Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Cutler has `little' chip on his shoulder from draft
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Jay Cutler doesn't take the insult too
seriously, especially since it came from a cartoon character.
The Broncos quarterback was dissed by Stan on a recent episode
of "South Park" when Stan said, upon being introduced to him,
"You kinda (stink), but my dad said you might be good someday."
Cutler laughed at the comment Wednesday.
"It was cool," he said. "I thought it was funny. They can
make fun of me if they want to."
After all, he has bigger scores settle, like proving he's the
best quarterback out of the 2006 draft class. Tennessee's Vince
Young (picked third) and Arizona's Matt Leinart (10th) were both
selected ahead of him.
"I think everyone in the league has a little sense of pride, a
little chip on their shoulder, when they get passed over by
teams," said Cutler, who was taken with the 11th pick after the
Broncos traded up to nab him. "I want to play well, but I have to
move past all that stuff."
Still, he can't wait to face off against Young on Monday night
in front of a national audience.
"Going against Vince, it's going to be fun," Cutler said.
"It's a friendly competition."
The two had a quarterbacks' night out in October. Cutler, a
Vanderbilt product, showed up in Nashville, Tenn., during the
Broncos' bye week to watch a Commodores game and then went bowling
"He's a cool guy," Young said. "That was my first time even
getting a chance to sit down with Jay, and just talk to him,
understand who he is as a person. He was a good guy to meet."
Young and Cutler drew constant stares at the alley.
"We're just sitting down talking and watching the people
walking by and saying, 'Hey, Vince Young and Jay Cutler are over
there talking," Young said.
Cutler doesn't pay attention to the stats of Young. Or what type
of numbers Leinart is putting up for that matter.
He just monitors how he's playing. Cutler has thrown for 1,882
yards and nine touchdowns this season. He's also been picked nine
"A few more interceptions than I thought I would," he said
with a grin. "But I'm still learning."
In comparison, Young has thrown for 1,112 yards, four touchdown
passes and 10 interceptions. He's also run for 217 yards a two
Young is coming off a game in which he threw a career-high 41
passes in a 28-13 loss to Jacksonville. He finished 24-for-41 for a
career-high 257 yards, and rushed for another 52 yards.
His career-high numbers definitely have Denver's full attention.
"He's Michael Vick now that Vick has left the league,"
cornerback Dre' Bly said. "Vince is very talented with his legs
and seems to be throwing the football more now than he did last
year. We haven't faced a quarterback that poses a threat like
Tim Crowder can't wait to get his hands on Young -- or at least
make the attempt. Crowder was teammates with Young at the
University of Texas and the Longhorns had one rule: don't touch
"We would've got kicked off the team if we would've touched
him," Crowder said with a laugh. "It was fun being out there with
him. He's got a motor mouth. He never shuts up. Vince and I have
been talking all summer about playing. It's going to be fun."
Since Cutler played down the road at Vanderbilt, the Titans knew
quite a bit about him. On draft day, though, the team went with
"I wouldn't have minded staying there," Cutler said. "I had a
lot of friends and had a lot of fans. But it didn't work out."
In a way, though, it did. Titans coach Jeff Fisher thought
enough of Cutler to give him a glowing review to Broncos coach Mike
Shanahan, who counts Fisher as one of his closest friends, took
the endorsement to heart and traded up to draft Cutler.
He's been pleased with his young quarterback's results. Cutler
has 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 career starts. He's
averaging 205.9 yards passing a game.
"He's ahead of where I thought he'd be," Shanahan said of
Cutler. "He's really into what he does. He wants to be the best at
what he does."
The same can be said of Young, who's averaged 144 yards passing
in 23 career games. The Titans are 13-8 when he starts.
"He's found ways to win for us," Fisher said. "He does not
like losing. He's very, very competitive. He doesn't understand
(losing), the concept is not familiar to him. He's a real, real
pleasure to be around."
Kind of like another quarterback Fisher coached: Steve McNair,
who's now with Baltimore.
"I had the great fortune of being around No. 9 (McNair) for 10
years," Fisher said. "I'm looking forward to having another 10
years if possible with No. 10 (Young). He's going to win a lot of
games for us."
The Broncos have a similar confidence in Cutler. His teammates
like his ability to let nothing rattle him. He's unflappable.
"He's not a rah-rah guy," Bly said. "He does his talk with
his play. I feel like he's a Pro Bowler in the making. He's going
to lead this team to great things."
Maybe then "South Park" characters won't pick on him.
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn.,
contributed to this story.