Cutler Critics Out of Line

There was a lot of confusion at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon.   When Todd Collins entered the game on the Bears’ second series of the third quarter, people in the stands (myself included) started fumbling around with their phones, looking for some news on Jay Cutler.  No one really noticed what had happened late in the first half or the early exit to the halftime locker room by the Bears franchise QB.  While we were all confused in the stands, the Twitter-verse was on fire, ripping the Bears quarterback and questioning his toughness.  I am hear to tell you, they are OUT OF LINE and I can only hope that each and every one of them lines up to apologize when the truth about Cutler’s knee injury comes out.

Jay Cutler isn’t going to win any Miss Congeniality awards and for the time being, no Super Bowl rings either.  After suffering a knee injury late in the first half of Sunday’s, Jay Cutler’s season and the Bears chances of advancing to Super Bowl XLV disappeared, but not without a little controversy.

After Cutler left the game, NFL players and pundits alike questioned his heart and his toughness.  Check out these quotes that Pro Football Talk compiled:

* Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew wrote, “All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee… I played the whole season on one.”

* Former NFL lineman and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth wrote, “As a guy how had 20 knee surgeries you’d have to drag me out on a stretcher to Leave a championship game!”

* Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett wrote, “If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!”

* Jaguars linebacker Kirk Morrison wrote, “Jay Cutler better go put some Tussin on that knee and get back out there.”

* Deion Sanders wrote, “Im telling u in the playoffs u must drag me off the field. All the medicine in pro lockerooms this dude comes out! I apologize bear fans! . . . Folks i never question a players injury but i do question a players heart.

Even one of Cutler’s fellow quarterbacks, Oakland’s Bruce Gradkowski, got in on the action, writing that he once played with two torn MCLs and adding, “Is cutler still ur starter next year? Did the players give up on him?”

People don’t know the situation or the severity of the injury.  Besides, didn’t they see Cutler try to come back into the game in the third quarter to give it a go?  HE GOT PULLED.  The coaches wouldn’t let him go.  With the condition of this offensive line and the game situation, you needed to have an active, mobile quarterback.  Cutler couldn’t plant and push off.  He relied on a couple of back foot throws and couldn’t get anything on the ball.

To question Cutler’s toughness after the onslaught of sacks and hits he’s take this season is completely asinine.  Jay’s been beaten and battered all year long.  To be honest, I’m surprised it took so long for him to really get banged up.

In the days and weeks to come, the full extent of the injury will come out.  If it turns out the Cutler wasn’t seriously injured, I’ll be the first one to pile on, but after the beating he took over the last two years, I think Cutler’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

If one of the media darlings like Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers gets dinged in the game, the world gasps and Rachel Nichols and Pam Oliver and every other sideline bimbo is painting a picture of woes and misery.  Jay Cutler gets hurt and everyone just calls him a quitter.  Why? Because he likes to keep to himself and doesn’t pimp himself out to advertise TV’s and sports drinks.

Somewhere Rick Reilly is laughing.

Did Jay Cutler quit on his team?

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  • Matt

    I agree with you, Cutler critics are going overboard when it comes to the injury! With that said, he looked scared out there. He had several times when he could have planted his feet and made a decent attempt at a pass, yet he panicked and made some really bad throws.

    Maybe I am being rough on him too, but I am frustrated with the Bears management. I do not want to go another 10 years while the packers will have 1 quarterback and we will have 10.

    • Boomer

      Matt – I agree with you. Cutler didn’t look good to start the game and he missed a couple of throws. Two to Devin Hester that could have gone for TD’s jump out at me. If people want to criticize Jay, feel free to let him have it for that, not for not coming back into the game with a bum knee.

  • Axel

    Agree with you all the way. Cutler is as hard as they come. It was a coaching decision and the saddest part is that that was not informed straight away – it only starts rumours…

    Also like to thank you, Boomer, and the others for a great sight. I found you by chance when looking for Bear Apps for my iPhone in November; have been following you guys since. I have been a bit low on insights here in Sweden…

    Keep it up!

  • DagoT

    If you can’t take the heat, stay off the field. Oh, wait, that’s what Jay did.

  • Firsttimecaller

    I think its really easy for guys who’ve never gotten so much as a grass stain on their uni’s to kick back and talk smack. It’s amazing that all it takes to turn the entire NFL world into a bunch of gossipy, skirt-wearing chicks is: an injury to Jay Cutler. Hope the little bitches enjoy the pile-on while they can. Cheerleader try-outs are in March.

