Seriously?!? Josh McDaniels and Jay Cutler spoke over the phone yesterday, and according to team officials, the meeting went well. However, according to another NFL source, Cutler left the meeting disappointed. Cutler may not report to the team’s workout on Monday. I thought the drama would’ve been squashed with this meeting, but like children, both sides are being difficult.
This was supposed to be the “honeymoon period” for McD and Cutler. A time for both sides to unite for one worthy cause: Winning a Super Bowl. That honeymoon period didn’t last long at all. In fact, there’s already been talk of a divorce trade within the family.
Well, let me help both sides out. I’m not a licensed practitioner, but I did get my Master’s degree in psychology. I’ve taken plenty of family psyc. courses and let me tell you that right now the Broncos could end up as one dysfunctional family. There is something called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which are 4 factors that distressed couples who are headed for a divorce show. Let me break it down so you can keep your eyes peeled for some of these characteristics as the drama between McD and Cutler escalates:
1. Criticism: Everyone has complaints in a relationship, but criticism goes much further and is more damaging. Criticism is more broad and includes character attacks such as “You didn’t take the trash out last night. Why can’t you ever remember to do it? You’re so lazy.” That added personality attack escalates negativity and causes more damage to the relationship over time. Something that McD might tell Cutler (privately): “You forced the pass into Marshall on 3rd down. Why do you always do that? You’re so immature.”
2. Contempt: Contempt is more destructive than criticism because it shows disgust and disrespect. Such a comment may include sarcasm, eye rolls, scowls, and insults to belittle the person. For example, “Did you really think showing up for just one soccer game all season would really be enough? That’s an involved parent for you.” Cutler might tell McD: “You wanted to trade me before the season even started just to get your old QB back? Yeah, that’s someone who is really looking out for the Broncos organization.”
3. Defensiveness: This is usually a natural reaction to protect yourself against a perceived attack. However, it’s ineffective because it’s a way for one person to blame the other for his/her own behavior. One person might say, “Well, that was pretty immature of you to stay out so late at the bar.” The defensive person would respond with, “You did the same thing last week.” At the Broncos level, Cutler may say, “Why didn’t you call a pass play on 3rd and long late in the fourth quarter?” McD may respond with, “Well, you threw an interception on the 3rd and long in the last series.”
4. Stonewalling: After many interactions with high levels of contempt, criticism, and defensiveness, it’s easy for one person to feel overwhelmed by conflict. That person may convey to the other person that he/she doesn’t want to interact anymore. Case in point with the Broncos right now: Jay Cutler considering not attending Monday morning’s workout.
Using these 4 characteristics often creates lasting damage and, most likely, the eventual ruin of a relationship. So fans, keep your eyes and ears open as coach and QB have some communication issues to deal with.