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  1. #1
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    Shanahan likes what QB loves

    Shanahan likes what QB loves
    By Mark Kiszla
    Denver Post Staff Columnist
    Article Launched: 09/18/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT


    Undefeated and walking on sunshine, the Broncos exude an optimistic vibe. Why? You could draw a big heart, and inside it affectionately scribble: Shanny + Jay-C.

    Coach Mike Shanahan loves the Kid QB.

    Unlike his usually successful but often-quarrelsome and constantly tense relationship with former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, Shanahan has found a kindred spirit in 24-year-old Jay Cutler.

    "The difference between the two is Jay loves football," Shanahan said Monday. "Now, I'm not saying Jake doesn't love the game ..."

    But Denver, like any NFL city, is a much happier place when the coach has total trust in his quarterback.

    "Jake was not a student of the game," Shanahan said.

    In the afterglow of two stirring victories to open the 2007 season, Shanahan stood in a hallway at the team's Dove Valley headquarters and revealed the most important reason he and Plummer ultimately could not get along together, although the coach retains a genuine appreciation for the 39 regular-season games they won together during the course of four sometimes-rocky seasons.

    "He played well, he had success. But Jake loves the game on Sunday. I don't think he really likes football Monday through Friday," Shanahan told me in a steady voice, with a what-can-you-do shrug.

    The coach paused, wondering if his words sounded too harsh for a quarterback who won more than 70 percent of his starts for the Broncos.

    Shanahan has no fear of the truth, and Plummer was a magnet for controversy, whether the trouble involved a contentious fender-bender or flipping off a heckler.

    Nevertheless, Shanahan thanks Plummer for the unrelenting spunk and obvious physical abilities he brought to the Denver huddle. The coach never regretted putting the football in Plummer's hands, even if the hippy-dippy quarterback required constant supervision.

    But wasn't it obvious this football marriage was doomed?

    Toward the end of their relationship, the Denver coach and quarterback frequently clashed in animated discussions for every fan to witness, exchanging frustrated words when a promising drive would end without satisfaction, too often because of an incomplete throw at a misread defense, a painfully conservative call for a running play on third down or a turnover forced by Plummer's foolhardiness.

    That dark cloud of unhealthy tension has cleared from the Denver sideline. Because we all love the fresh smell of unspoiled promise, you sense the dread that seemed to permeate the stadium after a Plummer error has been swept away, replaced by sturdy patience for the mistakes of youthful exuberance committed by Cutler.

    "This kid loves football. The thing that's great about Jay is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice," Shanahan said. "He's a student of the game."

    Although the 19 points the Denver offense is averaging after two games this season with Cutler at the controls is scant improvement over the lack of scoring that got Plummer benched last year, the faith and encouragement Shanahan shows his kid QB can only help lift the spirits of this team.

    Shanahan did not chew out Cutler for either of his two interceptions in the 23-20 victory against the Raiders.

    "I didn't say anything to him," recalled Shanahan, describing his reaction to the two ugly blips in Denver's passing attack.

    Added Cutler: "He might be yelling in the headsets at somebody else. He's not yelling at me."

    Even more revealing, after Cutler found himself trapped in the end zone by Oakland defensive lineman Gerard Warren for a safety, Shanahan sought out the young quarterback near the bench to give him an reassuring pat.

    "I don't get mad at quarterbacks. I think it's the hardest position in the game," Shanahan said. "So I don't get mad at quarterbacks, unless they really deserve it."

    It's not that Shanahan was glad to see Plummer drive his Honda Element off into the sunset, leaving the corporate constraints and incessant playbook studying of football at age 32, for a retirement where no overheated critic cares about the last time he got a haircut.

    But it's undoubtedly better for all concerned that the instructions Shanahan shouts in the microphone from the sideline now reach the trusted ears of Cutler, who's on the same wavelength.

    This change feels good for every football-loving soul in Denver. Draw a heart around a fresh start between coach and quarterback.

