QB Cutler not overwhelmed
DENVER – Quarterback Jay Cutler recalled the night before Denver Broncos passing camp, his first day as a professional football player.”Tony (Scheffler) and I were rooming together, I had the playbook and he didn’t have one, so we stayed up and looked over the playbook,” Denver’s first round draft choice said Friday. “We had no idea of what were looking at. Kind of went to sleep, a little bit uneasy.”Still, the Broncos’ top draft pick hasn’t been overwhelmed. The No. 11 overall pick from Vanderbilt said he is feeling more comfortable with his surroundings and is just one of the guys.”I felt different on Day 2,” he said. “You just progress, you get used to hearing things in your head and you’re able to repeat them and go through reads.”None of which surprises coach Mike Shanahan, who oversaw the development of John Elway and Brian Griese after their successful collegiate careers.”Jay comes from a throwing background, so he picks things up very quickly,” Shanahan said. “There’s a lot of guys who haven’t been in a throwing system where it takes them a while to get used to the dropbacks and reads, but he’s a four-year starter.””He’s had a lot of reps through the years against good competition,” said Shanahan. “So he’s further ahead than most young players would be at this point.”Cutler, who threw for 8,697 yards and 59 touchdowns in college, has already realized the learning curve that has been demanded of him.”We’re putting in a lot of plays, 30, 40 or 50 pass plays, a lot of different concepts and seeing a lot of different defenses,” Cutler said. “So it’s moving along pretty quickly and you have to study and keep progressing.”What’s helped his progress are the similarities he’s noticed between the collegiate and NFL levels of football.”You’ve got to make some decisions a little bit quicker, the ball has to be out of your hands quickly, but I think I did that at Vanderbilt,” he said. “I felt like coming in here I have a little bit of an advantage and I still feel that way now.”The transition has also been made easier by the reception Cutler has received from Jake Plummer and Bradlee Van Pelt, Denver’s two returning quarterbacks.”Jake is the starter and he has been good to me,” Cutler said. “Bradlee is a funny dude, but he’s a quality guy, a good quarterback and he’s still the No. 2 dude.”Cutler will get a chance to get better acquainted in a non-football setting. Plummer, who has publicly welcomed the arrival of Cutler to the Broncos, has invited the rookie over to his house Saturday for dinner.Cutler said he hopes to get up and about Denver during the remainder of the passing camp. Between its conclusion and the time training camp opens July 27, he would like to get better acclimated to the playbook, the area and find a home.”I know that I need to work on just running the system, being able to spit out the play calls, and the progressions and dumping the ball,” Cutler said. “I know I can throw the ball. It’s just a matter of figuring out where to throw it.”
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