Throw Cutler onto Bears QB heap
Jay Cutler is not Michael Jordan. He’s not Tom Brady. He’s not even Peyton Manning, current weak-armed version.
This is what Cutler doesn’t understand. When those guys treat teammates terribly, it’s tough leadership. When Cutler does it, he’s a petulant jerk.
You have to earn the right to be a jerk to your teammates. You have to have their respect, be their leader. Cutler hasn’t done enough to scream at offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb, much less bump him the way he did Thursday, as Cutler and the Bears embarrassed themselves in Green Bay.
Denver fans thought they had the next John Elway when they had Cutler. But he was too much of a pain, so the Broncos traded him to Chicago, where people thought they had the next Brett Favre. Now, Cutler is 29, and it’s clear that he’s just the next journeyman quarterback in a long row of them in Chicago Bears history.
At least Bob Avellini, Vince Evans, Steve Walsh, Erik Kramer, Shane Matthews, Jim Miller and all the others had the decency to realize that they weren’t superstars. Brian Griese and Cade McNown weren’t even this bad.
You can throw Cutler onto the Chicago QB heap. It’s over. He’s the wrong guy. That doesn’t mean that the Bears can’t have a mediocre season, or possibly sneak into the playoffs. What it means is that Cutler is never going to develop into the superstar that he thinks he already is.
Two years ago, Cutler quit on the Bears against the Packers in the NFC championship game. He just tapped out, saying something or other hurt. His teammates covered for him later, said his injury was legit. But I’ll never believe that at least some of them weren’t upset with him.
This time, you don’t have to wonder.
“I don’t think you can act like that. . .’’ Bears cornerback D.J. Moore said Monday. “To make it seem like it’s just my fault, or whatnot, I think it’s just wrong. I would feel a certain way if he did me like that, to make it seem like, `Well, the reason I’m having a bad game is because of what you’re doing, and not about me taking accountability for myself because I’m throwing these types of passes and doing these types of reads.’ ’’
The Bears, among the NFC favorites seven days ago, now are facing a big problem. Cutler and coach Lovie Smith are tied together now. If Smith doesn’t figure out something soon, he’ll need to go, too.
Cutler is supposed to be a leader, but it’s hard to see how he’ll get back his team’s trust. In Chicago, his dwindling number of defenders point out old rants from Brady and Manning to teammates. Everyone in town knows that Jordan, at times, was rough on his teammates.
A journeyman quarterback cannot get away with that.
This is a city of sports icons, of Sayers and Butkus, of Jordan and Hull, of Banks and Payton. It seems laughable now to think there was hope that Cutler might fit into that group someday.
On Tuesday, Cutler re-emerged for the first time since Thursday. It was the Jay Cutler Show — Why does he have his own radio show? — on ESPN radio in Chicago.
We’re a very forgiving people. Just say you’re sorry, and that’s really all it takes.
Cutler wouldn’t do it. Instead, he spent an hour on the radio being, well, Cutler.
Former Bears receiver Tom Waddle started to ask Cutler about the “unwritten rule’’ that it’s OK to yell at your linemen, but not to be physical with them.
Cutler interrupted sarcastically: “Who makes that rule?’’
Waddle said something about it being unwritten. “I just want to know who gets to make the rules,’’ Cutler said.
Forget the rules, Waddle said. Do you regret doing what you did?
“I probably shouldn’t have bumped him,’’ Cutler said. “I’ll go with that. As far as me yelling at him and trying to get him going in the game, I don’t regret that. Shouldn’t have bumped him, though. I’ll stick with that.’’
He then said he would have preferred Webb to push back, rather than laugh at him: “Anything really to let me know that `Hey, I’m pissed off I got beat. I’m going to try to rectify it. I’m going to try to get us back in the ballgame.’
“(But) you can’t push or nudge or anything like that,’’ he said, sarcastic again. “We just established that.’’
Cutler’s co-hosts tried a few times to get him to apologize, or to see if he wanted to. He didn’t. He wouldn’t. He blamed the media for making more of something that wasn’t really there.
Someone else has to be the reason Cutler isn’t what he was supposed to be. The Bears got rid of outdated offensive coordinator Mike Martz this year. They gave Cutler his old favorite QB coach from Denver, Jeremy Bates, and his favorite receiver, Brandon Marshall, too. They drafted receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Cutler has had legitimate reasons for his disappointments before now. So the Bears built around him. But he still was throwing interceptions, still losing to the Packers.
Linemen! That’s who he could blame. The Bears do have an awful line, but that’s no excuse for Cutler to make such a public show.
Marc Silverman, the other co-host of the show Tuesday, said he thought Cutler was letting things bug him during the game, such as bad blocking, dropped passes, play calling.
“This is just educated guesses at best. Correct?’’ Cutler said. “That’s the problem. These are guesses. You’re guessing. Admit that you’re guessing."
No, Silverman said.
“Admit yes, you are guessing. You’re guessing. How can you say that you aren’t guessing?’’
Waddle once tried to explain to Cutler what he wished the offense would do, and Cutler said: “Guess what. Guess what. Guess what. Guess what. I don’t care when you’re happy. Doesn’t matter to me. It’s not important. It’s not going to affect how we’re going to win football games. Your opinion is not going to matter to us.’’
Four interceptions, and Cutler said he was “proud of that game’’ and that he had kept his composure throughout.
Well, it all must have been someone else’s fault then. I had thought it was Cutler’s. I admit, though, I was just guessing.