    Shanny + Jay-C = a winning combination that Broncomaniacs could love for a long, long time.

    Staff writer Mark Kiszla can be reached at 303-954-1053 or mkiszla@denverpost.com.
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    ----------------------------------------------
    I work at Vanderbilt University

    Where Jay Graduated!


    I tell you I love Elway! He was my hero growing up. I loved the way he threw the ball with velocity! I love that in a QB. This is why I am a Cutlerfan!!

  2. #2
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    Good article but i don't agree with one of Shanny's comments

    "This kid loves football. The thing that's great about Jay is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice," Shanahan said. "He's a student of the game."

    He's thrown 3 interceptions for a touchdown in his short career...sounds like the same mistake to me.

    I'll grant the fact that the one against the Raiders was not all his fault but it'd be nice to see more touchdowns than interceptions but he's got 2-3...not far from Jake's numbers if you want to go that route. Hopefully we'll turn all those yards into points and stop settling for field goals when we're on the 2 yard line...

    The safety in the Raiders game was Jay's fault though, he held the ball waaaaaaaay too long for being in that position on the field.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco_Rob View Post
    Good article but i don't agree with one of Shanny's comments

    "This kid loves football. The thing that's great about Jay is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice," Shanahan said. "He's a student of the game."

    He's thrown 3 interceptions for a touchdown in his short career...sounds like the same mistake to me.

    I'll grant the fact that the one against the Raiders was not all his fault but it'd be nice to see more touchdowns than interceptions but he's got 2-3...not far from Jake's numbers if you want to go that route. Hopefully we'll turn all those yards into points and stop settling for field goals when we're on the 2 yard line...

    The safety in the Raiders game was Jay's fault though, he held the ball waaaaaaaay too long for being in that position on the field.
    So are you saying he should never throw an interception again in his career? I think the point shanahan was making was that in a certain situation he will make a better read. Each situation is different, which is why interceptions happen in the first place.

    Anyway, yes the safety was because of a ball held to long, however, it also means receivers werent getting open for him either. He really didnt have much time.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco_Rob View Post
    Good article but i don't agree with one of Shanny's comments

    "This kid loves football. The thing that's great about Jay is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice," Shanahan said. "He's a student of the game."

    He's thrown 3 interceptions for a touchdown in his short career...sounds like the same mistake to me.

    I'll grant the fact that the one against the Raiders was not all his fault but it'd be nice to see more touchdowns than interceptions but he's got 2-3...not far from Jake's numbers if you want to go that route. Hopefully we'll turn all those yards into points and stop settling for field goals when we're on the 2 yard line...

    The safety in the Raiders game was Jay's fault though, he held the ball waaaaaaaay too long for being in that position on the field.

    In that case Brett Favre must hold the record for making the same mistake twice, in fact he has made it 275 times.
    Last edited by Hartley; 09-18-2007 at 07:33 AM.

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    Cool interseptions( or however you spell it)

    I don't think INT'S are what Shanahan meant when he said Jay don't make the same mistake twice! All the greats have done that! You can tell by looking and watching Jay, he has a passion for the game! He loves it! He made a tackle for Travis and smiled the whole time! He can play all the positions most likely! I am his fan now! I watched him in the first game of the regular season and he is a go getter! Time will tell! I think Jake got tired of the game and after his friend Pat was killed, he just wasn't the same! He took us to the wire and just gave up! Jay has another theory, "do or die" He has a great attitude and I love it! Some one asked if he was like Elway... No... Elway had a totally different attitude! He was a punk coming into the league and left a legend and a good man! Jay will make his own way and I believe he will be a legend in his own time!

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco_Rob View Post
    Good article but i don't agree with one of Shanny's comments

    "This kid loves football. The thing that's great about Jay is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice," Shanahan said. "He's a student of the game."

    He's thrown 3 interceptions for a touchdown in his short career...sounds like the same mistake to me.

