A “Cut Above”: Is Jay Cutler the Next Donald Vincent Majkowski?

Tony from NB@KlefasCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

The purpose of this article (if that’s what you choose to call it) is to examine the first three years of two very similar QB in the NFL.



Let me preface. I have no fan base interest in Jay Cutler, nor do I have interest in either the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, or Green Bay Packers. 


I just find it very strange that Cutler has been anointed (by the media for the most part) as the next Elway or Manning without ever winning a playoff game, and garnering such a high price in compensation.


This comparison is worth a look since both QB’s became Pro Bowlers in their third year, which in NFL terms, is very early. I ask the reader to look at the statistics, and comment on the future of Jay Cutler based on Don Majkowski career numbers over the same three years.


While doing so, ask yourself these questions:


 Do you see similarities?


If so, what makes Cutler’s numbers better going forward with the Bears?


Was Cutler a system QB under Shanahan?


Could have Majkowski been the next Brett Favre (ironic, I know) if it where not for injuries?


Why would you think Cutler is a better overall QB than Majkowski considering neither had won a playoff game during that period?



Let the facts do the talking.



Comparison No. 1: Physical Attributes & College


Majkowski: Height: 6-2    Weight: 197 lbs.  College: Virginia    Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 10th round (255th overall) of the 1987 Draft


Cutler: Height: 6-3    Weight: 225 lbs.   College: Vanderbilt     Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1st round (11th overall) of the 2006 Draft



Results: Similar bodies, and that’s where the similarities end prior to their NFL careers. However, they did both attend a college beginning with the letter “V”.



Comparison No. 2: NFL statistical passing numbers based on their first three years


Majkowski’s Numbers (1987-89):



Games: 7

Completions: 55

Attempts: 127

Pct: 43.3%

Yds: 875

Avg: 6.9

TD: 5

Int: 3

Rating: 70.2



Games: 13

Completions: 178

Attempts: 336

Pct: 53%

Yds: 2,119

Avg: 6.3

TD: 9

Int: 11

Rating: 67.8




Games: 16

Completions: 353

Attempts: 599

Pct: 58.9%

Yds: 4,318

Avg: 7.2

TD: 27

Int: 20

Rating: 82.3

*Pro Bowl Selection

** Majkowski had one of the most productive seasons by a quarterback in Green Bay history. Brett Favre has had only one season where he threw for more yards than the Majkowski.



Cutler’s Numbers (2006-08):



Games: 5

Completions: 81

Attempts: 137

Pct: 59.1%

Yds: 1,001

Avg: 7.3

TD: 9

Int: 5

Rate: 88.5%



Games: 16

Completions: 297

Attempts: 467

Pct: 63.6%

Yds: 3,497

Avg: 7.5

TD: 20

Int: 14

Rate: 88.1%



Games: 16

Completions: 384

Attempts: 616

Pct: 62.3%

Yds: 4,526

Avg: 7.3

TD: 25

Int: 18

Rate: 86%

*Pro Bowl Selection

**Cutler’s 2008 numbers surpassed that posted by Elway’s best statistical year 1985. Ironically, it was Elway’s 3rd year in the league as well.



Results: Sure, Cutler’s numbers are somewhat better in year two, but very close in year three. Let’s also remember who coached Cutler in all three years. Lindy Infante is no Mike Shanahan



Comparison No. 3: Attitude and Leadership


(This might be the biggest difference of all, and perhaps the most difficult to evaluate.)





Don was, and remains a positive person inside and outside the locker room.


He was always a fan favorite in Green Bay. So much so that he was elected to the Packers HOF—no small feat considering the legends that have played on the “frozen tundra”. 


Majkowski embraced the whole “Majik Man” persona, and has returned back to Lambeau several times over the years. To this day, the “Majik Man” is still extremely popular with Packer fans all over the country.


Majkowski has formed the Majik Network for which he provides expert analysis on the Packers and the NFL to radio and TV outlets across Wisconsin and around the country.



Jay Cutler:


Jay has shown in the last few weeks that he is a man of great (maybe too much) pride and when you throw in the way he interacts with the media (mostly negatively) you cannot paint the same positive picture for Jay Cutler the “man” as you can Don Majkowski the “man”.


Perhaps being a first round selection and the money that comes with that changes you as a person.



Real difficult because this isn’t quantifiable, but attitude is a big part of the QB position (think Steve Young, and all those hits.)


Jay Cutler may have the best arm under 30 in football today, but if he can't get his guys to win by showing leadership and a good attitude, is he really worth it?

There you have it…Let me know your thoughts—especially Bears fans!!!



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