Back Off Cutler … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From Mobile, Alabama

Pull together representatives from every coaching staff in the NFL and put them in one spot, and it can generate some remarkable conversations.

The biggest topic on Sunday night that continued into Monday had nothing to do with the Senior Bowl and the 100+ players that are in town for a week of practice and Saturday’s game.

It had everything to do with Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler.

The aftermath of NFC Championship Game on Sunday has left Cutler and the Bears a smoldering ruins of a team dealing not only with the crash of losing the game and a trip to the Super Bowl, but the demolition of a football career.

“How do you salvage Cutler at this point?” asked one NFL head coach walking through the lobby of the headquarters hotel for the Senior Bowl.

Let me get this off my chest right up front – I think anyone that has labeled Cutler a quitter because he did not continue to play on his injured knee in Sunday’s game is an idiot. Yes, I mean I-D-I-O-T-S, big, nasty, ugly dolts who should be ashamed of themselves.

That would include several current NFL players, who took to Twitter after the game to fire verbal torpedoes at Cutler. It would include former NFL types like Deion Sanders and ESPN‘s Mike Golic, who took to Twitter and the airwaves to question Cutler’s manhood. The Idiots Club would include pundits, columnists and radio tin throats too numerous to mention in the media, 99.9 percent of whom would have no idea what trying to play with a knee injury feels like.

And I don’t want to leave out any fans, including those in heartbroken Chicago that have fired flaming vitriol in Cutler’s direction. They are least culpable however, because they are fans and they are reacting with emotion, rather than knowledge and reason.

MRI results on Monday showed that Cutler suffered a grade II sprained MCL, an injury that will not require surgery and will take three to six weeks to heal, if not longer. The decision was made to remove Cutler from the game – and that decision was not Cutler’s. It was made by head coach Lovie Smith and the team’s medical staff. Why? Because his knee was unstable and continuing to play would have put the knee in danger of an ACL injury, something that would take nine months to a year to heal.

Cutler was hurt + Cutler did not go back in + Bears lose = Cutler is not a man, but a wimp. That’s faulty math and does not add up. The reactions against Cutler had nothing to do with the knee injury itself. It had everything to do with preconceived notions of the Bears quarterback and it had everything to do with TV shots of the quarterback on the sidelines after he was pulled.

In a court of law, that evidence against Cutler would be thrown out in seconds. It’s paper thin, with no depth or understanding. Here’s an example: Saints FB Heath Evans said Monday that New Orleans QB Drew Brees played six weeks with a torn MCL.

But here in Mobile, Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters that Brees suffered a “low-grade” MCL sprain, i.e. not as severe of debilitating as Cutler’s sprain.

This is one of the most awful occasions that I can remember where perception became reality in the eyes of the idiots. Nobody knows how painful Cutler’s knee felt – save Cutler. Nobody wants to admit that Cutler was pulled, he did not pull himself – save head coach Lovie Smith.

As I write this, ESPN continues to beat to death the Cutler controversy and former NFL QB Trent Dilfer is doing the spanking now. Dilfer’s a classic case of one of those guys who has become far better in his own eyes after his career was over and has all the answers. This is the same Dilfer that had a 113-129 ratio for TDs to INTs, with a completion percentage of 55 percent and a passer rating of 70.2 – pedestrian numbers at best.

To paraphrase Dilfer, Cutler wasn’t tough enough, he should have made the coaches come onto the field and drag him off. Somebody might want to do an MRI on Dilfer’s brain; he may have taken too many hits.

The problem with Cutler on Sunday wasn’t his toughness; it was his play. He simply wasn’t good enough. And then he was hurt, and wasn’t allowed to play. Who possibly could believe that once he suffered the injury he was going to be a better quarterback?

I will grant one and all that Cutler comes across as a hard man to like. I’m not a big believer in reading too much into body language because the TV cameras do not catch the entire picture. And I will allow the fact that he does not care what people think of him, and that fact alone inflames people even more. They will raise the stakes of their vitriol in an attempt to get their subject to notice.

