The healthy Jay Cutler we're familiar with, running for his life. (Photo courtesy of Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)

The Real Facts About the Jay Cutler Conundrum

As we move into Day 2 after the Jay Cutler Conundrum, I still cannot believe how many bandwagon Bears fans hate Jay because he was injured and taken out of the game on Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, I know many knowledgeable die-hard fans are just as sick as I am about hearing the illogical blatherings of the loud minority. I know each and every Bears fan at Solider field was cheering him on during the first half and probably the whole season, but then they are burning his jerseys after the game. I can’t believe that I keep hearing reason after reason why Jay Cutler is a bad quarterback, a faker, a pansy, a liar, a scaredy-cat, a bad teammate and a quitter. I would like to take the time to shed some light on these garbage myths that people are trying to pass off as fact.

Myth:  Jay Cutler was hurt and took himself out of the game.

First of all, yes he was hurt and everyone knew it going into halftime. Everyone is ranting and raving that Cutler took himself out of the game, but in reality, he did come back and play the first series of the second half. In a press conference, Lovie Smith said that the trainers said he shouldn’t play, but Cutler came back and tried to play. On his one series he looked very ineffective on his injured knee and Lovie pulled him. Not Cutler’s decision. Lovie went on to say that Cutler wanted to go back in but could not play effectively.

Myth:  Jay Cutler could have finished the game.

Again, yes, he could have physically finished the game, but do you think he could have performed better with an injured knee than he was playing in the first half? The game plan was bad, he was having a bad game and everyone on the offense, besides Matt Forte, were playing poorly. If you are going to be mad at Cutler for anything, be made that he wasn’t playing well, not that he didn’t go back in the game. What people don’t understand about an MCL injury is that it affects your lateral movement, meaning he wouldn’t be able to move side-to-side. How effective would Cutler have been dropping back to pass but not being able to scramble or roll out of the pocket? With that offensive line he would have been sacked 20 times.

Myth:  Jay Cutler was “pouting” on the sidelines, not helping Caleb Hanie and being a bad teammate.

People see a few five second clips during the game and Cutler isn’t calling out plays on the sideline and being a cheerleader and everyone freaks out. Caleb Hanie went on ESPN radio yesterday and stated that Cutler was, in fact, talking to him and helping him out with game-planning. Also, the Bears have tons of coaches to call out plays and analyze that game, granted I’m not so sure how much I trust some of those guys. And fan after fan is criticizing Cutler for ignoring teammates and being off in his own world, yet many teammates, including Brian Urlacher, Chris Harris and Anthony Adams, have come to his defense and said that he is their guy and they want him as their team leader. Isn’t that exactly what you want as a fan, a guy that has the respect of his teammates? Sure, you might say that they are just saying that because they have to but plenty of guys have called out teammates when they have performed poorly (Check out Boomer’s article about Urlacher’s original thoughts about Cutler.) The leader of your football team is only responsible for the guys on his team, he doesn’t need to be Mr. Personality to the media and fans.

Myth:  Jay Cutler should be cut, the Bears don’t need a guy like him.

Jay Cutler led the Bears to the NFC Championship game, a place that they had only been to once in the last twenty years. They got there because of him, not in spite of him (see: Rex Grossman). This is the first time in a long time that the Bears have a full-time quarterback that is recognized as being one of the most talented in the league. Does anyone remember 2003-2005? Bears quarterbacks threw a total of 32 touchdown passes in those three seasons. If the Bears coaches and management fix the offensive line and get some real receivers, you will see how valuable Cutler can be.

Myth:  Other quarterbacks have played with injuries, Cutler just isn’t tough enough.

Everyone is quick to mention that Chargers QB Phillip Rivers played in the 2007 AFC Championship game with a torn ACL. Guess what happened? The Chargers lost the game. Also, people fail to mention that he tore his ACL in the Division Championship game a week earlier and LEFT THE GAME IN THE THIRD QUARTER. Also, Patriots QB Tom Brady played in Super Bowl XXXVI with a sprained ankle. He sprained it two weeks earlier in the AFC Championship game, a game which he left and did not finish because of his injury. So the real story isn’t that Jay wasn’t tough enough to finish the game, he isn’t the first guy with a significant injury to do it. Had the Bears made the Super Bowl, we maybe would have seen just how tough he was if he played. I don’t know how you question a guy who lost over 30 pounds during a season, continued to play and then found out he has diabetes.

So there you have it, my take on the situation. Hopefully people can look at the facts and see where their quick decisions on the situation are completely wrong and we can go back to being one of the strongest fan bases in the nation. I’m sure I’ve missed some of the other criticisms so please, enlighten me if you have more “reasons” why “Cutler sucks” so we can put this all behind us. A Bears nation divided will only get us second best like it did this year. Cutler will be back next year and we will have to ride the roller coaster again. Super Bears Super Bowl in 2012.

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