Monday, June 1, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Cutler and fans
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Hi there. Hope everyone had a great weekend.
I'll have some more thoughts on Minnesota's minicamp during the week. For now, I'm intrigued by an item buried midway through the weekend column of David Haugh from the Chicago Tribune. Haugh noted the volume of e-mails he has received that document the failure of new quarterback Jay Cutler to sign autographs around town.
One fan predicted that Cutler's decision to wave off fans would be his undoing in Chicago. I think that's a little dramatic and places an unfair standard on a guy who already is dealing with skyrocketing expectations. So the only way some fans are going to root for him is if he stops and signs autographs whenever they want?
There is a balance to that sort of thing, and it's something Cutler will have to deal with for a while. (See this excellent piece by Wayne Drehs of ESPN Chicago for more.) I'm sure Cutler realizes that most fans will base their loyalty on his performance in games, not how many autographs he signs during the offseason.
Let me know if you think differently. Otherwise, let's take a weekend look around the division:
- The arrival of new linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa clouds the picture for veteran Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- The three leading candidates to replace Green Bay right tackle Mark Tauscher are Breno Giacomini, Allen Barbre and rookie T.J. Lang. Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette breaks down the situation.
- Packers safety Atari Bigby on his mindset: "Listen, I'm going to have fun. I'm going to have fun in this defense and I'm so excited. I'm just trying to be calm right now just because of this season I'm coming off. That was a humbling season." Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains.
- Free-agent offensive lineman Jon Jansen agreed to a one-year contract worth the veteran's minimum of $845,000, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press. The deal is contingent on a physical.
- Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman catches up with Lions safety Gerald Alexander, a former Boise State star who has fully recovered from a fractured vertebra in his neck.
- Vikings coach Brad Childress wore a wig of spiked brown hair during the final day of minicamp Sunday. Here is video from KMSP in the Twin Cities.
- Vikings receiver Sidney Rice said his right knee gave him no trouble during minicamp, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune. Last month, Rice said he had not yet fully recovered from the sprained ligament he suffered early last season.