  • JD

    I am not questioning the injury at all. Jay has proven he a tough SOB all year long with the pounding he has taken. What does bother me about it is that after he was pulled he showed no interest in the game. He had headphones on and never seemed to go over with the offense talking to anyone especially Collins or Haine. Of your hurt and you cant help your team on the field you still need to try and help off the field. It just appeared that once he wasn’t able to go any more he just separated himself from the team. Don’t get me wrong its not like the cameras showed every move Cutler made but from what it did show he appeared to be proving all his critics right on one point, he is a selfish player. I never bought into the nay sayers on Jay but on Sunday he showed me, not the critics, that he is selfish and there is no room on a Super Bowl caliber team for that.

    • BearsFan182

      A reporter on ESPN said he watched Cutler during the second half and he DID confer with both backup quarterbacks. Problem was, Fox Sports only showed him when he was sitting alone. It was a media hatchet job, the kind of biased crap Fox likes to pull in sports and news.

  • Brian

    I agree with JD — the injury issue itself is peanuts for me compared to his behavior the rest of the game. He acted like a spoiled brat and his pouting was far from what you expect a franchise QB to act like.

    • deez

      Caleb Hanie was on ESPN radio this morning and said that Jay was talking to him on the sidelines and not “pouting” as you say. On TV they only showed Cutler for maybe a total of 60 seconds during the second half, so you can’t make a judgement like you did since you don’t know what he was doing the whole time. If you go back and watch the game Cutler was shown on TV congratulating Hanie after his touchdown throw.

  • Kreskin

    Yah, but THAT’s the kind of thing you just don’t know ‘everything’ about. For example: I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like hearing from others anything about ‘how’ to do my job. I routinely tell my wife “You can tell me what to do, or how to do it, but not both.” If you’ve given me the job, get out of the way and let me do it, or fire me. But don’t sit there and 2nd guess me in the moment. In fact, if I want your help, I’ll ask questions. If I don’t, feel free to sip this big ol’ cup of STFU. I presume other men are the same way. There are of course, people who feel differently and want to be ‘lead’ in their every endeavor. They’re called ‘women.’ Jay apparently isn’t one of them.

  • Rex Chapman

    Jay was going to get hit yesterday regardless of a bad knee, but to be back there not being able to get of trouble was not going to help them win. Maybe he could have toughed it out but looked like they tried that and his play was really affected by not being able to plant or move.

    The bigger story is where did the they get their #2 QB he was awful, the last QB at least could complete a pass, of course it was to the wrong team, but he did throw a TD pass.

  • chicagoirish5

    I’ve already posted my comment about Jay’s knee on another post by Boomer, so I don’t feel like rehasing that issue. But I do want to make my comments about Jay’s sideline demeanor. WHO CARES!!! I could care less what his facial expressions are, or that he doesn’t seem to be holding the hand of Hanie on the sideline going over every photo of the D’s set up. When you get down to it, it’s not Jay’s job to coach his backups. That’s why the Bears have 100+ coaches. The simple fact is if the Bears were winning (or won yesterday) no one would comment about his demeanor or expressions. Winning solves all problems. I’ve played competitive sports (I know, you’re happy for me) with guys that never said a word and always looked like they would rather be else where. Inside, however, these were some of the most competitive guys I have ever known. I’ve seen Manning on the sideline with a look of disappointment or frustration and no one says anything. And before you click on ‘reply’ to compare Manning and Cutler…stop yourself..that’s not my point. If Jay had thrown for 4 TDs and the Bears won, none of his demeanor would mean anything.

  • bearsfan05

    I assume that every football player is physically tough. In fact I kind of look at that as a bare minimum. Questioning Cutler’s physical toughness is just silly.

    However, I think a lot of this fan anger is really directed at his attitude. Watching the D, Hanie and the rest of team fight, made me believe to the end the Bears could pull out a win. As a fan I thank them for that…they never gave up.

    It just felt like Cutler bailed on the check. Demeanor matters. Elite QB’s are leaders and Cutler’s attitude/body language (what we saw of it ) is a problem. It’s a sign he lacks maturity and at this point I question if he’ll ever get it. I’ve heard Denver fans call him a headcase and I’m starting to get what they mean.

    Elite QBs — the type that take you to a Super Bowl– do not check out. They talk to the backup QBS. They throw on the headsets. They are engaged. Did it appear Cutler was? Not at all. Cutler just bein’ Cutler — is an excuse.

    Being a franchise QB is also a political role whether it’s fair or not. Cutler came in with a great deal of goodwill and squandered it. Because of that fans were ready to assume the worst.

