Johnson: Cutler miscast in breakup with Broncos

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

As Jay Cutler's messy divorce from the Denver Broncos played out, it was difficult for Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson to sit there and watch his star pupil vilified by some.

That's because some of the things said about Cutler weren't close to being true about the team-first, selfless player Johnson coached at Vanderbilt.

"I saw him designated as a whiner and spoiled and things like that, and that's the furthest thing from Jay Cutler as you could imagine," Johnson said. "I remember back during his career at Vanderbilt. He never whined, never whimpered. He got hit a bunch. We didn't have the greatest people around him at that time to allow him to demonstrate his talents until maybe his senior year. But he was a trooper for us."

Cutler, who was traded to the Chicago Bears, helped pave the way for the success the Commodores are enjoying now. They were 5-6 during his senior season in 2005 and ended a 22-game losing streak against in-state rival Tennessee that year.

His status as a starting quarterback in the NFL has undoubtedly helped Vanderbilt to attract better players.

So naturally, it galls Johnson to see Cutler cast as some kind of malcontent.

"He was the guy who rallied the troops here," Johnson said. "He had an apartment when he was a senior and got guys to bunk up with him during the summer so they could be here. He just did everything we could ask him to do. To see him labeled like he was was really disappointing to me.

"I did get a chance to talk to him, and he told me exactly what happened. I'm still a huge Jay Cutler fan."