Jay Cutler’s arrival in Chicago will make things much more exciting for Packer fans.
What does the Chicago Bears’ acquisition of Jay Cutler mean for Packer fans? I can answer that question in three simple words: Fun, fun, fun! The appearance of a big-time QB in Chicago will put some juice into the oldest rivalry in the NFL, which in recent years has played second fiddle to the much younger Packers-Vikings rivalry.
It is highly questionable whether this was a good move for the Bears, especially considering the price they paid for Cutler and the fact that Kyle Orton had become a solid NFL QB in the past year. My own hunch is that it was indeed a good move. The Bears have not had an above-average QB at least since Jim McMahon, and his time in the limelight was brief anyway. I am not alone in being very impressed with Jay Cutler since he came into the league. The way he moves in the pocket, the way he throws, his air of authority in running an offense…. He’s got all the tools. He’s still a little raw and interception-prone, but he has yet to come into his prime. In fact, he reminds me a little of…Oh, nevermind.
Now, of course there is the character factor, which is a real concern considering how Cutler crybabied his way out of Denver. When he learned that his name had come up in trade talks, he went into a pout and eventually refused to even return his coach’s phone calls. Prima donna behavior, to be sure. I don’t like it any more than most fans do. Some sportswriters and former NFL players feel the same way. But one place where I have yet to hear any criticism of Cutler is from current NFL players. In fact, some of them have defended him. And for that reason, I don’t think Cutler’s behavior will hurt his standing with his teammates. Professional football players tend to be a tightly knit bunch. And being a prima donna QB is not exactly an unusual thing in the NFL.
What I like best about Cutler in Chicago is that it will set up a natural rivalry for Aaron Rodgers. Both QB’s are about the same age and are just beginning to establish themselves as impact players in the NFL. Suddenly, every Packers-Bears game (including, for goodness’ sake, the season opener on Sunday Night Football with Michaels and Madden calling the game!) will have a story line. This will have the added benefit of reducing the amount of time spent on the inevitable Favre-Rodgers comparisons. Every occasion when Aaron Rodgers is compared to Jay Cutler is an occasion when he is not compared to Brett Favre, and that’s a healthy thing for everyone. We all need some relief from the Favre vs. Rodgers debates, and to those few who disagree with that statement, don’t worry—there will still be plenty of Favre-Rodgers comparisons to keep you occupied.
The storylines with this Cutler trade are all over the place—so numerous that it would seem that no single one of them could possibly be flogged to death, although the sportswriters and talking heads (not to mention us Internet addicts) will certainly give it their best try. Can Cutler bring an offense that has been lacking in firepower to a new level? Will he be embraced by the Chicago fans? And best of all, can he defeat the Bears’ arch rival 200 miles to the north, who have a promising young QB of their own?
The season starts tomorrow, right? Please tell me that it starts tomorrow!