I don’t know what quarterback my colleague, Dan Daly, has been watching, but Jay Cutler will be an elite quarterback in the NFL. He is clearly better than Jason Campbell and would have been a huge upgrade for years to come.
In fact, I think Cutler would have been the most talented quarterback to wear a Redskins uniform since Joe Theismann. Think about it. We are not talking about a long list of quality quarterbacks. There have been good quarterbacks, like Brad Johnson, and quarterbacks who were once great but in the twilight of their careers, such as Doug Williams. And there were system quarterbacks who won a Super Bowl, like Mark Rypien.
But Cutler is a quarterback, man, no matter where you put him, with the arm and the cockiness that comes with the position — or should come with it, anyway. This whole “tantrum” needs to be put in perspective. Jay Cutler decided he couldn’t play for Josh McDaniels, the new kid coach of the Broncos, and that he wanted to be traded.
Denver didn’t want to trade him, because, of course, they know this guy is a star in the making. So if you want to be traded, what better way than to simply ignore the team owner’s phone calls? That will do it, and Cutler got what he was looking for.
It wasn’t a tantrum. It was a strategy to get out of Denver.
Remember, one of the biggest icons in Redskins history, John Riggins, once left training camp and his teammates and went home for a year because he didn’t like his contract. Doesn’t that qualify as much more of a tantrum than what Cutler did? And what happened to Riggins? He wound up leading this team to a Super Bowl championship and is one of the most beloved figures in franchise history.
As far as the real possibility that the arrival of Cutler would soon result in the arrival of former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, well, what is the down side about that? Here’s a news flash — Jim Zorn is already a lame duck coach, a short-timer who won’t likely be here past this season anyway, no matter who is the quarterback.
Jason Campbell is getting lots of kudos for the cool, so-called professional way he has responded to all this. I submit that is part of the problem. He is not “under control.” This is who he is — a guy who with too little fire in the belly — too cool.
All of this said, it doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for the Redskins. They will continue to be a dysfunctional franchise on the field, because until they change the way they do business, it makes no difference who is working for the business.
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM on Tuesday, April 7, from 5 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com