Chicago Bears: Defending Jay Cutler
These words have seemingly been following Jay Cutler since he joined the Bears in 2009.
Last Thursday night in Green Bay was towards the top of the list of Cutler’s worst games, throwing four interceptions and getting sacked seven times.
Media pundits and critics were up in arms over Cutler’s displays of raw emotion and frustration, culminating with his verbal assault and bumping of left tackle J’Marcus Webb.
Cutler's nationally televised outburst led to floodgates being opened for former players and coach's opinions:
"People were complaining about it last night; bumping the linemen, screaming and hollering; that to me is counter-productive, you don’t do that. I prided myself, I took great pride in never saying a word."
Former Steeler's Head Coach, Bill Cowher (h/t Chicago Sun-Times):
"(Cutler) displayed questionable demeanor as the leader of the team. 'I think it's a problem"
"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.”
These three, along with many others were quick to strike Cutler down for showing his emotions and frustrations with Webb, who has been nothing short of a revolving door since his arrival in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick.
Webb started 12 games in his rookie season as a right tackle and has been the starter at left tackle since the beginning of last season. According to Pro Football Weekly, Webb has given up 27 sacks in his career, including 2.5 sacks so far this season.
Anyone who has watched the Bears since Cutler's arrival knows that the biggest need on the offensive side of the football has been pass protection. In 43 career games with the Bears, Cutler has been sacked a staggering 119 times. That averages out to nearly three sacks a game, enough to make any man a bit frustrated.
Thursday night gave observers their first real look at a frustrated Cutler. In the past, many have been quick to criticize Cutler for his lack of emotions, often confusing his facial expressions with derision or disgust. Often referred to as "Jay Cutler Face", Cutler's look of boredom is often chastised, yet Olympian McKayla Maroney's "Jay Cutler Face" is viewed as humorous and light.
Because of how often we see Cutler's typical facial expressions and lack of emotions, Thursday night showed people a side of him we have not seen before, opening up the opportunities to further criticize the way the man acts.
Last year, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was shown on the sidelines arguing with then offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, and former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was once featured on NFL films arguing with his offensive lineman during a game in 2005. Culter is obviously not at the same level as either of these quarterbacks, yet it proves that even the best become frustrated and at times show their emotions.
There is no question that Cutler's performance on the field Thursday night was terrible. Yes, the offensive line was a major factor in his poor decisions, but in the end, the four interceptions were his fault for pushing the issues and trying to teeter the line between risk and reward. Cutler needs to improve on his decision-making and offensive coordinator Mike Tice needs to find a better game plan that will allow the offense to succeed.
It is never unfair to criticize a quarterback for throwing an interception or for coming up short on a play, but to criticize a player for showing his emotions is the truest definition of being a crybaby and a loser.
Matt Eurich is a contributor to Bearsbacker.com. Follow Bears Backer on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute news about the Bears. Also, check out Matt’s work on Bleacherreport.com and follow him on Twitter @MattEurich.
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