It Turns Out Drew Brees Was Playing Hurt All Season

I don’t want to toot my own horn too much, but I predicted this announcement was coming multiple times this season.  It never seemed like Brees was 100% there and now we know why.  From NBC Sports:

Coach Sean Payton initially refused to call it even a “situation.”  More recently, Payton admitted that quarterback Drew Brees played in 2010 with a knee injury.

The cat was let out of the bag by Saints fullback Heath Evans who said on ESPN recently that Drew played six weeks of the 2010 season with an MCL injury.

Brees elaborated on the non-situation situation during a Tuesday appearance on PFT Live.

He said the injury happened in Week Three of the 2010 season, and he talked about the measures that were taken so that he could play with the injury.

So of course this means everyone in the media is going to inevitably turn this around back on Cutler.  However, shouldn’t we maybe start to expect that the Saints will be fined for not fully disclosing the nature of this injury throughout the year.  Seems fairly similar to the penalty imposed on the Jets during Favre’s time there.

[NBC Sports]

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A Guy Was Fired From A Chicago Car Dealership For Wearing A Packers Tie To Work

And somehow it has something to do with Jay Cutler’s toughness!  From The Last Angry Fan blog:

Pictured above, wearing a rather unfashionable Green Bay Packers necktie, is John Stone, a car salesman at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn.  Rather, Stone is a former employee of Webb Chevrolet, after being unceremoniously fired for wearing that same tie to work on Monday, a day after the Packers beat the Bears in the NFC Championship.

Stone donned the Packers tie to honor his late grandmother, a huge Green Bay fan who died a mere two days before the championship game, and to show off his team pride following their win.  The 34-year-old says he’s been a fan of the team since he first saw former RB Ahman Green suit up for the Pack.

Stone’s boss, general manager Jerry Roberts, didn’t think the tie was appropriate attire for a dealership that spends $20,000 a month on advertising with the Bears, adding that by wearing the tie, his former employee was “salting the wounds” of the Chicago defeat.

When asked if Stone was fired because of his Packers necktie, Roberts answered “correct.”

Someone a little bitter?

[Last Angry Fan]

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Cutler Has Torn MCL, Analysts Are Idiots

You should already know how I feel about this topic, if not read the post below this.  Here’s proof of the injury, from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was scheduled to undergo an MRI this morning to determine the extent of a torn MCL believed to be in his left knee, according to a source close to the situation.

Neither Cutler nor coach Lovie Smith explained when the injury occurred in the second quarter, but Cutler headed to the locker room for halftime ahead of his teammates, and he tested the stability of his knee in the opening series ot the third quarter. At that point, Smith said the team made the decision to remove him from the game.

“For us, Jay hurt his knee,” Smith said. “He just couldn’t go; team, doctors and all, there was no decision, really. He was injured.”

An MCL tear is consistent with what Cutler noted after the game, that he was hit on the outside of his knee.

The medial collateral ligament is one of the four ligaments that stabilizes the knee joint. Depending on the severity, an athlete could miss anywhere from one to six weeks, or longer.

A Grade 1 tear, which is incomplete, usually just involves pain and one to two weeks of recovery.

In a Grade 3 tear, which is complete, an athlete could have significant pain and swelling and endure instability in that knee. Surgery is not necessarily required, but the knee needs to be immobilized with a brace and crutches might be needed. It could take six weeks to heal.

If you’re still ripping the guy you’re an idiot.  Most of the criticism originates from the simple fact that Cutler isn’t what most Americans conceive a quarterback to be.  He doesn’t look the part, he doesn’t act the part.  If you need further proof of this, check out this fantastic article from SB Nation which breaks it down.  Here’s a little taste:

Physiognomy, the 19th century pseudoscience of determining character through appearance, lives. If you doubt this, just look at Jay Cutler. Cutler’s chin–his first one–sits like a sullen trapdoor at the bottom of his skull, pulling the general countenance of his face into the dour range at best. His downturned mouthsits in a near-perpetual scowl. His eyes sit deep in his head. His face has the puffiness of a frat boy on the tail end of a six month bender of late nights, beer bongs, and endless Xbox victories. He lacks the ability to emote to a Favrian degree.