Whether or not this bashing of his manhood will get Cutler’s attention, I do not know. I kind of hope he pays no attention to it and goes on living his life in the manner that he has chosen. Everybody doesn’t have to fit in the same box; we are allowed to be individuals. We are allowed to react differently to pressure and tough times.

The Bears went home on Sunday not because Jay Cutler wasn’t man enough. Their season ended because he wasn’t good enough.

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 24

  • PRO BOWL – the NFL named Redskins DE Brian Orakpo and LB London Fletcher, Falcons CB Brent Grimes, Vikings CB Antoine Winfield and Panthers LB Jon Beason to the NFC team replacing Bears LBs Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, Packers LB Clay Matthews and CB Charles Woodson and others; named Browns C Alex Mack, Colts C Jeff Saturday, Dolphins DE Randy Starks and Chargers LB Shaun Phillips to the AFC team replacing Steelers DE Brett Keisel, C Maurkice Pouncey and LB James Harrison, Jets C Nick Mangold and others.
  • BEARS – signed reserve/futures contracts with FB Eddie Williams, OT Levi Horn, G Johan Asiata, DB K.J. Gerard and LB Chris Johnson.
  • BRONCOS – will hire Dennis Allen as defensive coordinator. He was the secondary coach for the Saints.
  • VIKINGS – named James Saxon as running backs coach.

26 Responses to “Back Off Cutler … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 25, 2011  - harvey says:

    Good column Bob. I would have said that Cutler wasn’t good enough, quick/soon enough. I was surprised that Martz went back to trying more of a vertical passing game. It hurt the Bears on Sunday.


  • January 25, 2011  - Morten says:

    Amen Bob….. No QB would ever want to leave in the middle of a conference final; crazy how the media sometime spins totally out of control…


  • January 25, 2011  - lyle says:

    I agreee with you Bob, don’t knock the guy’s manhood because he didn’t play injured or just because he wasn’t good enough…….but…..he brings this talk on himself. Cutler is a punk. Like you said, he doesn’t care what anyone think’s of him, and if the stories are true, he does very little to make himself a better player. Sooner or later that kind of attitude catches up with you. I think that there are many other players in the league that deserve our sympathy more than Cutler.


  • January 25, 2011  - Tim says:

    I agree Bob. They should lay off. He was injured. If he couldn’t move & perform, then his continued presence not only would’ve reduced further the Bears’ chances, but risked a much more serious injury to a valuable team asset. As for former players, particularly Sanders, get a life. He never saw contact because HE wasn’t tough enough to tackle. Gimme a break! He was a great player, and I enjoy his insight, but tough – HARDLY!


  • January 25, 2011  - Dave says:

    Good job, Bob.


  • January 25, 2011  - RW says:

    There are varying levels relating to one’s threshold of pain for every member of society including NFL players. Cutler’s personal demeanor, that of being one who seemingly is indifferent about many aspects, is what has triggered this round of negative comments bringing his manhood into question.

    The larger question, in my view, is why Todd Collins was the #2 QB on the team? Now we’re bringing the wisdom of the Bears’ coaching staff into question which I believe is the more poignant issue.


  • January 25, 2011  - el cid says:

    I think Cutler is a money player. All the illusions fans have about playing for the team does not really fit with way to many modern players. It is “show me the money and I may grace you with effort” today. Not all players but our instant, 24-7 media are turning over a lot of rock the fans should not look under.

    Is he hurt or quit or what ever, it just is what it is. Got to be glad he is not in KC. He might still be in the hospital after his operation.

    For all you who dislike what I have said in the past, look up arrowhead addict site, article about Jackson/Pioli, you will really be able to vent about hate. Guess what, it agrees with me.


  • January 25, 2011  - leonard says:

    El Cid, you are correct that we don’t agree with what you say. I certainly don’t like you. That being said, Cutler look bad. If you look at the shots of him on the sidelines, he looked sick to me. He certainly wasn’t 100 percent at the start.
    As for Collins, he at least took some snaps during the week. You have to give it to Haine, he did a remarkable job. They had a chance at the end.


