Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, October 15, 2008.
Q: Tedy Bruschi suffered a stroke and has become advocate for stroke awareness, with your situation with diabetes is that something you've felt comfortable becoming a spokesman or and advocate for?
JC: Absolutely. In some situations you don't have a choice, you're in the public eye and you receive a lot of calls, a lot of emails, a lot of requests and I take it to heart and I enjoy it. It's tough during the season but definitely during the off-season [I] get more involved. Now we're kind of involved [but] it's just hard to do a lot of appearances and talk to people but it's definitely something I look forward to in the future.
Q: Given all the stresses that a player has on his body how difficult is it to be a professional athlete with diabetes?
JC: It's tough you just have to come to terms with it. I was fortunate to get diagnosed in April and have some time to adjust to it and get comfortable with it before the season started but it's part of my everyday life now. I get up with it and I go to sleep with it. I've adjusted, it's a burden at times but it's just something that I have to deal with.
Q: How much better do you feel now than you did last year when the condition caused you to lose so much weight?
JC: It's a night and day difference. I'm 100 percent better. Last year towards the end of the season I didn't know if I was going to make it through the season, I felt so bad. It really takes a toll on you. It's hard to explain to people that don't have it or have never gone through what it's like. It's really tough.
Q: Did you understand the condition before being diagnosed?
JC: No, I had no idea.
Q: How has it changed you? And do you think it's something that's going to affect you through out the rest of your career?
JC: It's something I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. It's not going to hamper me on the football field at all though.
Q: Was keeping it [diabetes] quiet a competitive thing for you guys? I know it didn't come out until this year was that a competitive thing?
JC: We didn't find out until April that I had it [diabetes].
Q: You guys have only allowed two sacks this year, how much of that is you and how much of that is the offensive line?
JC: It's a combination. Early in the year, the first couple of games, we saw a lot of blitzes and the line did a good job of picking stuff up, I got rid of the ball in time and we've been fortunate the last two or three games that people aren't blitzing us as much. The way the offensive line is playing I have a lot of confidence in them.
Q: How important is it for a quarterback to be able to sense what's going on in the pocket around him and still keep his eyes downfield? Is that tough to learn or have you always been able to do that?
JC: That's not something you can learn or teach, you either have it or you don't.
Q: What have you seen on film from the Patriots defense?
JC: They're a good defense. They're extremely smart. They're able to take away some of the good players from some teams offensively. They mix it up; they do a lot of different stuff. They throw stuff at you, they're in a 3-4 then they're in a 4-3. They just keep you on your toes so we're going to have our hands full.
Q: You were a little bit upset with Brandon [Marshall] and you voiced that publicly. Do you feel like he's grown a lot lately?
JC: Absolutely, he's matured a lot. I said some stuff, called him out and brought it to his attention. He reacted well to it. We talked about it and since then he's been a great teammate both on and off the field.
Q: The last three weeks you've been in the teens point-wise. What haven't you been doing the last three games that you were doing in the first three?
JC: We've had turnovers. It takes away chances for us to score. We've had seven or eight turnovers in our two losses so we've got to take care of the ball better.
Q: Have you had a chance to look at the film from when the Patriots played San Diego last Sunday? Did it strike you that they played more man defense than they played the rest of the year?
JC: They've been all over the map a little bit. You're not sure what you're going to get with those guys and I think they thought they could play man, control [Phillip] Rivers and the receivers and stop LT [LaDainian Tomlinson]. But they got hit with some big plays. It's going to be interesting to see what they do with us.
Q: What do you anticipate from them? Do you anticipate they would have a similar game plan?
JC: I have no idea. I don't have a clue what they're going to do. They play every team a little bit different and they have a good package going into each game. I don't know if they are going to zone us out or if they are going to play man and blitz. We're just going to have to feel them out and adjust.
Q: What do you expect [Ryan] Torain can add to your offense when you get him back?
JC: He's going to add to our ground game. He's a big back. He's strong, breaks a lot of tackles and hits the hole. We're definitely excited to get him back. I'm not sure when it's going to happen but he's definitely going to add to [the offense].
Q: Did you catch any heat in Denver for your comments about having a stronger arm than [John] Elway?
JC: It was hit or miss. Some people agreed, some people didn't agree and some people were upset with it. It caused a little stir.
Q: But you're not taking it back?
Q: We're talking about [John] Elway and you're not directly replacing him but you've talked about the shadow a little bit. Can you relate at all to what Matt Cassel is going through here?
JC: Yeah, I was talking about that earlier. It's tough. I think Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the game right now and to have to go in and replace him with limited experience in college and limited experience in the NFL would be tough. Especially how high the bar has been set over there with what they did last year and what they accomplished offensively. I can't image having to do that.
Q: How much do you think playing in the SEC prepared you to play in the NFL?
JC: I think the SEC is the best conference in the nation as far as speed, defense and athletic ability. You had to throw into smaller windows, you had to react quicker and I was fortunate enough to go to a school that was in the SEC.
Q: How about [Vanderbilt] this year?
JC: They're playing well. They dropped one against Mississippi; I think they should have won it. They have some more opportunities going to Georgia this week, I think they beat them two years ago down there so hopefully they can win.
Q: Fast starts have been key for you guys, do you think you have a good plan coming into games and are executing well right off the bat?
JC: Yeah, guys are focused off the bat and whenever we score first it gets us going a little bit - it gets the defense going. We'll have to wait and see what happens this week and see what they are playing us with. Hopefully we can repeat it.
Q: Was Eddie Royal someone you could see contribute right off the bat?
JC: Yeah, within the first week of OTA's [Off-season Training Activities] he was a guy that showed up on film and you were getting excited about him. In week two we brought him over to field one with us and he hasn't left since then.
Q: As a competitor and a quarterback do you lick your chops a little bit when you see what Philip Rivers was able to do against the Patriots secondary?
JC: No, not really, they're a good team and they're going to adjust and have a good plan against us. They play everyone different and they probably respect what we've done through the air and they're probably going to try and take it away.
Q: Every time you've spoken with out of town media I'm sure you've gotten questions about the diabetes. Have those become a burden at all?
JC: Yeah, you get tired of answering them.
Q: Just to follow up, we talked a little bit about how it's affected you on the field, how about off the field? Has it changed anything for you, you're daily lifestyle?
JC: Probably, not except for having to give yourself insulin shots and checking blood sugar all the time. It's definitely something that changes you and makes you more aware of stuff, what you eat and what you put in your body.
Q: You have a former Patriot there in Daniel Graham, what are your thoughts on him?
JC: Great guy, great teammate, leader on the field and off the field. In the locker room he's vocal. We're fortunate to have him.
Q: Casey Wiegmann playing center in place of [Tom] Nalen, has it been a pretty smooth transition?
JC: Yeah, no drop off at all. He understands the system. He's a veteran. He does things the right way. He's professional. He came in and we haven't had a drop off at all. He's been great in there.
Q: Do you guys think the AFC is pretty wide open?
JC: Yeah, I mean if you look at people's records we're practically the only ones that have separated ourselves, everyone else is kind of battling it out. It's going to be an interesting second half.
Q: Does playing on Monday night mean anything to you?
JC: It just gives us another day to prepare. Obviously, there will be a little bit more media, a little more glamour about the game but it's a game that both teams want to win and it's going to be a tough one.
Q: Did you ever watch Monday Night Football growing up?