    I'll grant the fact that the one against the Raiders was not all his fault but it'd be nice to see more touchdowns than interceptions but he's got 2-3...not far from Jake's numbers if you want to go that route. Hopefully we'll turn all those yards into points and stop settling for field goals when we're on the 2 yard line...

    The safety in the Raiders game was Jay's fault though, he held the ball waaaaaaaay too long for being in that position on the field.

    Well.. here's a lesson for. He's not talking about the INTs themselves. ALLL QBs throw interceptions. Its what LEADS to the interceptions. Its reading the defenses and find that he doesn't make the same mistake over an over and over again when reading a certain coverage and knowing where to throw and where NOT to throw.

    He made it VERY clear that what he was saying is that Jay WANTS to learn the GAME of football, the mental aspects of the game, the strategies behind what you do and what THEY are doing.... and NOT just play the fun stuff on Sundays. He's saying JAKE was not a student of the game, and as a result, would make the same mistakes over and over and over again when making reads... THUS causing the heated YELLS that he would get..."because he really deserved it."
    Last edited by Ravage!!!; 09-18-2007 at 08:32 AM.

  8. #8
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    Good article. I like hearing from a coach's perspective as to how he sees the progress of the QB coming along. I think its obvious just how good this kid CAN be, and the fact that Shanahan isn't expecting perfection from him, shows good coaching as well. He's letting the kid learn, and not breaking down his confidence.. NOR trying to take away Jay's willingness to let it fly.

    Was the safety Jay's fault? Perhaps. Was a pretty bad timing for that to happen, and Jay may have been able to do something to avoid that mistake. But Shanahan made the right choice by not crashing down on him. Jay knew already. He didn't need the coach, at that time, to come onto him. Shanahan stayed away, pat him on the shoulder and kept his confidence up because he knew the kid would have to bring us to score on the next drive.

    I know this. I bet we don't see Jay make that mistake again

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    I hate to use this analogy but its like when you have a good yearling (a One year old Horse) you are training it for the derby it is not quite ready but it is showing promise.

    I am not calling Jay a horse but you get my point. Jay was the same at Vandy. When he started here as a freshman he had lots of talent but was all over the place. Each year Jay got better and better. He learned from his mistakes.

    Peyton Manning was not a great college QB but he worked at his game in the NFL. Last weeks game I saw Jay looking at photos on the sideline of coverage with Ramsey. I love that. Peyton does that too.
    http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/9...rfanmb9uc2.gif

    http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/a...assdb/Jay2.jpg
    ----------------------------------------------
    I work at Vanderbilt University

    Where Jay Graduated!


    I tell you I love Elway! He was my hero growing up. I loved the way he threw the ball with velocity! I love that in a QB. This is why I am a Cutlerfan!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravage!!! View Post
    Good article. I like hearing from a coach's perspective as to how he sees the progress of the QB coming along. I think its obvious just how good this kid CAN be, and the fact that Shanahan isn't expecting perfection from him, shows good coaching as well. He's letting the kid learn, and not breaking down his confidence.. NOR trying to take away Jay's willingness to let it fly.

    Was the safety Jay's fault? Perhaps. Was a pretty bad timing for that to happen, and Jay may have been able to do something to avoid that mistake. But Shanahan made the right choice by not crashing down on him. Jay knew already. He didn't need the coach, at that time, to come onto him. Shanahan stayed away, pat him on the shoulder and kept his confidence up because he knew the kid would have to bring us to score on the next drive.