  • January 25, 2011  - RW says:

    Speaking to Elcid’s point on Pioli, I’d like to see the league come up with a “Post Draft Performance Rating” (PDPR) for every NFL GM based on his picks during years, say, 3-7 of the actual player’s performance in the league.

    A basic point system could be accorded to each pick based on starter, all-pro, reserve or cut status and be a telling stat as to who the best evaluators of talent there are among the NFL GM’s. I don’t have the patience nor the personal wiring to get into it but if someone out there has the time and interest, go for it.

    If a stat like this already exists, please tell me where I can find it?


  • January 25, 2011  - aPauled says:

    What goes around, comes around. Jay Cutler is an a$$ to reporters, fans, teammates…probably anyone that comes into contact with him. When you constantly throw others under the bus…there are going to be few there to rescue you when it’s you going under the bus. And many pointing and laughing.


  • January 25, 2011  - Tom says:

    Cassel would have stayed in. Say what you want about Cassels talents…but the guy has the heart every team is looking for as their leader. Who thinks Cutler would have come back and played a week after an appendectomy? Cassel is a leader…and that is why his teammates would run through a brick wall for him.


  • January 25, 2011  - lyle says:

    well said aPauled


  • January 25, 2011  - Kiowa says:

    Hurt or not, Cutler is a punk and not a team player. I could care less if he was really hurt, but to see him just sitting on the sidelines and the bench while Haine was right beside him, he wasn’t even talking to him when he should have been trying to help Haine with any info possible, checking previous plays, game planning, mentoring, etc. Instead he just sat there with his “I could care less” face he always has on looking around. That to me showed his true character.


  • January 25, 2011  - TimR says:

    I agree with Kiowa on how Cutler performed as a teammate AFTER he was out of the game. No question about his deficiences there…


  • January 25, 2011  - harvey says:

    TimR and Kiowa you are wrong. Hanie is quoted saying Cutler was there to help him during the game, giving advice and talking him up.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/news/story?id=6053836


  • January 25, 2011  - Nate says:

    I live in the mountains of Colorado and when Cutler threw for 2 TD’s and ran for 2 more TD’s in his 1st playoff game the previous week, the donkey fans were quiet as church mice. This week the hate and insults are flying toward him. Bob your article is not only correct, I appluad you for writing it. It needed to be said. Well done!


  • January 25, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    elsid, you are correct…you are in your own little world where taking a franchise from 4-12 and 2-14 to 4-12 then 10-6 AFC West Champs is a bad thing.
    If you found a site that agrees with you why don’t you park you negative butt there and wallow?

    I feel bad for my friends that are Bears fans. I wish Cutler was a donkee again. He sure was fun to hate. What I find amusing about him was before he got his sprain. He never works or prepares on the sideline during the game. He just sits and pouts.
    Thankfully we have a wonderful QB in Cassel!


  • January 25, 2011  - Tim says:

    harvey,

    I realize what Hanie said, but MANY times the cameras scanned the Bear sidelines. Didn’t see a lot of interaction & encouragement from Cutler toward him or anybody else. What would you expect a 3rd stringer to say? He’s not gonna hang a teammate out to dry! Perhaps there was some assistance that was not seen. I don’t know. What I do know is that there were many times the camera was on him…and one when Hanie was right there. They coulda passed for strangers… In the situation they were in, that sure didn’t leave a good impression is all I’m saying.


  • January 25, 2011  - jim says:

    Can’t put my finger on this Cutler incident, but it seems to me that when you’re injured you should still have some fire in your belly to encourage your fellow team mates and not just sit your butt on the bench, try to stay warm, and sulk. That’s what it appeared to me he was doing. You don’t win a locker room like that. You win a locker room by coming back after an appendectomy and leading your team to a win. Glad he’s there, and Cassell is where he is.

