Steve McNair has undoubtedly left great impressions on tens of thousands of people, from friends and family members, to players and coaches, to football fans. McNair was close to one of our very own Bears players, Jay Cutler, and Cutler had some great things to say about McNair. Their friendship began the week before the Senior Bowl, after Cutler had wrapped up his collegiate playing days at Vanderbilt.
The former Titans quarterback volunteered to prep Cutler beforehand, since the offense his North team would be running was coached by the Titans coaching staff.
"Mac met with me on two occasions, and he would have stayed there with me all day, as long as it took for me to learn the offense. I'll never forget that, and that just shows you the type of guy he was,'' Cutler, now with the Chicago Bears, said of McNair. "That was going to be a big step for me to go there and play well. Ever since then I have thought of him as a friend.''
Cutler had apparently just spent some time with his friend a couple of weeks before McNair's death.
"I just saw Mac two weeks ago, and I was talking to him about his days at Alcorn State, and how much fun he was to watch back then,'' Cutler said. "We talked about a lot of things. He was telling me about his sons and going on and on about how well they were doing. We talked for an hour about his oldest son and what a good football player he was.
"Hearing all that makes it even harder, for him to leave a family like that behind. Mac was just an all-around good guy.''
Cutler got to see McNair with the Titans while he was playing at Vanderbilt.
"When I was coming up at Vandy, Mac was flourishing with the Titans, playing at an extremely high level, and I would go down and watch the games,'' Cutler said.
"He wasn't afraid to stand in the pocket and wasn't afraid to take a hit. I always admired the way he played. He did whatever it took to help them win and I always respected that about him.''
The unfortunate death of McNair has brought to light some less than appealing choices that McNair had made towards the end of his life, but it is important to not focus on just the negatives. McNair had a positive influence on a lot of people's lives- and that is something that we would all be lucky to say when our time is up.
It's nice to see Cutler talking about his friendship with McNair, remembering all of the good things that he saw. Our young quarterback has had to shoulder a lot in the last year or so of his life... being diagnosed with diabetes, having to go through the drama in Denver, and losing a friend.
Keep in mind, Cutler is only 26 years old, and that is a very young age to have to deal with so many pressures in life. Hopefully, the community in Chicago will show enough support for him as he grows and matures into a young man.
I'll leave you with a Steve McNair highlight clip...