HomeSportsFormer College and NFL Teammates Describe Jay Cutler’s Leadership: A ‘Rebel Going Against the Grain’

Former College and NFL Teammates Describe Jay Cutler’s Leadership: A ‘Rebel Going Against the Grain’

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler has proven to be a star on the field, whether that be in pads on the football field or in camo in grassy fields hunting.

His leadership and teamwork have gotten a lot of attention over the years. Cutler’s no-nonsense attitude has rubbed some the wrong way, but many see that the toughness is engrained into his psychee; a pillar of who he is as an Outsider, moving through a world of criticism.

Recently, former NFL All-Pro return man Devin Hester caught social media’s attention after sharing a story on his former quarterback Jay Cutler. The two famous athletes crossed paths in the windy city as both were members of the Chicago Bears squad.

In an interview for a recent edition of Untold Stories with Master Tesfatsion, Hester holds nothing back while talking Cutler.

Hester, who was primarily a special teams standout through his career, took aim at Cutler’s leadership ability — or a lack thereof. The dynamo returner says he was rarely available in the Bears offense, partly due to his lack of relationship with the quarterback. “When it comes to leadership and Jay Cutler? The worst,” Hester says, slamming the Pro Bowl player, who retired with 23,443 passing yards and 2,020 completions.

“He’s not really a social guy,” Hester says of Cutler in the video. “He’s not a talker, you know what I mean? He picks one or two guys and leaches on to them and separates himself from everybody.”

This scrutiny from Hester seems to target Cutler’s overall demeanor and extrovertedness, though, rather than a lack of leadership and talent. Marlon White, former Vanderbilt wide receiver, says the opposite about his college quarterback. “I don’t understand why it’s not interpreted as he’s just even-keeled,” he says, according to Bleacher Report.

Many other former teammates have acknowledged just that, saying his demeanor is a result of his determination on the field, not disrespect for teammates.

“That look on his face, you can call it sour. Whatever. That’s Jay Cutler. That’s him,” former Vanderbilt teammate Javon Haye said. “You don’t know if he’s happy. You don’t know if he’s sad. It’s the same look. And I respect that.”

Another teammate says, “He’s the rebel going against the grain. But that’s what makes him who he is. You have to let him be who he is.”

Similarly, another teammate notes that Cutler’s motivation is unbeatable. His dedication to the sport of football was serious. “I’ll say this: There was never a time when we were on the field that Jay didn’t take his job 100 percent seriously. Never,” another former college teammate, George Smith III said of his team’s QB.

In fact, Smith went on to compare Cutler’s dedication on the field to the strength and pride we see in our military troops. “You go to the military, it’s everywhere. And this is what we pride our country on. What’s wrong with accountability like that on the field? … That’s why I liked Jay’s style. It was raw and uncut. No sugarcoating.”

Raw. Uncut. A no mess attitude, that, yes, led to some pretty impressive dubs.

Jay Cutler is known for his fourth-quarter wins. According to Pro Football Reference, he had an impressive 23 in his career. So, no, Cutler isn’t the smoothest talking, sweetest teddy bear on the field.

But that’s his whole point.

He was a QB that would play to the last second of the last quarter to ensure his team added to the left column on their record. A raw, uncut, serious player who ignores the exterior criticism to prioritize internal pride through wins on the field. A former-quarterback and a rebel (and a damn good hunter) who goes against the grain.