So it seems as if I've become the ultimate Jay Cutler apologist.
I’ve gone to bat for Jay repeatedly here, sometimes on a weekly basis, defending everything from Kneegate, to his mechanics and more. I’ve chalked his “hanging on of the ball too long” up to trust (among other things), and even defended his jerky-ness.
Most recently, I responded to his exclusion from the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list. I’ve even gone so far as to tell some of you that you’re not allowed to be Jay Cutler fans, simply because you’re not as good of one as I am.
But here’s the thing: more often than not, I’m right. Well, besides that time I told you Caleb Hanie will be fine. Bad call, but I digress!
After all the misdiagnosis and poor analysis of Cutler’s games over the last three seasons, someone finally has some sense. Thank you for that, Ron Jaworski.
Jay checks in at number eight on Jaws' quarterback rankings, and most of the guys ahead of Cutler are Super Bowl champions. I won’t argue those (except for maybe Philip Rivers, who I wouldn’t rank ahead of Jay). But it is what it is.
When Tim Tebow is listed at No. 30, it helps the credibility of things. And it’s just more proof that the NFL Network’s list was and is a popularity contest, through and through. Jaworski's list is based on film study and an excellent understanding of the game/position. You won’t find any really bad, but really popular, QBs topping his list.
Toward the end of his explanation of Cutler’s ranking, Jaworski stated something that most people feel will be the case after this year: “[Jay] must clean up some poor decision-making tendencies. Of course he has to do that. But, if he can, he will move into my top five."
And Jay was already cleaning up those mistakes up last year with nearly no talent around him. One would expect those tendencies to continue to minimize with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey in the mix. Not to mention the Mike Martz-less “I’m-trying-so-desperately-to-prove-that-I’m-a-genius” offense.
Jaws talked about his decision making being off at times, and that is true. There are times when Jay's accuracy is in question, when the ball is badly overthrown, or it is moving like sinking fastball that ends up at a receiver’s knees.
But he comes back the next play and delivers a pass threaded through the only tiny hole it possibly could be. Inconsistency is one of my biggest issues with Cutler. Last year, the inconsistent accuracy was brought to a minimum as a whole, and he was coming into his own with minimal talent around him.
Redzone efficiency was improved as well. Jay’s always struggled in the redzone over the course of his career, but last year he was at his best.
Just when I completely lose hope for all major media outlets in the world, the booyah network comes through with the Jaworski list. Should I care at all what public perception is about my team and players I love? No. But the bottom line is, at my core, I’m still a fan, and I bleed blue and orange.
Thank you, Jaws. I no longer have to break my Direct TV box in anger.