    To elcid: Guys, back off. While I don’t agree much of the time with this guy, he is entitled to his opinion and deserves the courtesy of this board. He incites me sometime, then I remember “it’s just a game” and move on. What he DOES do for me, on occasion, is make me think out of the tight little box we all sometimes put ourselves comfortably into.

    I’m sure that one on one, he’d be a great guy to have a beer with and agree to disagree. Let’s try to keep a healthy perspective. If all the horses were the same, no use for a horse race.


  • January 25, 2011  - L says:

    My opinion might be slightly off since I like Cutler. But this is just overly sensationalized media getting a chance to break down Cutler. You have to understand Jay hates the media. He rarely talks to them and when he does its usually sarcastic comments. He very much understands the modern media has an agenda other than reporting news. He does lots of charity work and it always goes unreported because he doesn’t want the media to twist what he does. The media doesn’t care that he donates his time/money to charities, they just want to make 2 dollars on the story covering him.
    He plays with diabetes, so from what I understand is cortisone shots spike his glucose levels to much to use. He is a tough tough kid that had a grade 2 MCL sprain which means there is some minor tearing.
    And I question guys like Deion Sander’s toughness. That is the guy that says CB are there for pass defending, not tackling.


  • January 25, 2011  - Edward says:

    Here’s what I have to say about Cutler situation I can of agree with Trent. No one should be questioning Jay Cutler physical toughness. this guy took a beating behind that o-line all yr. I think what should be coming to question is his mental toughness. Not so much with the injury but his willingness to want to get back out there and keep playing. I think with him not playing well to start the game led to him taking an out not to go back in the game which was the injury. Trent to his credit does do pretty good job breaking down QBs even though he was average at best as an NFL QB. Bottom line though Cutler lacked the willingness to stay in the game and keep fighting inspite the fact he wasn’t playing well he just took easy way out by not going back in and keep playing.

    I mean Phillip Rivers played with a torn ACL. Which is as bad as Cutler injury if not worse. So I think most people are not questioning this kid Cutler physical toughness but his mental toughness. Taking the easy way out by not going back into the game. I think if he had been playing well in that game he would’ve went back in but because this was biggest game of his career and he was playing awful he just used injury as an excuse to not go back in there. Some guys can handle the pressure of playoff football other guys get crushed by it.


  • January 25, 2011  - L says:

    “I mean Phillip Rivers played with a torn ACL. Which is as bad as Cutler injury if not worse.”

    Rivers missed the final quarter of the game he tore his ACL in. He then had a week to get in playing shape. Cutler missed 2 quarters with no chance of coming back the next week to play on it like Rivers did.


  • January 25, 2011  - harvey says:

    Tim,

    I choose Hanie’s words from playing in the game and interacting with him over your impressions from wherever you watched the game on TV – just sayin’. FWIW – Hanie was 2nd string until he got hurt at the season start.


  • January 26, 2011  - Doug says:

    The passing windows both defenses were giving were pretty tight, and between that and the pressure on the quarterback Cutler wasn’t getting the job done before he was hurt, so there was no doubt he wasn’t going to get it done after he was hurt. Lovie needed to pull him, and Cutler needed to be honest about his injury. The players who claim they would have needed to be carted off the field end up hurting their teams more than helping them in most instances, because once the other team sees that you are hurt, they take advantage of it, and there wasn’t any doubt that Cutler was hurt. By the way, I don’t like him either, and I’m betting that he stayed in after the injury, when he should have come out, and the coaching staff figured it out and had to pull him.


  • January 26, 2011  - ron says:

    latest reports are that he and his wife went for a steak dinner after the loss and cutler walked up to the second floor instead of using elevator. doesn’t seem that bad to me.


  • January 26, 2011  - el cid says:

    Heard from the media today, Cutler’s leg he pushes off with during passing was damaged. It is beyond painful to pass with it. If he had played more could have been lost for next year. Would not effect movement or walking but a pro QB would have a hard time compensating and controlling his passes.

    Is it true or Bears covering for their QB, do not know but it is what they are saying.




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