Mar 16, 2009
I had contemplated writing an extended bio for my first blog post, but decided to concentrate on a major issue at hand.
The Jay Cutler-Broncos situation has now hit the irreconcilable differences stage. The more we hear about this story, the more it seems like we will never hear the complete truth. Each side continues to give us some truth, but inevitably contradicts the other in the end.
Though head coach Josh McDaniels said the team wasn’t trying to trade Cutler, he also admitted that he did listen to offers. Cutler took that as the team was actively trying to trade him, which has obviously bothered him to the point that multiple conversations with team to smooth things haven’t helped, and in fact may have made things worse. While Cutler is taking this as a betrayal by the team, he needs to understand that this is a business. McDaniels would not be doing his job if he refused to explore all options to make his team better. Last I checked, the Broncos didn’t make the playoffs last year, and McDaniels was hired to fix that, so is doing whatever it takes to do that.
On the other hand, McDaniels is a first-time head coach, and he needs to be more tactful as to how he handles the situation. During his introductory press conference, he definitely looked like a deer in the headlights, and it immediately made me wonder if he was ready for the added responsibility that comes with being a head coach. In New England, he dealt with X’s and O’s, and the environment was that of a very business-like atmosphere where “doing your job” was the philosophy. While I understand that coming from a successful franchise such as the Patriots was a good reason why he was hired, there needs to be a transitional period where there is some give and take. McDaniels needs to realize that while it is important to set the tone as to how things will be run, there is a way to do that while not alienating your star quarterback. The first impression he gave Cutler is that he wanted him gone, and wanted to bring in his own guy (Matt Cassel) to replace him. How is Cutler supposed to take that in stride? McDaniels made it worse by flat out lying that the team was trying to get Cassel. That is not how you establish a rapport with the most important player on your team. That is where McDaniels made his mistake and caused the rift that seems to be widening by the day.
At this point, I fully expect Cutler to be traded. Cutler has formally requested a trade, and McDaniels and owner Pat Bowlen are acknowledging that the situation may not end with a happy ending. Unless McDaniels and Cutler can sit down, and hash out their differences out without any agents or team management interfering, we have probably seen the premature ending to the Jay Cutler Era in Denver.