It has been well publicized in the media that Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler is not happy about the thought of being traded. The follow up teleconference nearly two weeks later, between the Cutler camp and Broncos management left Cutler feeling the discussion didn’t go well. However Coach McDaniels thought it did go well. So like many Broncos fan it was difficult to understand why McDaniels would trade their Pro Bowl QB for Matt Cassel. The terms of the deal just didn’t add up.
We all understand the NFL is a business, and any one can be traded for the right deal. Still the deal didn’t make since out side of the obvious, that Cassel has run the Patriots offensive scheme we believe McDaniels plans to run. But still, why wouldn’t you expect Cutler to learn, understand, and run a new offense?
I came to two plausible conclusions. First, McDaniels doesn’t have a clue as to Cutler’s value in a trade, has no interpersonal skills, or is in way over his head. Second, maybe he is Mastermind II. That’s probably a big leap from what you have been reading lately so let me elaborate. McDaniels is young and in his first head coaching job. He is replacing a coach who had a long tenure with the team and who had brought the Broncos two Super Bowl Championship. That is a big task in itself to live up to and filling those expectations. So, one of the things he has to do is establish credibility with the team. What better way to establish who is in control than to take on the highest profile member of the team with his first act. What McDaniels is doing is challenging Cutler. It’s likely that out side of a few QB competitions, Cutler has not been treated this way before. McDaniels has a management style that is much different than Shanahan’s and he is expecting Jay to step up to the plate and show everyone that he is the franchise player we all hope and expect him to be. McDaniels is going to break down individuals and build a team concept from the ground up. He’s telling Cutler the train has left the station; you are either on it or going to be run over by it.
I've seen this management style before, it works on some but not all people. Will Cutler take the challenge? Only time will tell. If he sulks around like a spoiled kid and under performs, we could see Chris Simms late in season. If he lives up to his billing, then I see a nice long term contract coming his way and all this nonsense will be ancient history.
As a Bronco fan all I can say is I hope the second conclusion is the probable out come and not the first. I would like to see these two professionals work out their difference, preferably behind closed doors and not in front of the media.