Carlson: Just Say No On Cutler

March 12th, 2009
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Carlson says Luke McCown and Mark Sanchez are better quarterbacks for the 2009 Bucs than Jay Cutler

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Carlson says Luke McCown and Mark Sanchez are better quarterbacks for the 2009 Bucs than Jay Cutler

All this talk about Jay Cutler demanded that Joe check in with the house expert, former Bucs quarterback  Jeff Carlson.

Joe’s a little numb that the boss of America’s Best Quarterback  is down on Cutler, even comparing him to a cauliflower of all things.

Carlson talks about the Broncos’ undisciplined gunslinger and other potential Bucs quarterbacks below.

Joe knows you’ll appreciate Carlson’s expertise and candor. The guy really needs his own weekly QB show on ESPN.

Joe: Your pluses and minuses for Jay Cutler

Jeff Carlson: One of Cutler’s positives is he can make big plays like Brett Favre (not quite as many), and one of his negatives is that he can make really bad plays like Brett Favre (but hasn’t led his team to anything of significance).  He seems to have the personality of a cauliflower, which doesn’t inspire men to do great things, unlike Brett Favre, whose personality inspires many.  A positive is that Eli Manning, whose personality isn’t much more than a cauliflower (although I do like a couple of his commercials with his brother), won a Super Bowl recently.

Joe:  How much should the Bucs give up for Cutler?

Carlson: I hope the Bucs don’t give up anything for Cutler.  I don’t want a younger Jeff Garcia type at QB.  I want a guy that will play within the system, read defenses and make the right choices.  Cutler depends on his arm strength (like early Favre) to get the ball places it shouldn’t go, which causes bad things to happen.
Joe:  Can he and should he want to overcome his new coach, Josh McDaniel  trying to trade him? What does he have to do if he stays in Denver?

Carlson: Since he and his coach really don’t know each other, they should try to make nice and give it a go together.  There isn’t much else out there to get.  Chris Simms is not going to become a great starting QB in the NFL and Cutler is popular in Denver (at least I think he is). 

It is time to get the Broncos back in the playoffs next year if he wants to continue in Denver.  He is at the same place Brian Griese was after taking over for John Elway.  It didn’t end well for Griese.

Joe:  Is there any QB in the 2009 draft that you’d like to see on the Bucs?

Carlson: I really like Mark Sanchez from USC in this draft. I spoke with Jon Gruden at our kids’ flag football practice and he said the same thing to me that he said on the NFL Network at the combine.  and that was Mark Sanchez wasn’t very big, not a great arm, and not many starts or great comeback wins at USC.

I disagree [with Gruden] and say that his mechanics are spot-on (best in the draft), he anticipates throws better than most, and I like his athleticism in and around the pocket.  I also like his personality and leadership style better than a Jay Cutler.  I do not think the brooding, quiet type leads men onto the “battlefield” well.

Joe: So what do you think of Luke McCown.

Carlson: I think he is the best of what is available for the Buccaneers this year.  Everyone is new to the system, but the new offensive coordinator’s style should fit McCown’s and his athleticism is unmatched at QB.  He also has good mechanics that translate into accurate passes.

13 Responses to “Carlson: Just Say No On Cutler”

  1. TonyQ Says:

    This is why Carlson is not a GM. Cutler is a top 10 QB and he’s young. I’m sure he can be coached past his flaws. Either way he’s better than what we have and what’s all bad about Garcia forgetting about the age. He wins games. How many would the Bucs have won last year with a better QB. Were they really an 11-5 team

  2. Kris Says:

    why give up a bunch of picks for Cutler? who is he going to throw too? Brandan Marshall isnt walking through Tampa’s locker room

  3. frank Says:

    I have the NFL Network. I watched the combine. I would wait until the 3rd or 4th and take Pat White of W VA. He threw the deep out route better than anyone at that combine, including Stafford of GA. Dont say he is too short, because Chris Simms is tall, and he had more batted balls in his career than Doug Flutie ever had.

  4. Fred Says:

    Hey Joe, I love the site but I have to question your choice of Jeff Carlson. Jeff Carlson??? The guy has 2 career TD’s 9 int’s and a QB rating of 34. I think he’s more suited for analyzing Pop Warner talent.

  5. admin Says:

    Joe here.

    Fred, c’mon. The guy played QB in the NFL and coaches quarterbacks privately at a variety of levels. He also was a successful college QB. That’s enough qualifications for Joe to value his opinion greatly.

