- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher did plenty of homework on Jay Cutler prior to the 2006 NFL draft when Fisher's former team, the Tennessee Titans, were in the market to take a quarterback with the No. 3 overall selection.
Cutler, a four-year starter at Vanderbilt, visited with the Titans several times in the spring of 2006, convenient meetings since the franchise and the quarterback were stationed in Nashville. But even though Cutler played his college ball in the Titans' backyard, Fisher and the organization decided to take Texas quarterback Vince Young at No. 3, instead of Cutler, who fell to the Denver Broncos at No. 11.
However, Fisher voiced his support for Cutler on Wednesday following the aftermath of the quarterback's four-interception performance on Thursday against Green Bay.
"First off, I watched Jay in college and we spent a lot of time with Jay prior to the draft," Fisher said. "I've gotten to know Jay over the years. Jay was close with (former Titans and Broncos assistant) Mike Heimerdinger. So I know Jay. Chicago is lucky to have Jay. Jay is a very, very talented quarterback and the Green Bay Packers have a very, very talented defense, so that happens sometimes. It's the position. He's not the first quarterback that Green Bay has given a hard day to.
"It's very early in the season and you can bounce back from these things very easily."
Fisher was asked if the Titans viewed Cutler's personality as a red flag during the 2006 pre-draft process, which might help to explain Tennessee's decision to bypass Cutler in favor of Young. Cutler's demeanor and leadership abilities has been called into the question over the years, especially after the loss to the Packers when he yelled at and then bumped left tackle J'Marcus Webb on the sideline.
"Who is saying this?" Fisher said. "The guy has an opportunity as a quarterback in the huddle or as a quarterback on the sidelines to voice his opinion. He's not the first quarterback to do that. A quarterback who has a chance to win football games and lead a team has to take that position. So whoever is generating this stuff better back off and let him play.
"He's very competitive and he's smart," Fisher said. "He hates losing, and gosh, he's just a really talented player. I'm always pulling for him, (although) I probably won't be pulling for him this weekend. Always pulling for Jay. He's very talented. The league needs Jay Cutler. He's a good football player."
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