Jay Cutler was born on April 29, 1983 in Santa Claus, Indiana. Cutler played his college football at the University of Vanderbilt, where he made a believer of most NFL scouts playing on a poor team in a tough conference. The 6’3” 233 pound rifle armed Cutler was a hot commodity heading into the Draft. The Denver Broncos traded up to the 11th pick of the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft to select Jay Cutler. He is now the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
Cutler Takes the Reigns as a Rookie
After the Denver Broncos had lost two straight games to fall to 7-4, head coach Mike Shanahan decided to start the “Jay Cutler Era.” Cutler got his first start against the Seattle Seahawks at home in the coldest game at INVESCO Field in Broncos history. I was sitting on the 50 yard line that night, watching his first start. Cutler started off poorly throwing the football up for grabs when he was under pressure, and the Seahawks returned it for a touchdown. However, in the second half, Cutler got himself together and started playing like coach Shanahan thought he would. Cutler ended the night with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His final touchdown came with just minutes remaining, he thew a hook route to Brandon Marshall, and Marshall did the rest, breaking tackles along the way for a 71 yard tying touchdown. "I didn't do anything there," Cutler said. "I just got him the ball, and he made a big play for us." Unfortunately for Denver, they did not get the football again, and lost the game 23-20. "It's tough," said Cutler, "I knew going into this that it wasn't going to be a perfect game, and it wasn't. I made some mistakes and we had a lot of mistakes. I kind of blame myself, though, because those two turnovers really hurt us." (1)
Cutler’s 99 Yard DriveIt was December 24, 2006 and snow filled the air. Both the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Denver trailed 17-14 and they had to start their drive on the 1 yard line after Denver lost a challenge that would have put the football at the 20 yard line. After Bell gave the Broncos some breathing room with two runs, Cutler connected with Scheffler for 25 yards. Perhaps his biggest pass came on third down and 11 yards to go. Cutler completed a 17 yard pass to Javon Walker to keep the drive alive and the Broncos finished the drive with a Mike Bell 2 yard touchdown run. "This guy is something special," Shanahan said of Cutler. "He made some mistakes, but when the game was on the line, he made some big plays." When Shanahan was asked about the lost challenge and whether the punt should have been spotted at the 1, he smiled and said, "It makes a better story than going 80 yards, doesn't it." (2)
What Makes Jay Cutler So Good?
Jay Cutler has a cannon arm, is very athletic, and can make every throw a quarterback ever has to make. However, this is not the main reason he is such a good young quarterback who is on the verge of stardom. The reason Cutler is becoming a superstar in the NFL are his intangibles. He is a fierce competitor and he is extremely calm under pressure. "I'm not forceful," Cutler said. "I'm calm. We've got guys in there that have been around in the league for a while and they're the leaders in the huddle and they're going to talk when they feel it's necessary to talk. I'm just calm out there, keep it together, tell them what's going on. And we go.” Added Smith: "I've said it before, but that's what I enjoy seeing in him, he's calm. He stays calm." Alexander said. "He's a kid, he kind of goes with the flow, rolls with the punches. It doesn't seem like, from the outside, that anything bothers him. He's a cool cat and kind of whatever happens, happens. I think that's a great quality to have as a quarterback." (3)
He is also becoming a leader on the team. "They wanted me to be a little more vocal, a little more of a leader," Cutler said. "The last two or three weeks, I've tried to. The guys have responded." (4) So far in his young career, Jay Cutler has been cool in the clutch, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Jay Cutler’s Best Games
On November 19, 2007, Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos faced off against fellow quarterback Vince Young of the 2006 NFL Draft Class on Monday Night Football. The Broncos needed to win to pull into a first place tie in the division. Jay Cutler stepped up big on pro football’s biggest stage. On their first drive it was third and 7 from the Titans 48 yard line. Cutler rolled to his right to escape the pressure and threw a dart down the seam to Brandon Stokley who finished the play running into the end zone for a 48 yard touchdown. Then on a third and 6 in the second half, Cutler found Brandon Marshall for a 41 yard touchdown. Overall, Cutler was 16-21 for 200 yards and two touchdowns and the Broncos went on to win the game 34-20. "You could see it in the preseason and some of the games this year," Shanahan said afterward. "He has the ability to make the play in the clutch. Those are the characteristics of a great quarterback." (5)
December 9, 2007, the Kansas City Chiefs travelled to Denver to play against the Broncos. This would be Jay Cutler’s finest performance. In all, Cutler was 20-27 for 241 yards and four touchdown passes. Receiver Brandon Marshall caught 10 passes for 115 yards. "We hang out, we talk," Cutler said. "He's got a good feel for what I want him to do. . . . His first touchdown (an 8-yard catch in the second quarter), we just improvised that one; he's supposed to cross the field and saw it was open and went back out. I enjoy throwing to him. He's fun to watch, he makes big plays for you and more than anything, he wants the ball." (6)
Jay Cutler has many years ahead of him if he can stay healthy. I am sure that his best games thus far in his career will pale in comparison to some of his games in the future. He is on his way to becoming a great quarterback.
Jay Cutler Traded to the Bears
First Mike Shanahan was fired and Josh McDaniels was hired. Then McDaniels tried to trade Jay Cutler to get Matt Cassel from the New England Patriots. This created the McJayGate scandal in Denver, leading to Jay Cutler’s trade to the Chicago Bears. The Bears sent Kyle Orton, two first round draft picks and a third round pick to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler and a fifth round pick on April 2, 2009.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Jay Cutler Biography Sources
(1) Rocky Mountain News, December 4, 2006 “No-win situation for Cutler Quarterback finds his first start 'tough'.”