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News » Cutler gives team a sure thing

Cutler gives team a sure thing

Cutler gives team a sure thing

Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw puts news from the sports world through his spin cycle

Jay Cutler will be traded.

The latest developments in Denver are that Cutler is not returning the phone calls of head coach Josh McDaniels and owner Pat Bowlen, and that the organization has decided to grant his wish and trade him.

This begs the question, would Cleveland Browns fans tolerate a smart, cocky, demanding quarterback who is pretty sure his way is the right way and who isn't shy about challenging his coaches?

I mean, other than Bernie Kosar?

Quarterbacks are special cases, no matter what any Bill Belichick disciple wants to believe and especially despite what a 32-year-old Belichick disciple bungling the first major issue of his NFL coaching career wants to believe.

Quarterbacks get all the blame when things don't go well (unless they're good looking, from Notre Dame, and grew up a fan of the team that drafted them) and they get all the accolades when life is good. The job often requires a self-assurance and ego bordering on narcissism.

There are exceptions. But the best ones run the huddle as if somebody put them in charge. Go figure.

Cutler is coming off a Pro Bowl season accomplished without much help around him. He's one of three quarterbacks to throw for 4,500 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.

When Derek Anderson showed up in Hawaii, even the Browns management was questioning whether it was the result of the pilot or the cockpit. Cutler's deal is clearer. It was the pilot.

He's not handling his situation in Denver particularly well. No one would say he is. But he's handled it better than McDaniels did when the coach explored trading Cutler shortly after taking over for Mike Shanahan. Nice touch.

What did McDaniels think Cutler's reaction would be, especially after Bowlen (allegedly) told him he'd keep the offensive staff intact after ousting Shanahan.

Cutler has the skills to make another coach and another city happy. How it ended in Denver doesn't preclude him becoming someone else's happy and accomplished franchise quarterback. He's 25.

The Browns are mentioned as a possible third party in a deal for Cutler because they have Brady Quinn and Anderson, and could deal one of them. That scenario has Cutler going somewhere else other than Cleveland .

The Browns should cut out the middle man and find a way to get Cutler.

Kosar, after all, was basically dispatched by Belichick for insubordination and admits he rubbed coaches the wrong way earlier in his career - just not publicly.

The successful coaches don't mind taking on big personalities. Eric Mangini is just coming off a season with Brett Favre.

The one thing we know about Cutler at this point in his career, other than that he's a big talent with an even bigger arm, is that his skills are not diminished.

And the MVP is?

For anyone who's watched LeBron James get serious about defense this season and expand his game in all other areas, too, this seems like a trick question.

Kenny Smith, in a column for Yahoo Sports, calls James "the best teammate in basketball," which is another way of saying James makes everybody around him better.

Let's see, the Cavs are 61-13.

The best teammate in basketball is responsible for the team with the best record in basketball. If that's not the MVP, they need to rewrite the definition.

An unforgettable season at The Q

The Cavaliers are the class of the league - especially at home.

When the playoffs roll around, I wouldn't mind if the Cavs forgot the following:

* The in-game player charades.

Sing "Kumbaya" during timeouts if you must, but build your campfires after the games. Or in the locker room at halftime.

* Cavs players blocking the view of fans by standing up and watching.

People paying good money and all they get to see is Cavaliers standing around and doing nothing? We had enough of that in years gone by. Then it was called "Mike Brown's offense."

* Dan Gilbert on the team broadcast.

He's a good owner. But enough already. Isn't there a bar mitzvah somewhere that needs a bouncer?

* The Regurgicam.

Really now. I think the target audience for a video of food coming out of people's mouths is usually asleep in their SpongeBob pajamas by 8 p.m.


With the start of the baseball season upon us starting Monday, Spin is accepting submissions of Wedgespeak on a weekly basis to be included on a list under the title, "He Said What?"

The first submission comes from reader Doug Beckler, who made note that Wedge said Trevor Crowe "lengthens our lineup" and wondered, "What's that all about?"

I don't pretend to know, Doug. But Wedge would no doubt commend you for "taking a clearer path to the baseball" - metaphorically speaking - in asking that question.


The Tigers released Gary Sheffield with 499 home runs. What a warm and fuzzy moment when his new and perhaps totally unfamiliar teammates stop the game to celebrate No. 500.

* If Scott Lewis can't grip the ball in Arizona, what are his chances in Cleveland in April and, if all goes well, October?

* The man from Newark, Ohio, arrested after drinking 15 beers and crashing his motorized bar stool has nothing to do with sports, but I just had to mention it.

You said it


Good piece on [Travis] Hafner. I've been an Indians fan all my life and I can honestly say NOTHING bothers me more than this current regime making personnel decisions based on contracts."

Hafner hit his second homer in as many games Wednesday. But look, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. For instance, I have it on good authority that David Dellucci and Masa Kobayashi are not at all bothered by the trend you speak of.


"Bud: Are the student athletes in the Final Four busy with classes this week? Just wondering." - Tom.

Many are finishing up accelerated master's programs. It's a grind. As a side note, there are so many more Ph.D.'s among student athlete Football players than basketball players because the student Football players don't have a postseason tournament that keeps them from their academic passions.



I can't believe the ridiculous comment about Brett Farve in your column on March 29. No one knows better how to win, works harder and been more successful. Brady Quinn spending one training camp with Brett Favre would have Quinn ready to be the quarterback to lead the Browns." - Frank.

OK, Frank. I just thought Brett would be worn out from all that tutoring he did of Aaron Rodgers.

To reach Bud Shaw: bshaw@plaind.com, 216-999-5639

Previous columns online: cleveland.com/columns

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 3, 2009

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