Monday, January 24, 2011


Wow.  Snow has been falling all morning up at the house which is different.  Also different is going to be my rotation today.  I want to talk about football.  The Avs goaltending has been brutal (Peter’s back?), the Nuggets are pretty dang good when they play together, Melo is still here, CU lost on the road again and Ohio State has proven to be for real by beating Illinois in Champaign.  There you go; I want to talk JAY CUTLER!


With so much already written and said about Cutler and his “performance” in the NFC Championship game yesterday, I will not speculate nor hate, rather extrapolate on the whole “Jay Cutler Phenomenon.”  I will claim my usual ignorance, as I did not watch a second of this game (choosing instead to go swimming with my family and to watch my 4-year daughter scamper up this climbing wall) but I will not speak about Cutler’s game, injury or the subsequent criticism that his 2nd-half absence has provoked.  I knew this would all “end badly” for the Bears and am therefore not surprised by the result, but what really interests me was how this all affects my Broncos?

To wit, last week, there was much debate and disgust surrounding where the Broncos “were” following Josh McD’s infamous trade with Chicago.  Again, with the Broncos owners of a disastrous 4-12 record, a bizarre future at quarterback and a down-right awful defensive unit, it was spoken about often and agreed upon that the trade of Cutler to Chicago had killed the franchise.  Heck, many of the parts that resulted from the trade had done little as Broncos; Orton had been replaced by the guy that traded for him in the first place and that precocious, young gun-slinger we gave up on had led his new team just one game from the Super Bowl.

We had gotten jobbed in that trade!  This is an outrage!   Not only in what we “gave up,” but also in the return pieces. 

Now what?  The local media in Chicago appears to be supportive of Cutler in regards to yesterday and the impending future.  Of course, that’s not all that surprising considering the nature of relationship that the beat writer/columnist has with the public figures of the respective organization that they cover.  They see each other every “work day,” they are on a first-named basis with each other and the writer relies on the team for the access (quotes) that make up the personality and life of his/her work.  What they produce at work on a day-in/day-out basis.  It’s important; so for the “company line” rhetoric to be present, again, no surprise. 

But one national writer in particular, had me chuckling and full of thought early this morning.  A guy with a three-decade run as a writer for the Washington Post (now with but who as an unapologetic Chicago-sports team-homer, has a different prospective, for sure.  Almost if this was to be written about Michael Wilbon’s historically forlorn, Cubbies, the Pardon the Interruption host was woeful, but accurate while lamenting the Bears’ history at the quarterback position.  But amongst all of his misery about the long-standing lack of any real offensive playmakers on his team and that all-time great running back Walter Payton is also the franchise’s leader receiver (and some harsh criticism for Cutler smattered within) was his thoughts on the trade that brought Cutler to the Windy City in the first place.  The transaction that gave what he (and millions of Chicago fans) had craved for so long, an honest, to goodness “franchise quarterback.”  The very trade that the city of Denver, as a whole, seemed to be in agreement had ruined their precious Broncos. 

“The Bears are never the ones to draft and develop an Aikman or Manning or Roethlisberger, or wisely trade for a Brees. Hell, the Bears can't even come up with a Matt Ryan or a Joe Flacco. They gave two first-round picks and two other picks and a player for Jay Cutler, who at his best constantly has the metropolis holding its breath, looking at games through spread fingers, praying to God he doesn't screw it up by throwing it to the other guys. And at his worst, he looks for the perfect pass instead of moving the chains and managing the game and thinks his arm is stronger than John Elway's, which is both stupid and immaterial.”

Keep in mind that any affront to Elway is like a personal attack on Wilbon, who is one of the country’s biggest fans of our #7.  However, even for a guy that has both a personal/professional interest in the NFL and the Chicago Bears, he seems to easily assert the opposite of what our fair city had recently determined to be truth and cause for the demise of our most important public entity.  (Don’t kid yourselves on that notion, either.  The Denver Broncos are the one common bond that unites the largest percentage of the city/region’s population.)

At his best, he has the fans summoning aid from their “preferred creator” in a desperate attempt to avoid interceptions?  Wilbon is one of my favorite members of the media because he doesn’t always “toe the company line,” as he has even made enemies in the game of basketball (which is, mind you, his prime sporting/reporting focus). 

I always thought the Cutler trade was good for the Broncos not because it was our chance to rid ourselves of some “problem-child” quarterback.  (Like I have often admitted, I was a fan of Cutler and even cloaked my then 2-year-olddaughter in a #6.) On the flip-side, I thought the potential to get four (I think Wilbon said we got five) potential starters for just one was the deal of the century.  With over two dozen specialized positions in the game of football (while basketball has one) finding quantity often trumps quality (or in this case, potential quality).  Getting a competent, experienced quarterback that had won games in the league (Orton) in addition to the three high picks seemed like a no-brainer. 

THE DEAL: Broncos traded Cutler, and a fifth-rounder they had acquired in an earlier trade with Seattle, to the Bears for Kyle Orton, the Bears first-round picks in 2009 and 2010, as well as their 3rd-rounder in 2009. 