    I know this. I bet we don't see Jay make that mistake again
    I dont blame him for the safety, its a classic rookie mistake that ALL young QBs make.
    Example. 2005 last game of the season, @SD, Brees is stuck at his own 5 yrd line and JLYNCH blitzes. When its all said and done, Brees ran around like a chicken with his head cut off, and walked away with a busted chicken wing!!
    Rivers comes in, and LYNCH blitzes him! Rivers runs around like a chicken and almost gives up a safety. This is all off the top of my head and i cant really remember what came of it other than the Broncos won the game, but its 2 consecutive plays with 2 fairly new Qbs where they BOTH panicked like crazy and ran around just trying to salvage anything at that point.
    I dont blame Jay at all for the safety, as a matter of fact, he didnt really freak out at all during or after the play which is good news for us! I mean he's cool under pressure no matter what. its to be expected.
    The tipped pass, INT. happens. But the difference is with Plummer it was a "jump ball" thing. Plummer would throw right into the D-line and just hope it went through to the reciever. This drove me nut! Not to mention EVERY pass farther than 15 yrds by plummer was a "jump ball" . Plummer could not pass from the pocket, hence all the bootlegs. It was like watching "3 flys up" with Plummer. I cringed everytime he threw over the middle.
    Big difference with Jay and it obviously shows. I dont even need to explain it to you guys, you already see it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutlerfan View Post
    I hate to use this analogy but its like when you have a good yearling (a One year old Horse) you are training it for the derby it is not quite ready but it is showing promise.

    I am not calling Jay a horse but you get my point. Jay was the same at Vandy. When he started here as a freshman he had lots of talent but was all over the place. Each year Jay got better and better. He learned from his mistakes.

    Peyton Manning was not a great college QB but he worked at his game in the NFL. Last weeks game I saw Jay looking at photos on the sideline of coverage with Ramsey. I love that. Peyton does that too.
    Peyton was a great college QB, thus why he was drafted teh #1 overall pick.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravage!!! View Post
    Peyton was a great college QB, thus why he was drafted teh #1 overall pick.
    He was not as good as he is now. I watched him through his whole career at UT. He never won a National Title. He did not win the heisman. T Martin won the national Title for UT.
    http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/9...rfanmb9uc2.gif

    http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/a...assdb/Jay2.jpg
    ----------------------------------------------
    I work at Vanderbilt University

    Where Jay Graduated!


    I tell you I love Elway! He was my hero growing up. I loved the way he threw the ball with velocity! I love that in a QB. This is why I am a Cutlerfan!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutlerfan View Post
    He was not as good as he is now. I watched him through his whole career at UT. He never won a National Title. He did not win the heisman. T Martin won the national Title for UT.
    No.. but Elway didn't win a national title or the heisman either. But both were good enough to be the 1st over all pick in the draft. There was a reason Peyton was picked as the 1st overall pick in the draft, even though he didn't win the heisman or a national title game. PLUS.. rarely is the heisman trophy winner ever really something special in the pros. So that doesn't mean anything.

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    It's interesting that Shanahan has essentially thrown Jake under the bus in a more direct manner. It's not that Shanahan's comments were shocking - we all pretty much knew Jake was a '9-5' type guy (as am I). But to be a QB in the NFL, you HAVE to commit yourself to the game.

    I have no doubt now that Plummer's poor play last season was a direct result of losing Kubiak. It would appear that Kubiak was pretty much Jake's only supporter within the organization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco_Rob View Post
    Good article but i don't agree with one of Shanny's comments

    "This kid loves football. The thing that's great about Jay is that he doesn't make the same mistake twice," Shanahan said. "He's a student of the game."

    He's thrown 3 interceptions for a touchdown in his short career...sounds like the same mistake to me.

    I'll grant the fact that the one against the Raiders was not all his fault but it'd be nice to see more touchdowns than interceptions but he's got 2-3...not far from Jake's numbers if you want to go that route. Hopefully we'll turn all those yards into points and stop settling for field goals when we're on the 2 yard line...

    The safety in the Raiders game was Jay's fault though, he held the ball waaaaaaaay too long for being in that position on the field.
    Food for thought, in just half a season Jay has been able to lead his team down get a late game tying or winning score 3 times in half a season as start. It four if you count the tying score form the 49ers game last year even though we didn't win. Plummer did only twice from what remember in four years.

    The real indictment in the article that you are overlooking is the fact Shanahan has said Jay studies harder that Jake ever did. Maybe if Jake should have put more time into his preparations.
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