BOURBONNAIS IL - JULY 30: Fans clamor for an autograph from Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears after a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on July 30 2010 in Bourbonnais Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Friday there was an announcement made that didn't exactly fly under the radar, but I just wanted to elaborate on it a bit myself. Jay Cutler announced on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 that he would do an hour-long radio show every Monday (and some Tuesdays, when there are Monday night games) in the noon hour (Central Time) during the season. I am going to write about my excitement for this, as well as why I think it's a good thing for Jay.
An hour-long show the day after games with the starting quarterback of the team is awesome. There is no one better to get the analysis from than the QB himself. He can control the format, of course, but he is a rather candid guy, quite honest. Here is the full audio (warning: once it loads it will autoplay) from the announcement and ensuing interview. Waddle and Silvy do a good interview with him, no real cupcake questions, so it's worth listening to. Some of the highlights:
-On the o-line: "I am interested to see how those five come together. I wasn't throwing anyone under the bus when I commented about the offensive line"
-On his J-Webb comments: "The people in the Bears building are sometimes a little sensitive, you wanna always be pro-Bears and compliment your teammates...[Waddle makes comment about '150' sacks over three years making Cutler sensitive]...it's something on the forefront of my mind each and every year...I asked Garza if anyone was offended and he said no. I didn't throw anyone under the bus or name anybody as a weak link."
-On Forte: "I don't think we want to just get to the postseason, we want to go a little bit further than that. To get where we need to be we need Matt Forte. He knows that. The Bears know that."
-On having teammate guests on his show; "Brandon would probably be here right now if I'd have invited him, he loves this stuff. We'll get some guys on here, take some calls, it'll be a fun show."
-On Devin Hester: "He runs incredible routes. I really honestly don't know if there is anyone in the league who runs routes like him." He went on to say what he's been seeing will translate to the field this year. "I think he's going to have a big year for us."
-On Mike Tice: "One of his strengths is knowing his weakness...knowing when to ask, who to ask...He never says 'hey it's my way or no way.'"
-On Tice's flexibility: "Not just me [being able to have input] but the offensive line, the receivers, tight ends, running backs, if they can't do it there's no reason to stuff it down their throats."
-One of my favorite exchange's: Tom Waddle: "I believe he [J'Marcus Webb] led the NFL in false starts and sacks allowed. Now that's not a good combination, especially from your perspective. We would LOVE for J'Webb Nation to take off, because he solidifies the left side of that offensive line, Silvy, I think, would actually sponsor a party..."
Cutler: ...I'll sponsor a party...
Silvy: I said if he works out at left tackle, I will buy 10 of his shirts for listeners and I will wear a J'Webb Nation to the game...
Cutler: I will wear a J'Webb shirt on this show. Happily. Every week.
Cutler then agrees he will wear a shirt if he feels Webb is playing well.
Waddle: So then we will know how you feel about how well he's played based on whether or not wearing a J'Webb Nation shirt?
Cutler: I probably shouldn't go down this road...He looks good, I know he feels good, we've got some high expectations for him, I think it's known that offensive line and tackles that with Gabe coming back, you know they've got some pressure on them. But the ball's going to be gone [quickly], we've got some guys outside to make some plays, we've just gotta find ways to get them the ball.
-On Mike Martz: "There comes a point where you have to give a little bit and you got to take a look at the whole offense; what we're good at, what we're bad at, you have to be able to change a little bit. I think that's kind of where we kind of messed up a little bit, there wasn't a lot of flexibility, there wasn't...uh...I'll just stay with that, there wasn't as much flexibility as I think we needed." He goes on to compliment Martz for his strengths but basically says the game passed him by.
-A little later...Waddle: Kind of sounds like this will be the Mike Martz show; no flexibility, show up and do what we're told and not have any creative license...
Cutler: Let's not bash any body...
Waddle: Come on, that's what this is all about...
Cutler [changing the subject]: Let's sling some Subway.
Now, as for the show itself; I am super excited about it. I am not aware of many starting QBs host a radio show the day after games, when it's still pretty fresh. He seems way more comfortable on the radio, I mean he's come a long way from his "you know" filled interviews of the yester-year (he does still say it but it's not quite AS BAD). Some of those quotes show his leadership ("we want to go a little bit further than that" for example) and he shed light onto the offense, he wasn't afraid to take a shot at Martz (but yet it wasn't so blunt as to cause a huge controversy). If this is what the show will be like week in and week out, it'll be great. He's got a good rapport with the guys, it's funny and natural, but they have a respect where they can ask him things like "What did you mean when you said this" or "What went wrong with Martz?" and get good, honest answers and yet he's diplomatic enough to stay out of trouble for the most part.
This shows does a couple things for Jay: It gives him exposure outside of weekly press conferences, it brings him closer and makes him more accessible to fans. Furthermore, it might be opening door for a career he can transition to post-football (hopefully years and years and multiple Super Bowl rings from now). The media doesn't like him, or at least that was the perception, but recently we've seen the tides turning; Trent Dilfer has done a 180 and has complimented Jay to the point of saying he will have a "breakout" year this year, then Greg Cosell's very complimentary article which was shown off on this very site. It all shows Cutler could be coming into his own as a nationally recognized legitimate QB.
There are some possible negatives; the haters will say he shouldn't do a show in-season, as it could be a distraction and he might not open up about losses and poor plays by him, but we have yet to see that.
I, for one, am very excited about this show. For me, it'll be must-listen radio. I just don't expect him to open about his personal life much, which is fine with me but it will be a good way to get some in-the-huddle stuff from the guy running the show.