THE AFTERMATH: We know how the Cutler/Orton exchange has transpired.  The Broncos turned the Bears’ 2009 first-rounder into DE/OLB Robert Ayers, who has showed flashes, but the jury is surely still out on his pro prospects.  Josh McD and the Broncos brass decided to move the 2010 pick during that 2009 draft (hasty, no?) for the rights to pick defensive back Alphonso Smith at the beginning of the second round.  Since then, the infamous Smith did little in his one year in Denver and was moved to Detroit for back-up tight end/special teams guy, Dan Gronkowski, who was a seventh-round pick a year before.  The third-round pick in 2009 was traded to the Steelers in an attempt to move back up into the bottom of the second round to draft tight end Richard Quinn from North Carolina.  The same Richard Quinn that caught 12 passes in his ENTIRE college career, but was known more as “another offensive tackle.”  Now known more as…. Well, most Bronco fans do NOT know Richard Quinn. 

So at its very core, the trade seems to be a positive personnel move by Josh McD, but could the drafting be considered borderline, moronic? 

They got Orton, two back-up special-teams tight ends and an underachieving young pass rusher for Jay Cutler.  That’s not as good as it was supposed to look when this trade was made two summers ago.

So, I ask you all.  What do you think about the trade?  Did this trade really ruin the Broncos? 

If anything, though, it appears that what was produced with those picks versus what was given up does not matter much to Bears fans today.

PS- I did actually watch most of the AFC Championship Game and was startled by this little first-quarter gem perpetrated by Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez.  Hilarious.


  1. What the heck's a Twitter?

    As of today, it looks like the trade was largely a wash of multiple moving parts not amounting to much. I definitely think the B'cos could have gotten the best of it, had they drafted better.....Wilbon's article is interesting. I agree his crappy play in the first half and sideline demenor are as (or more) telling as him not playing the 2nd half. There's no way the Bears announce anything short of an MCL tear today, even if there isn't one. All of that said, it's pretty crazy how all of those current and ex players instantly piled on before having any official status on his knee. Apparently Denver isn't the only place the guy is largely reviled. Caleb Hanie should be annointed the Bears' starter next year due to his Ditka 'stache alone....

  2. Agree with you that the potential trade value for the Broncos was on the plus side - exactly for the reasons you mentioned. To confirm though, the drafting was moronic, so very hard to tell what could have been if we actually drafted some of those "sure thing" guys who seem to be piling up sacks and pro bowls. I sincerely wish I wasn't in the position of evaluating this trade as a Broncos fan or talking about Cutler at this point because are undeniably better than when he left. But, we're not. Hopefully there will be less Cutler talk next year because we are relevant. Broncos fans got their wish threefold - Cutler played bad when he was in, seems to have a torn MCL and can't escape the media crucifixion. Guess Big Baby Jay better learn to play that reporter game a little better next season - he is the ultimate loser right now. Still doesn't make me feel any better about our 4-12 season or the state of the Broncos right now. I don't really find anything particularly special about Wilbon criticizing an easy media target in this context. If you write this article about the guy "who doesn't deserve the Bears" before he doesn't take an overachieving mediocre team to the Super Bowl and call your shot - fine. However, this seems like a pretty obvious piece that panders to hasty Chicago fans looking to place the blame on someone rather than saying, "Our TEAM wasn't all that good and we probably shouldn't have been in the NFC Championship - pretty good season." Go burn your Cutler jerseys...on to our perenial loser baseball team. And seriously, I am still laughing at this shit, what egonmaniac NFL player isn't going to tell everyone that he would have played if he got his d*ck cut off and was blind in both eyes...shut up. I for one could care less what Derrick Brooks has to say about Jay Cutler's knee...

  3. Yeah, HS, the part of the Wilbon piece that had me thinking most was that as a Bears fan, even he thinks the team gave up too much to get Cutler.

    I didn't even touch the random NFL-ers tweets about Cutler. Really weird.

  4. The macho bravado from the player peanut gallery is hilarious. "I played my whole career with two torn MCLs and ACLs while concussed."

  5. I think it is easy (for Wilbon) to say that now - especially as a Bears fan. Can't really disagree which is maybe your point - and I guess agree. The X Factor was that at the time of the trade everyone was gambling on the max upside of a "potential" franchise QB. I think its a steal if they end up with an Aaron Rodgers type guy out of that deal. It appears that we did not give up Aaron say the least. So, I guess in that sense, I'm realizing we won that gamble - it just doesn't feel like it with a 4-12 record. On another note, who does everything like us drafting - do we even think we'll draft at #2 or should we get more picks based on your point above?

  6. Shouldn't probably draft at #2, with the Clemson Bowers-beast likely not there? Stockpile as they say? Whatever we do, let's not fuck this up...jesus I'm sick of poor draft choices.

  7. ST, that is a point I can't argue with - let's not fuck this up! That strategy seems to not really work.

  8. Quite a few talking heads seem to think trading down to around 5 and still getting a top D linemen. Whether that's possible, I have no idea. I'm the anti-Kiper. I'm 100% on board with the concept of not fucking it up. And I must say, 24-hours later, I'm tired of the Cutler injury story. Sad that his wretched play in the first half has taken a back seat.

    And HS, your point on Big Ben from a previous post was solidly driven home yesterday. Dude generally plays like crap most of the game, has pretty bad stats, but thanks to his defense and his knack for coming up with a big play at just the right time, he's back in the Super Bowl. It seems to never fail. I hope the Pack crushes them...

    On a different note, props to BLloyd for his post-season honors. I know I asked this before, but is he a Bronco next year? Seems like a fairly big deal going forward for this team.

  9. Haven't made it through the whole thing yet but a great piece of trivia with regards to Bears QBs is their career leader in passing yards and touchdowns (which I read and did not know off the top of my head): Sid Luckman, drafted in 1939.