LAKE FOREST, Ill. – St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said on Wednesday that he viewed Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears as the best quarterback prospect in the 2006 NFL Draft class, even though Fisher’s former team, the Tennessee Titans, selected Texas’ Vince Young third overall that year.
“Looking back, I would say that I had the three quarterbacks ranked Cutler, [Matt] Leinart and Young,” Fisher told Chicago media on a conference call.
Cutler, a four-year starter at Vanderbilt, visited with the Titans several times in the spring of 2006, convenient meetings since the franchise and the quarterback were stationed in Nashville. But after the Tennessee took Young, Cutler fell to the Denver Broncos at No. 11.
“I loved Jay,” Fisher said. “You know. I mean, we watched him play in our own backyard, man. We had a private workout there in our indoor facility and coached him in the Senior Bowl. It just didn’t work out.”
Fisher has frequently voiced his support for Cutler since the quarterback joined the Bears in 2009.
The veteran head coach once remarked to reporters in 2012 that, “Chicago is lucky to have Jay. Cutler is a very, very talented quarterback.”
Cutler enters Sunday’s game versus the Rams on a high note after leading the Bears to their third come-from-behind win of the season. The embattled quarterback is thriving in Adam Gase’s offense, completing 62.8 percent of his pass attempts for 1,787 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions (89.6 passer-rating) in seven games.
“You’ve got to credit Adam and [quarterbacks coach] Dowell [Loggains], man,” said Fisher, who gave Loggains his first NFL job. “They’ve done a great job with him in the pocket. His feet. His fundamentals. Everything. Jay is playing really good. I’m not excited about the fact that he’s playing really good right now this week, but I’m happy for Jay. But they’ve done a really good job with him.”