  6. Eric Says:

    TonyQ and Fred are right. Jeff Carlson? Come on, Joe. Carlson loses all credibility when he compares Cutler to Garcia — the two are as different as can be. One (Cutler) has a great arm, the other (Garcia) one of the worst. One is a pocket passer with decent mobility (Cutler), the other (Garcia) a classic scrambler much more comfortable when the pocket has broken down and he is making plays with his feet.

    Carlson is more accurate in his vague comparison of Cutler to a young Brett Favre. But to dig Cutler for not winning anything when Favre has ignores the fact that it took several years for Favre to win anything at all. Cutler is beginning his fourth year in the league so let’s hold off on the lack of Super Bowl comments, ok? Cutler is a little wild (like a young – and old for that matter) Favre. But he is accurate, strong armed, smart and confident. A little more experience is likely to go a long way like it did for Favre.

    Carlson’s other posts had been similarly off. But this one takes the cake. I know the guy has agreed to write for your site, but the professional numbers Fred cites are far more indicative of his credibility as a evaluator of NFL – rather than college or private tutor students – QBs.

  7. admin Says:

    Joe here.

    Thanks for the comments.

    As you’ve read, Joe is ALL FOR bringing in Cutler. So don’t get that confused with Carlson’s opinion. …But Joe considers Carlson very qualified to give a professional take here. Gosh, there are so many great talent evaluators in every sport who never played the game at an elite level. From the great college and NBA coaches, to so many NFL guys. Carlson’s NFL numbers don’t disqualify him from being a QB expert, whether you agree with him or not.

  8. Joe Says:


    Just a quick follow-up.

    First, thanks for visiting and please continue to post a comment from time to time.

    Joe doesn’t consider what a man does on an NFL field to be a true indicator of his knowledge of the game. There are countless solid football coaches, even quarterback coaches and analysts, who either stunk out loud on an NFL field or never threw one pass in the NFL.

    For example, did Don Coryell ever play quarterback in the NFL? Or Bill Walsh? Mike Holmgren was a career backup who never threw a pass in the regular season. Jeff Carlson accomplished more as a player then those three men. Yet Joe doesn’t think any sober person would argue Coryell, Walsh or Holmgren didn’t know how to break down a quarterback.

    In Joe’s eyes, if a quarterback even sniffed an NFL roster, he likely knows more about the passing game than Joe does.

    (Sidenote: The only time Joe wants to listen to Trent Dilfer is if Dilfer explains how to properly throw interceptions late in the game when your team needs a touchdown.)

    Again Fred, thanks for writing. Don’t be a stranger.

  9. crease22 Says:

    Carlson doesnt even agree with CHucky the quarteraback genius. Now obviously Chucky knows his quarterbacks.

  10. MTM Says:

    Carlson off a bit on this one. Cutler has alot of upside. He just needs to make better decisions in the pocket. And stop listening to every one telling him how strong his arm is. Once he stops trying to force the ball in the wrong spots. He will be fine.
    That said I would not trade the farm for him. Because of all the needs they Bucs have. There are alot of QB’s in this years draft to pick from. If the Buc’s can draft a good QB. That progresses quickly in the offense.
    They can also address the defense positions that need to be filled. Like linebacker, DT, DE etc..

  11. Sargeant Mike Says:

    While I would certainly love to have Cutler we shouldn’t give up the farm to get him. One of the many reasons Gruden didn’t work out is the fact we gave up 2yrs of high picks for him. He never had a chance to build a good YOUNG team the way he wanted to. Only a handful of picks will be above avg stalwarts over 5 or 6 yrs and Gruden had 2yrs taken from him. Let’s give the “Dream” better tools than just a lot of free agent money to spend. Free agents don’t always work out either. Better off evaluating talent and drafting it than getting all vets. I hope they make the right choice and stick with drafting the best player on the board regardless of position or team need. This has always worked out best for the Bucs.

  12. Sargeant Mike Says:

    Oh and if you want a good QB with a better stat sheet to give commentary(no offense J.C.) look up Steve DeBerg. He is probably sitting around drinking a beer, but he certainly had some stats and a very long career. Wasn’t he the oldest QB to play in a SB with atlanta? Anyway, no one could ever say he didn’t know what he was talking about. He coached tons of QB’s as a #2 guy.

  13. MTM Says:

    Picking the best player available on the board has worked very well for alot of teams. Great point Sargeant Mike.