Cutler.
It all started when information leaked back to Cutler that McDaniels had been discussing a three-way trade that would send quarterback Matt Cassel — McDaniels’ protégé from their Patriots’ days together — to Denver and Cutler to Tampa Bay.
In regards to Cutler, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said that Cutler has been “overhyped” since the NFL Combine and pointed out that Cutler has never taken the Broncos to the playoffs or had a winning record. But the most shocking comment he made was that, “Cassel would be an upgrade over Cutler.”
Unfortunately, Kiper is not alone in his distaste for Cutler. The overall consensus among the media, analysts and various NFL sources is that Cutler is a “whiny crybaby.” NFL senior columnist Vic Carucci subtly called Cutler a crybaby by mocking a temper tantrum in an article that ended with a quote from an “anonymous” NFL source that said, “The smartest thing Cutler can do is just shut up.”
Contrary to the media’s evaluation of the situation, Cutler wasn’t upset about trade talks; he was upset about the manner in which it was handled.
“He says that McDaniels told him he looked forward to working with him, then worked for a trade that would ship Cutler out and bring Cassel in, then denied it, then said he did entertain talks but didn’t instigate them,” according to NFL senior columnist Thomas George.
It’s because of this Cutler has said that McDaniels is “shady and a fraud,” says George, and why he refused to communicate with anyone in the Broncos’ organization. The bridges had been burned — with good reason.
What I personally can’t understand is why these so-called “experts” would put all their stock in Cassel, who had one impressive year under mastermind head coach Bill Belichick’s staff and an all-star cast of playmakers. Nor can I understand why they would back a rookie head coach with limited coaching experience under his belt.
McDaniels started out as Patriots quarterback coach in 2004 and was officially named offensive coordinator in 2006. While his tenure as offensive coordinator bolstered his resume, — the Pats set records in 2007 with 75 touchdowns, 67 of them on offense — it doesn’t mean he is untouchable. Recent history shows us that there has been plenty of coordinators to head coaching busts. Three immediately come to mind — Mike Nolan (49ers), Romeo Crennel (Browns) and Charlie Weis (Notre Dame). Crennel and Weis were former Belichick staff members.
We now know Cutler is going to the Chicago Bears, but we won’t know the results of Cassel — who was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs — or McDaniels until the 2009 season arrives.
I’m no psychic, but I have a feeling Cutler will be the one to come out on top, and all the naysayers will be dislodging their feet from their mouths.
Freelance writer and sports enthusiast Annabella Hargrove resides in Murfreesboro. Among projects, she is currently working on a memoir.