Former Denver Broncos GM Ted Sundquist dropped a bombshell of an article Thursday - he detailed the rise and fall of Jay Cutler in Denver and shed some light on the inner workings of the Broncos from 2005-2009.
Here are three things we learned from Sundquist's article, which you should read in its entirety. We've also included podcasts from our friends at The Afternoon Drive with their takes.
1. Broncos scouts were not that great
This should come as no surprise to anyone who was following the team's Drafts in the early part of the century, but some of these scouting reports leave a little to be desired.
You can guess the basics of what I was looking at. Rocket arm. Great numbers at the combine. Good pedigree. The top offensive player in the SEC despite playing on an otherwise lousy Vanderbilt team. Impressive 29 score on the Wonderlic.
"Great character guy," the scouting report says. "The BMOC [Big Man On Campus], and acts it in a good way."
"That is a complete 180 from what we have seen from Jay Cutler in the NFL," Eric Goodman commented. "Whoever wrote that scouting report is not a very good judge of character."
2. The inner politics of the 2005-08 Broncos
- Gary Kubiak and Jake Plummer were a match made in Football Heaven. New offensive coordinatorMike Heimerdinger and Plummer? Not so much.
- Sundquist confirmed what had often been rumored - Mike Shanahan wanted Leinart, and the Broncos tried to trade with and ahead of Arizona at 10th overall to pull that trigger
- The ultimate benching of Plummer and move toward Cutler lost Shanahan the locker room. He never found it again.
3. Jay Cutler was gone the moment he met Josh McDaniels
We always believed leaked news of a trade-inquiry for Matt Cassel was the catalyst for Jay Cutler's exodus from Denver. That might not be the case. From Sundquist ‐
Shortly after Josh McDaniels moved into his office at Dove Valley, he called in Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, for a closed-door meeting. The story goes that McDaniels began with a 20-minute dissertation of his resume, how he'd worked his way up the ranks in New England to become Bill Belichick's right-hand man with the offense and how the team would have been nowhere the year before without his tutelage of backup Matt Cassel. He continued on with justification of his hiring by Bowlen.
After the perplexing recitation of accomplishments, McDaniels suddenly shifted gears.
He began to bash and berate Cutler and his game to the tune of a verbal flogging neither had ever witnessed. The expletive-laden diatribe went on for a few minutes, after which Cook stood up and told Cutler they were leaving. As they walked down the long hallway past Bowlen's office, Cutler turned to Bus and said, "Get me out of here. I don't care how you do it."
Soooo many questions from this, but primarily - how the hell do you let such an insane person coach your football team?
Second question - why call in a player to berate him in front of his agent unless you were intending to coax a trade request or some other drastic roster move?
And why coax that at all? You're Josh McDaniels; you can pull the strings. If you're determined to get rid of someone on the roster, you just do it. No need to cause a fuss, a media ruckus, and burn a bridge with both a player and an agent. McDaniels' hopeful outcome of that meeting is beyond us. Hence the primary question.
Check out Sundquist's article here and give us your reactions in the comments.