Could Jay Cutler's Attitude Sink the Chicago Bears?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 07:  Quarterback  Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to  Earl Bennett #80 (not picttured) during the fourth quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears took on the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football in Week 2, NFL fans worldwide witnessed the self-destruction of the 2012 edition of the Bears. 

Cutler's horrible attitude toward those around him, specifically his teammates, has opened up the door for a rift in the Chicago locker room, which could end up ruining the entire season for a team that had playoff aspirations. 

To be specific, during the humiliating loss to the Packers, cameras caught Cutler screaming at his teammates several times, and even going so far as to confront his left tackle J'Marcus Webb on the sideline and shove him after verbally berating him. 

Cutler's teammates have noticed, and are not happy with their leader. Brad Biggs via Twitter went so far as to say some of the players in the Bears locker room are openly criticising Cutler:

#Bears CB DJ Moore says Jay Cutler was wrong to shove JMarcus Webb on sideline. Teammates now adding to criticism.

— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 17, 2012

Biggs was likely referring to Bears' defensive back D.J. Moore, who openly blasted Cutler for his antics (via The Chicago Tribune):

Is it unfair to criticize Jay right now? Shoot, it's unfair for him to be like that toward J'Marcus. In every game in every sport, there's always somebody who has a tough day. For you to come off on the sideline, once you holler at him it makes it seem like [Webb] is the only reason...

Moore even went so far as to suggest that things would have played out differently had he been the one Cutler was shoving on the sideline, and also points out what we all already know—Cutler should have handled the situation in the locker room off camera:

I don't talk to him. He knows. But if I was J'Marcus, wouldn't have went down like that. You just can't...then when [Cutler] shoved him stuff, man. I don't know...I don't feel for Cut. He knows what he was doing. I don't think you do that. I think if you have a problem with [Webb], maybe do that in the locker room or something.

Moore's words sting, but the criticism from Ex-Bears player Adewale Ogunleye have to hurt even worse for Cutler, when Ogunleye suggested to The Chicago Tribune that Cutler is quickly going to lose respect in the locker room and have the group turn on him:

So the way I am looking at the game, no one is yelling at Jay when he is throwing the ball three [actually four] times to their defenders. And you’ve got to have some sense of accountability. At the end of the day, you start losing the respect of your teammates, you start losing the respect of that offensive line when publicly you’re bumping people and yelling at them in their face. I don’t think it is the right thing to do.

Even the suggestion of a group of players turning on their franchise quarterback has to have the Bears' front office trembling. 

Chicago is by no means a bad team, and the season is still very young. This is a team that could contend for a title if it pulls itself together, but right now that does not appear to be anywhere close to happening. 

If Cutler wants to be taken seriously by the national media and fans, and most importantly his teammates, he needs to grow up quickly. Handling issues is such an extremely immature matter under the microscope of fans everywhere is doing nothing but putting him on the same level as the notorious Terrell Owens

Cutler has the tools to be an elite quarterback. He needs those around him to play better, but he has to be a better leader. 

Good chemistry is key to a Super Bowl contending team, and it starts with the quarterback. If Cutler is lucky, the ship has not sailed in terms of him being able to salvage his relationship with his teammates and unify the locker room toward one goal. 

Cutler's time is running out. How he handles these next few weeks could alter his legacy permanently.