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A Lesson From Jeff George

March 29, 2009

Jeff George

Jeff George was going to be a hero. Nobody could ever have had a healthier situation. He had been the number one overall pick in the draft and seemed to be ready to live up to that standard. George was the QB of the future for the Indianapolis Colts, and the NFL. He had a dream situation playing for his hometown team and when he was drafted had almost all Colts fans on his side. But Jeff George as time wore on might not have been the best decision maker.

In the year of 1994 Jeff George asked to leave the Indianapolis Colts after a fall-out between him the front office, the coaching staff, and most of his fans. The QB of the future who seemed to be a glimmer of hope for the Indianapolis Colts had taken a turn for the worse in their books and as the off-season kept rolling ahead, the Colts had no choice but to trade their QB of the future.

All optimism for the Colts was lost in that unfortunate season, expected to make Jeff George the greatest QB in the NFL and the Colts one of the greatest teams. But things change quickly in the NFL and now it was expected to still make Jeff George a star with the Colts trade partner, The Atlanta Falcons and the Colts a bottom tier team.

Niether of those things happened. The Colts had a great 9-7 season and ended up going deep into the playoffs while Jeff George barely impressed. Instead, he had an average season, followed by another average season, and then a season where he got in such a heated argument with his new coach he was suspended for the rest of the season. Jeff George had not played well overall for the Falcons and not started the majority of his final games with them. Yet again, another QB granted the first overall pick in the draft, had become a bust. Or at least that was how it seemed.

But what would have happened, had Jeff George never asked for that trade? Sure, he had never won a playoff game, and his stats were average with only a few more touchdowns than interceptions. Would the have Colts become a force in the 90’s and Jeff George a star maybe even hall of fame QB?  Would he have flopped anyway that next year and Peyton Manning would still have ended up becoming their hall of fame QB?

We will never know what would have happened had Jeff George thought about the consequences of his actions and just moved on with his life. Forgive and forget might have been the best option here with the Colts and we might in retrospect view George in the same light we see all time greats like Elway, Bradshaw, Montana, or Starr.

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None of this happened. And while nobody can go back and change the past, a certain Bronco could learn from this mistake. As you would guess, that player would be disgruntled QB Jay Cutler. Jay Cutler also was a high first round pick. He seems to be the QB of the future and now because of a fall-out with the Broncos front office and coaching staff he might be leaving the Broncos.

Jay Cutler needs to remember what happened to Jeff George here. Or else he might find himself in the same inopportune circumstances. While we can all agree Jay Cutler has serious talent, changing teams is very hard in a young Quarterbacks progression. I will always stand by the belief that a QB should not change teams until at least their 5th season as a starting NFL QB. If not, the consequences can be disastrous.

When Jeff George was traded, he was traded for TWO first round picks. The Colts spent those valuable picks on players like Marshall Faulk and Ellis Johnson. Whether or not you view these picks as well spent due to the fact that Marshall Faulk became a star in St. Louis and not Indianapolis, you can agree that no matter what happened in the draft, the Colts got the better side of this deal.

The same thing could happen to the Broncos. If we send Cutler to a dreadful team like the Detroit Lions, the chances are that they will ruin him somehow. Let’s face it: Would Jay Cutler not be worth the first pick in the draft this year and a likely high first round pick in the next draft? Whether he flops or not, Aaron Curry this year and maybe Sam Bradford the next might be just what we want. Maybe what we need.

Recently Mike Klis of the Denver Post wrote an interesting article on Jay Cutler and how we need to beware of what the consequences of trading him might be. If he becomes a star with another team, it could ruin this one for years and years. But if he stays here, and plays mediocre that could be even worse.

Maybe the right move is for new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels to bench him. With Jay Cutler supposedly not coming to April training either it might infuriate Josh McDaniels just enough, to not only be seriously shopping him but bench him if they can not find a trade partner.

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

But if in fact we do that, Jay Cutler loses valuable playing time and it would scare multiple teams off. The Jeff George route was probably the best way to go then, and still the best way to go now. I think that by the time the draft is over in April Jay Cutler may be wearing anything but orange and blue. We will have two first round draft picks in the bank, and let the cards fall where they may.

If you ask me, Cutler should not do this. Changing teams again, could be catastrophic for him and it would simply destroy a career with lots of hope and potential. I understand that Jay doesn’t trust or even like McDaniels but a lot of players who play for years and years under a coach do not like or approve of them. Really, Cutler should be grateful that we chose an offensive coach like McDaniels.

He has the chance to become as good if not better than Tom Brady right here. He just will be unhappy in the process of becoming that player. That is something that Jeff George never had under his coaching staff. He had to become star by himself with a group of weak, weak coaches.

Let’s face it, Cutler has one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL right now behind him, and he is trying to escape from it. That is NOT what you do. Does he even realize what he has here in Denver? He is surrounded by the second best Wide Receiver squad in the NFL, the second best Offensive Line, the best offensive scheme in the AFC, and an up and coming running game.

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Maybe that is the difference between him and Jeff George. George felt if he went elsewhere he would be better off without his offense. Jay Cutler should be worried he will land in a place like San Francisco, where while they have an average team, does not have a good offense at all. I live in San Francisco, I am forced to watch them every week, and I know that any young QB would not be happy with that Wide Receiver core.

For once, Cutler should not listen to his agent. In fact, I think he should fire Bus Cook. The only thing that he has helped with is making Cutler look like a two faced, lying, crybaby. Is that really what you want to look like Cutler, opposed to good old boy that a lot of people thought you were?

And Bus Cook, if you think that this is going to ruin Jay Cutler like me, why do you want this? Brett Favre and Steve McNair are gone and Jay Cutler is the best player that you represent now. If he flops, not only will you be left with a group of mediocre players but no more young players will want to hire you. Guess what? Not a single player eligible for the NFL Draft signed with him this year.

Jeff George’s agent did the exact same thing. He even told him to hold out of training camp. Are we noticing a pattern here?

Now mind you, Jeff George did in fact play 14 years in the NFL. He was such a crybaby though that he spent no more than 4 years with each team. That said, he did have two years with both Minnesota and Oakland where he had over a 90.0 passer rating. If Jay Cutler could spend 14 years in the NFL like Jeff George he would be lucky.

He would be even luckier if he figured out that he needed to shut up and play for the Broncos without another complaint. It is not like we have gone too far to have him play for us. Chad Johnson, mhmm… I’m sorry, Chad Ocho Cinco put on an even worse show than Jay Cutler and I haven’t heard trade talk of him since last year. So it is not like this can’t all just blow over.

But Jay Cutler will need to let it blow over. He could be a hall of famer but he needs to take this lesson from Jeff George and not ruin his chances at becoming a star in the NFL. He can let this blow over and we might even look back and laugh at this one day but it might be hard at this point. It still is not impossible.

Jeff George Played For Over 6 Teams In His Career After Leaving The Colts

Jeff George Played For Over 6 Teams In His Career After Leaving The Colts

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One Comment
  1. March 29, 2009 10:23 AM

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

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