These are all words, amongst many others, that have been used to describe the personality of Jay Cutler.
Confident to a fault.
These are words that have been used to describe the playmaking abilities of Jay Cutler.
These words are likely all accurate, to some degree. When the entirety of your public perception is based on the visual appearance of a guy who has more or less every reason in the world to be frustrated every week, I don't think it's too unfair to apply most labels. But then there are other things you hear.
Brilliant? Now, that is a word we hadn't necessarily heard before. Until now.
Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh used that word, albeit with a qualifier, to describe Cutler recently.
"Very impressed with Jay," Cavanaugh said. "Very impressed. He's borderline football brilliant. I think he gets it. I think he knows the game. I think he knows offensive schemes. I think he knows defenses."
Cavanaugh went on to discuss how the team has worked with Cutler thus far, as they develop the offensive system they hope will carry them on through the postseason in 2013. A key takeway:
"We wanted his feedback. He's been willing to do that. It's a good working relationship now."
A good working relationship? Perhaps we won't see a "Tell Aaron Kromer I said F#!$ you" this year.
Now, see, Cavanaugh is no slouch. He's been working in the NFL or in a major college program for forty years now. If his opinion of a player is high, he's at least got some credibility to back it up.
To see that the coaching staff likes what they're seeing this early, that they're willing to come out and fluff the quarterback up during a contract year, has to mean a little something. Will Cutler deliver upon that knowledge and ability with good decisions? Time will tell. The most physically gifted athlete can't always overcome mental mistakes (looking at you, Michael Vick), and it is those judgments that will tell us the story of Cutler in 2013.
A Cutler who is comfortable in yet another new offense, with the abilities and knowledge, and what appears to possible be the outside help, should be able to succeed. Heck, perhaps he can even take on more of the leadership responsibility that the little C on his jersey suggests.
Here's to hoping he is brilliant on the field this season.