Things are pointing in the right direction for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler is entering his second season under Marc Trestman while being fresh on the heels of a seven-year contract extension this summer that truly identified Cutler as the team’s franchise quarterbacks. With the sense of stability, Cutler has been picked by many to have a breakout season with the Bears this season. Cutler’s teammate, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, had high praise for the quarterback while speaking about his potential for the 2014 season.
Marshall was speaking with Former Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin on Wednesday at training camp and indicated that Cutler is ready to emerge as the league MVP.
“I want to see what happens when they have a healthy Jay Cutler,” Irvin said. “I asked Brandon that very question; what do you think a healthy Jay Cutler for 16 games [can accomplish]? He said ‘MVP in the league.’ I said that’s high praise right there; you’re just going to take Peyton Manning off that shelf and just going to put Jay Cutler right up there like that? That’s the way he sees it.-Michael Irvin, ESPN Chicago
Marshall’s comments about Cutler being ready for the MVP comes after the wide receiver noticed a different side of Cutler this off-season.
“I don’t think anybody would believe it,” Marshall said. “I don’t know why they wouldn’t believe it. [But] this is a different person. I don’t know this guy. I don’t know this new Jay Cutler. Maybe his new name is like Joshua or something. This is a totally different guy. Just call him Joshua Cutler. That’s what the ‘J’ stands for.”-Brandon Marshall, ESPN Chicago
Marshall was alluding to the lasting impact that Josh McCown had on Cutler last season.
McCown and Cutler developed a close friendship last season and there is a belief that McCown groomed Cutler into being a leader of the team. McCown’s teachings were on display last season as Cutler, while injured, was seen on the sidelines acting as an offensive coach while standing beside Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman.
Had Cutler been healthy for the full 16 games last season, then it is possible that the quarterback would have been in the MVP discussion last season though not at the same level as Peyton Manning. Cutler was on pace last season to exceed his career-highs and emerge as a top-tier quarterback before injuries slowed his progress.
Cutler spent this off-season building his durability with the hope of lasting the entire season. If Cutler does indeed last the entire season, then chances may be in his favor of having not only a career year but a year that would warrant MVP discussion.