    Yeah, he doesn’t like the media. He’s aloof. Hell, I can be that way, too. But it’s part of his job. A job for which he is paid millions and for which we assume is his dream.

    • Torquemada

      He’s paid to look good? Huh. Hey: Why not bitch about him not wearing your make-up brand Alice? He’s paid millions after all…

      • bearsfan05

        Not at all.

        Lets put it this way. My boss pulls me aside one day and tells me I’m acting like I hate my job and the clients. Better, yet, lets say this isn’t a new conversation. In fact the question was raised after I had a fall out with my old boss at another company. Only this time after a really important meeting several clients are now starting to comment on my attitude.

        Lets say I really like my job. In fact lets say it’s my dream job. It matters to me. Now do I A) Ignore my boss. What the hell does he know? That’s just how I am. Deal with it. or B) Do I step back and say. Hmmmm that’s not the image I want out there. My reputation matters. Better figure out what I’m doing wrong.

        Chances are you pick (or should) B. Cutler works for us, Bear fans. Questions about his attitude started in Denver and I don’t think he’s ever had a moment where he looked around and asked…maybe it is me. That is what is at the heart of this all — why everyone assumed the worse about him. And that says a lot about his reputation – fair or not.

        • chicagoirish5

          Bearsfan05 – your exactly right in your example. In fact, I’ve personally experienced a situation like this with my company many years ago. Was told I don’t smile a lot so many people thought I was unhappy. Perception is a HUGE factor in the business world. Where I disagree with you is, the NFL, although has a business side to it, is not the same business world in which many of us work. Is perception important – yes, if you’re an NFL player that wants additional income via promoting products, services, etc.

          I think, as fans, we try to compare our life and business experiences to that of professional athletes and organizations. It’s two completely different worlds that many of us cannot phathom.

          I guess I would have an issue with Jay if the Bears (teammates & organization) gave us the impression they had an issue with him. From the comments I’ve heard and read, it appears they do not. I guess if Jay is traded during the off-season, then I guess we will have to revisit this topic.

          • bearsfan05

            Professional football is a business. They may not be sitting at a desk but the same issues apply…in fact they are under a much bigger microscope — especially a franchise QB.

            The thing is Cutler is the face of the Bears organization.Image matters. Take this week alone. All week we’re talking about Cutler and it’s a distraction and a headache. Yes, his teammates stuck up for him. But, that’s like saying your coworkers like and trust you. Yes, that is important…very important. But it still matters if the boss and clients can’t trust you. Cutler, whether he likes it or not, still has the fans and media. And,yes, dealing with the media is part of his job. As a NFL player you need them to at least be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Even before the NFC game the stories about his attitude became reality and that’s why folks were so quick to assume the worst.

            Cutler needs an image tweak. Sanchez needed to work on his body language. He suggested getting fined during practice when he didn’t stay composed. It mattered to him. He worked on it.

            I don’t suggest the same thing for Cutler, but sitting down and really talking about his attitude and making an effort to address the critics would go a long way to erase questions about his commitment.

  • Mr. Pickles

    Skip Bayless of all people actually had a great point, Jay is really taking so much crap because he didn’t ham it up and make a big deal out of getting injured. With a torn MCL you can walk around and stand just fine, try scrambling around and it’s gonna be a different story. You can stand just fine but put some real pressure on it, like you would have to when you plant to throw, and it’s going out on you. I also love all the nonsense about not being a leader and not being a good teammate. Anyone else listen to Urlacher, Kreutz, and Harris amongst others address this after the game? Doubt they would have been so vehement about it if they didn’t respect the guy.

  • midnightblue

    I’ve waited for a couple of days to chime in on this insanity. The TV broadcast I saw on Sunday did show (accidentally ?) Jay talking with Hanie after one series and standing and smiling after one touchdown. It seemed to me he was involved in the game and was being a “good” teammate. But talking about those instances don’t fit with the image that some members of the media wish to project.

    Maybe it’s because I live 1600 miles away but I have yet to see anyone comment on the lame passive defensive game plan at the beginning of the game. Once the Bears kicked into a more active attacking defense the Packers did not score anymore and did not gain huge chunks of yards on offense. If Bear fans want to be angry at anyone it should be at Lovie for sticking to that weak passive defense.

  • John Shackleton

    Nothing is worse than seeing pudgy sportswriters and NFL jerks who want to get some press time to take their digs and second guess against a quality guy. They bring out the worst in fans with their off-base comments.