Commentary

Is Jay Cutler the A.J. Burnett of QBs?

Lack of charisma damages Cutler's gifted but erratic performance

Updated: October 16, 2011, 3:36 PM ET
By Trent Dilfer | ESPN Insider
Jay CutlerAndrew Weber/US PresswireJay Cutler could stand to show more passion on the field.

There's nothing more polarizing in sports than players with exceptional talent who don't reach their potential. And let's be clear: to have the flashes of brilliance, the days when everything looks right, is not to truly reach that potential. You can't "have it" only to see it disappear.

To reach your potential, you have to maintain it. The debate will rage because the glimpses of greatness create a belief but the inability to maintain it creates dissenters. People would rather have something average and know what to expect than see greatness and never know when they'll see it again.

Predictability can be powerful.

Jay Cutler, in my opinion, has not fully reached his potential, but the argument about his performance always gets hijacked by the questions about his demeanor. He mopes. And that doesn't fit the paradigm of what a great quarterback is.

Former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer is an analyst for a variety of ESPN programs including NFL Live, NFL PrimeTime and SportsCenter (Sunday and Monday nights during the NFL season). He also contributes to Monday Night Countdown, ESPN Radio programs, and ESPN's annual Super Bowl week and NFL Draft coverage.