Q & A with Jay Cutler

Denver's top pick in the 2006 NFL Draft talks about the team, his future and where he may fit within the Shanahan system.

On if he was surprised Denver drafted him
"I was a little bit surprised. I'm happy, I'm excited to get there. It's an honor to be a part of the organization. But yes, this wasn't part of the plan we saw coming. It's going to be great. I can't wait to get out there."

On if he was surprised the Broncos drafted him considering they advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 2005
"It is a surprise (for Denver) to jump up there. We really didn't have a warning. I think I knew about 15 seconds before everyone else did. It's a surprise, and it's going to be great to get on a winning team that has been there and is a game away from the Super Bowl. I'm excited to go out there and learn from Jake Plummer and Coach Shanahan."

On how many conversations he had with the Broncos leading up to the draft
"Very few, very few."

On if he anticipates playing behind Jake Plummer in 2006 and then becoming a starting quarterback the following year
"Jake Plummer, I think he's got a lot of years left. He's a great quarterback, and he's been doing it in Denver the last couple of years. I'm just going to go in there and compete and learn as much as I can from Jake and Coach and everyone else there. We're just going to have to wait and see what happens."

On if the Broncos had not spoken with him since the combine
"I literally hadn't heard from the Broncos in the last couple of months."

On how long he would like to wait behind Plummer before becoming a starting quarterback
"I don't want to put a time limit on it. I think it's good for a quarterback to wait coming in as a rookie—learn the system, watch someone successful in front of them do it. But I'm a competitor. I want to play. I'm just going to go in there and compete and try to learn as quickly as possible."

On who represents him
"(James) Bus Cook."

On his win-loss record at Vanderbilt
"We didn't have some of the talent that some other teams do. We were playing in the SEC against extremely stiff competition. I think the SEC is the best conference in the nation. I came in and got a new coaching staff my redshirt freshman year and (the team) has been building talent every since that point. This year, we were extremely close and we're only going to get better here at Vandy. But I can't really argue the win-loss record. It's just part of playing at Vanderbilt. We tried to do the best we could, but sometimes we just couldn't get it done."

On his expectations leading into the draft
"I didn't really have a lot of expectations. I knew the draft was going to be a little bit funny this year. There is a lot of top talent near the top of the first round. I just went into it with an open mind ready to go wherever, and this is the perfect situation to come to Denver and learn there and hopefully get a chance to play sometime."

On if he fits the Broncos' offensive scheme
"Yes, I think so. I think me and Jake are a little bit similar in the way that we play football. He gets out of the pocket, he likes to run and has a great arm and is a great leader. They've had John Elway in the past, and he is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. There's a lot of people there that have done it and done extremely well that I get to learn from."

On what teams told him he needs to work on
"Everyone is all over my footwork and how I throw off my back foot, but I think at times that was the only option I had playing here (at Vanderbilt). I think footwork is easily corrected. I've already corrected a lot of it. Just getting into the system and getting used to the offense… I'm just excited and getting ready to go."

On when he realized his arm strength
"I've always been able to throw a football with a lot of velocity and put a lot on it and fit it into tight windows. For a long time, I've know that I can throw."

On the Broncos trading up from No. 15 to No. 11 in the first round to draft him
"It means a lot to me. They obviously wanted to get me, and it's an honor for them to go ahead and jump to 11 to pick me. It says a lot about what they think about me, and hopefully I can go in there and compete and contribute to this team down the line."

On the importance to his draft status of him leading Vanderbilt to a win against Tennessee
"I think the games prior to that kind of helped me out. I think I had a great second half of the season against Florida, Tennessee, obviously, Kentucky, Georgia. I think I finished up pretty well. Just to cap it off at the Tennessee game and get a lot of national exposure is obviously going to help. But the GMs, scouts and coaches—They're not going to pay a lot of attention to that. They're going to look at the whole season and see how productive I was."

On being shown on TV during the draft eating quesadillas
"They were chicken quesadillas."

On his poise during the draft
"I was extremely calm. I was nervous before I got here, but once it started, I calmed down. It was out of my hands. Whoever was going to get me was going to get me, and I ended up in a perfect situation."

On if he has had contact with Brett Favre, who is represented by Cutler's agent (Bus Cook)
"Yes, I've talked to Brett. He (Cook) represents Brett Favre and Steve McNair both, so I've been able to talk with them and get some advice from them. They just say, ‘Be yourself, enjoy the process and your time will come. Keep working hard, and good things will happen."

On if he could ask for a birthday present (born April 29, 1983) than being drafted by Denver at No. 11
"This is a pretty good one."



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