If you slapped a top hat and ascot on him, he might be the very picture of aristocratic indulgence. (Come on: you can totally see that face on top of a waistcoat kicking an urchin to the curb to get to the door of his Gentleman’s Club.) In a modern context, he looks exactly like the worst possible visage of a quarterback drafted out of Vanderbilt, and maybe that is the problem: Jay Cutler looks the part, even if he’s not playing the part. He kind of looks like a sullen trustafarian who doesn’t understand why securities fraud is wrong, and not so much like the prototypical NFL golden boy quarterback.

You’re going to hear a lot of people try to alter their asinine arguments that he wasn’t tough enough into something along the lines of the fact that it’s his fault for allowing us to perceive him on the sideline in the first place.

Nevermind the fact that it’s not his fault the whole Bears staff, coaching and medical alike, blew it by letting him stand on the sideline.  Nevermind the fact that the Fox sideline reporters BLEW it by not attempting in any way to get an idea about what was going on (why are they even there in the first place?), thus giving the viewing audience the chance to question his “toughness” and “heart.”  Nevermind the fact that offensive lineman Olin Kreutz testified that he saw Cutler’s leg waddle under his own body weight as he attempted to play on it at the start of the third quarter.

The simple fact is people have a preconceived bias on Jay Cutler and this was the aha! moment all of them had been waiting for. 

It’s not fair and it’s dumb

[Chicago Sun-Times] [SB Nation]

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In Defense Of Jay Cutler

By Matt Corder

I may be the only Broncos fan alive who still has Cutler’s back.  It’s weird, it’s bizarre, and it makes no sense whatsoever.  I know this.  But after the backlash the Bears QB took yesterday from fellow players around the league, I felt compelled to take the time and write a short piece explaining why it’s absolute BS that anyone is questioning his toughness this AM.

I read an outstanding piece today from the latest issue of The New Yorker which wonders aloud whether pro football has a future in America.  Everyone is aware of the push in football for the reduction of concussions and more importantly the prevention of the head-related injuries and I think we can all agree that this is a good thing.  Most people aren’t passionate about it, but it’s one of those things where we all nod our heads in agreement.  The piece notes how football has been transformed in the modern game because, “With increased professionalization, in the middle decades of the last century, came specialization within the sport, and the demise of players who covered both offense and defense. And with specialization came increased speed and intensity, owing, in part, to reduced fatigue among the players, as well as skill sets and body types suited to particular facets of the game.”  In essence, the point the author is making is that the speed and violence of the game has increased over time because players have carved out specialized roles based on their body type and are more prone to creating such violence because they have more endurance and strength.

Why then, are these same people who agree that preventing brain injuries is a good thing, bashing Cutler for not finishing the game with one leg that was completely worthless?

Did you see the Packers defense yesterday?  It was remarkable how quickly they were getting to the quarterback.  Dom Capers unit is perhaps the best defense in football right now not named the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Do you think that they were going to turn off the heat all of a sudden because Cutler’s knee was hanging on by a thread?  Was Clay Matthews going to run a little bit slower when he was blitzing the Bears QB with the intention of ripping his face off? 

No effin’ way!

The hypocrisy within football is astounding and this latest incarnation with Cutler shows why you have to draw the line on which side you are on.  You can’t have it both ways.  Either you want the players to be protected or you don’t.  The notion that Cutler should have gone out there yesterday and made himself susceptible to the constant lashings of the Green Bay defense is absolutely absurd.  The violence and risk of injury on the football field is simply too high and losing your greatest weapon to avoiding that ferocity (see: ability to run, much less walk) is reason enough not to play.

The funniest (and most ironic) aspect in all of this is that the people with the harshest criticism of Cutler were current and former players, all of whom are going to be petitioning the NFL one day to pay for the long-term repercussions of playing the game of football.  They complain all year how an 18-game regular season isn’t fair and asks too much of their bodies, and yet when one of their fellow players sits out the last two quarters of his 18th game this year, he is undeniably a pussy.  Tell me how that makes sense?  Perhaps, if only once, they had had the common sense of Cutler, their own careers and hmm I don’t know, lives, could have been extended.

The ignorance and hypocrisy is reaching the point of being ridiculous.  I’m not arguing for one side or the other, but the time has come.  Make a decision on which side you’re on.

Either embrace the violence 100% or get off Cutler’s back.

Dude made the right decision.

[The New Yorker]

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