Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Cutler: Favre is top QB in NFC North
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Tuesday that Brett Favre is the best QB in the NFC North.
In a wide-ranging interview on the "Waddle & Silvy" show on ESPN 1000, Cutler touched on the Denver Broncos, Vince Vaughn and Dwyane Wade.
Cutler was more than a casual observer Monday night when Favre led the Minnesota Vikings (4-0) to a 30-23 win over the Green Bay Packers (2-2).
"[Favre] played really well," Cutler said. "I think we kind of would have liked to have seen Green Bay beat him to even out the conference a little and give those guys a loss, but he played fabulous from start to finish. It was a good game."
After the game, Cutler talked to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was harassed all night. Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had 4 ½ sacks. Cutler and Rodgers struck up a friendship during a golf outing in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
"Jared Allen is a beast coming off the edge," Cutler said. "They were able to play a lot of Cover-2 and let him go free. He's a tough matchup for any tackle in the league.
"I talked to Aaron afterwards, and he wished he played better, but it's a long season."
Cutler ranks himself and Rodgers behind Favre among division quarterbacks.
"[Favre] definitely is No. 1," Cutler said. "If anything, he's earned the right to be No. 1 with as many years as he's played and as well as he's played.
"Then 2-3 are me and Aaron, tied right now. [The Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford] is a good player, a real good player. You saw a glimpse of what he can do Sunday [in a 48-24 loss to the Bears], and when they start getting some guys to surround him and Calvin Johnson, he's going to be dangerous in the future.'
Cutler, who was traded during the offseason from the Broncos, also spoke about his old team, which is undefeated.
"I talked to a few of the guys [after the Broncos defeated the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday]," he said. "Defensively, I think that's probably the reason they are 4-0, and they'd probably agree with that.
"[Defensive coordinator] Mike Nolan is doing a great job out there, and [head coach Josh McDaniels] is obviously scoring enough points to make it happen with those guys. Elvis Dumervil and Champ Bailey, those guys are playing well."
Cutler also said he talked to Bears rookie Johnny Knox about holding onto the ball longer the next time he scores a touchdown. Knox seemed to drop the ball just as he crossed the goal line after a 102-yard kickoff return against the Lions.
"I [talked to him] yesterday," Cutler said. "I just said, 'Hold onto the ball. Just take a few more steps.'
"I don't know why he didn't hold onto the ball anyway. It was his first kickoff return. You'd think he'd want to keep that one. It's a young mistake, and we've all been there and done those things as young players. Luckily enough, it didn't cost us anything. We all got to laugh about it, and he gets to learn a little lesson. He's a great player. He's doing some good things for us special teams wise, and at the receiver position."
Cutler, who played collegiately at Vanderbilt, said he'll spend part of the bye week going back to Nashville. He and teammate Greg Olsen were going to attend the premier of Vaughn's "Couples Retreat" on Tuesday night.
"We've hung out with [Vaughn] once," Cutler said. "He's a great guy, and I love his movies.
"He's a big football fan in general, and he's a Chicago guy. Good to have a guy like that on your side."
Cutler also discussed the possibility of Wade, a Chicago native and Miami Heat star, signing with the Bulls next year as a free agent.
"How great would that be?" Cutler said. "He's a special player, would love to see him in Chicago. Him and Derrick Rose, that would be a great combo."
Cutler and Wade have established a relationship via Twitter.
"It's weird how social media brings people together," Cutler said. "He reached out to me and congratulated us on the game, so we've been going back and forth. It's been fun."