"It honestly started my rookie year," Daniel remembers. "Drew was like, 'Hey, we're going to be here at 5:30 in the morning, and this is what we're going to watch on Wednesdays, this is what we're going to watch on Thursdays, this is what we're going to watch on Fridays.' And I was like, 'OK. Yes, absolutely. I'll do whatever you say.' I'm a rookie, he's throwing for 5,000 yards a season.
"As time progressed there, we sort of got into a routine. I have two pages of notes on the schedule of exactly what we're supposed to do, and I sort of brought that to Kansas City with us. Alex [Smith] really loved it, felt he was really prepared and that's sort of what I've tried to bring here with Carson."
“This is probably the highlight of my performing career,” he started.” So Simon [Cowell] wrote the name of his son [on the card], which he could have written any name, and so the act’s done. It goes to commercial. And I went to collect those cards because those are good souvenirs because they all signed them. I want to keep them. And this lady walked out of the crowd and she said ‘Can I have that card, please?’ And it was the one that said ‘Eric.’ And I was kind of like ‘Oh, I wanted to keep that for the souvenir.’ And she said ‘That’s my son.’ And then Simon came up and hugged his wife, and she said ‘We want to hang this in our house.’ And we want to look at it every day and we’re going to keep the magic alive in our house. And I kind of looked at her and Simon and Simon gave me a hug and said [the trick] was unbelievable and [he] loved every second of it.”
But even the greatest music can make you deaf if you listen too loudly, too often. Wentz would rather not listen to it at all.
"It goes back to kind of how I've approached this since the draft process," he said when asked about how he's handled all the aforementioned attention that's followed him since his debut. "You've just got to block out the noise, whatever that is, whether it's the media or whatever it may be. The good, the bad, whatever it may be and just focus on ball, just focus on getting better every week. Like I said, the good, bad, the indifferent, it doesn't matter. You've just got to focus and take it day by day."
"I heard the Smokin' Jay jokes and I've seen those pictures, but what I see on film is a very talented guy, who can throw the ball all over the field, move around a little, and takes some hits, too," said defensive end Connor Barwin. "Every quarterback is less effective when you disrupt them, but honestly Jay is good at handling pressure, I think. He's a challenge. He can do everything."
It's not unusual for the public perception of a player to differ from the professional perception of those who have to match up against him. Fans can belittle the athletes they don't like, but opponents don't have that luxury. When Monday night's game begins in Soldier Field, the Eagles won't be thinking of what Cutler can't do. They'll be worried about what he can.