How the Jay Cutler Era Began: The 2005 AFC Championship

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How the Jay Cutler Era Began: The 2005 AFC Championship
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

With everything that is going on right now with the Jay Cutler situation, I would like to remind people where this all started. It started with Denver's loss in the 2005 AFC Championship to the Steelers.

Little did I know, when I watched my team go down in defeat that day, I was a witness to a major turning point in Bronco history.

It all started, allegedly, with Shanahan going to the Pro Bowl to coach and seeing Peyton Manning. Right there, he realized that he needed a big-time QB like he had with Elway if he was going to get the Broncos where we wanted them to go.

When the 2006 Draft was upon us, I wasn't sure what direction the Broncos were going. I thought that they may take a RB or WR in the first round. But when I saw their pick come up and Cutler answering the phone. I was stunned. I didn't think they were going to do anything like that. I liked Plummer.

I thought he would be Denver's man for the next few years, and then they would draft a rookie in three years (we may still do that). I wasn't as hard on Plummer as others because I remember watching the Steeler QB's (namely Malone and Stoudt) stink it up in the '80s. Plummer was a lot better than those turkeys.

But, apparently, he wasn't going to be Shanahan's man anymore. He was pulled late in '06, Cutler took over, and that was that for the Plummer era. He retired after he was traded to the Bucs the next spring.

All in all, I felt that Cutler has played well the last two and a quarter seasons as Denver's starter. They had a bevy of injuries last year, and the defense was horrible the last two years. He even went to the Pro Bowl last year.

But, it looks like we could have a change with this new coach. I know that McDaniels made Cassel into a good QB, but why fix what isn't broke?

Now, I am not comparing Cutler to Michael Jordan, but, what if Phil Jackson would have wanted to trade Jordan 20 years ago when he took over the Bulls because he didn't fit into his triangle offense?

You have to find ways of taking advantage of the talents of the stars you have, not banishing them because they apparently don't fit some stupid scheme.

In conclusion, I don't know what will come of all this. It looks like Jay is gone, but you never know. If he does go, however, McDaniels better do a really good job. If the Broncos struggle, and Cutler leads his new team to the playoffs or SB in the next few years, he may be out of a job.

And to think, this all started because of one playoff loss. I hope that I am not looking back with regret 10-15 years later and asking "What If" about that game.

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