The End of An Era
I've been writing very serious posts lately, with the only brevity being a funny title or two thrown in, so I wanted to write something light today. For me that means one of two subjects... humor or sports? Look no further than the image below, sports fans, it's Broncos season and we have really big news.
Jay Cutler named starting quarterback for the Broncos
This could be the end of an era.
No, not the Jake Plummer era, you can't actually call one playoff victory an era.
Certainly not the Mike Shanahan era, he will be around a long time to come.
No, this could finally be the end of the John Elway Era.
In Denver there has only, ever, been one quarterback and he retired in 1999. The immediate heir apparent to John (as everyone in Denver refers to him) was Brian Greise who tripped over his dog, threw the most costly interception in Broncos history and was eventually cut from the team. Someone had to be that first guy.
John's shadow was too big, Elway's name was revered in Broncoland.
Thus, there was never a Brian Griese era,
no Bubby Brister era,
no Steve Beuerlein era,
no Jake Plummer era
and no Bradlee Van Pelt era (sorry CSU fans).
Jay Cutler, however, might be different. No one will forget John Elway (especially not until the next Bronco Super Bowl victory), but there just might be enough bodies piled up in the past for Jay (as everyone in Denver will refer to him) to climb and see beyond that shadow. After all, when was the last time you heard this kind of buzz about a rookie quarterback? If you are around my age, the answer is never.
Jay Cutler is making Bronco fans talk about the future instead of reminiscing about the past.
Jay has the fans on his side.
Oh, the boo-birds will still fly, they'll just come later in the games and a little softer. A rookie quarterback is not likely to kick start an offense that is obviously hurting, and you can't just blame Plummer for the pain.
During the preseason I thought the biggest Denver Broncos loss was going to be Trevor Pryce or even Mike Anderson, but it turns out the big loss was Gary Kubiak.
Last year under offensive coordinator Kubiak, Plummer had his best season ever with a quarterback rating at an impressive 90.2, while David Carr struggled in Houston with a rating of 77.2. After Kubiak took the head coach position in Houston, Carr's numbers improved significantly with his passer rating currently at 88.8, 9th in the NFL. Plummer's numbers, however, have plummeted to 27th in the NFL, with a passer rating at a miserable 70.5.
It's strange to say this about a 7-4 team who is currently holding a playoff spot, but the problems with the offense are likely to mean an early exit from the super bowl race this season. Couple that with the exciting young talent in the AFC West with Larry Johnson in Kansas City and Phillip Rivers, LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates in San Diego, and it might be time to start looking to the future. In that light, the decision to bring Jay in as the quarterback is a good one.
Let's just hope it serves as a wake up call to the rest of the Bronco offense as well.