(CBS) Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, an 18-year NFL veteran quarterback, is no fan of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, as he made clear Wednesday morning when he joined the Mully and Hanley Show.
In scathing commentary, Tarkenton admitted that he doesn’t know Cutler and is sure he’s a “fine young man” before going on to say that, “He has not performed, in any situation.”
Having a strong arm shouldn’t be the only quality team’s look at when evaluating a quarterback, Tarkenton said.
“This is a guy that teases his coaches with his powerful arm and all that stuff, but the bottom line, he’s not a player,” Tarkenton said. “Chicago’s going to die keeping on hoping that Jay Cutler’s gonna be that player.
“He’s not going to be any different than what he’s been. But there’s such a rarity and scarcity of quarterbacks that people get a guy and just hope against hope because he’s got one thing: a big, powerful arm. A big, powerful arm is not essential.”
Tarkenton went on to cite the qualities of the quarterbacks who played in this past Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“The reason Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft choice,” Tarkenton said, “(is) because he ran a 5.2 40, he high jumped about one inch and he doesn’t have a powerful arm. That’s not important. Look what Tom Brady has done. Look what Russell Wilson has done at 5-foot-10, 5-foot-11, a third-round draft choice.”
Leadership on and off the field are the qualities that mean the most to Tarkenton.
“That quarterback who’s elite, who’s good, you’ve got to look at his intangibles,” Tarkenton said. “Can he, at that moment, make plays when you need him to make plays, be the leader in the clubhouse, be the leader on the field, and the moment’s not too big for him? Jay Cutler fails in all those.”
Tarkenton doesn’t envision Cutler changing regardless of which coach the Bears have and went on to say that NFL coaches are clueless in evaluating quarterbacks.
“He’s who he is,” Tarkenton said. “He has proven, over the years, he’s not the guy. The NFL coaches, the worst thing they do is judge quarterbacks. They have no clue how to coach and how to judge a quarterback. They have one thing: How strong is his arm? They tell me he’s got a big, strong, powerful arm. He has proven time and time again he’s not the quarterback that you need to get you where you need to go. They’ll end up dying with him there, I don’t care whether you have John Fox there or who you have there, it won’t be any different.”