Jay Cutler has never really won the hearts and minds of the National Football League. He's been labeled as a spoiled four-year old kid who throws tantrums on the field. While with the Denver Broncos, it was widely reported that many of his own teammates didn't like him because of his arrogance.
His rivalry against San Diego Chargers quarterback, Philip Rivers, began with Cutler's on the field antics back in 2006. By 2008, Cutler had worn out his welcome in Denver. When rumors began to circulate that new Broncos head coach, Josh McDaniels, was considering trading Cutler in favor of Matt Cassel, Cutler took it personal. His feud became front story headlines in Denver and eventually, Cutler's demand to get traded was granted.
On April 2, 2009, Cutler officially became a Chicago Bear, and with him came the baggage. In his first season with the Bears, Cutler threw 26 interceptions, including a career-high five in one game against the San Francisco 49ers.
More and more, people began to focus on Jay Cutler's tantrums. On October 24, 2010, in a home game against the Washington Redskins, Cutler fired four interceptions to Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall, who returned one for a 92-yard touchdown. What really bothered the fans however wasn't so much the interceptions, but the lack of effort by Cutler in chasing down Hall. Video was shown the day after and all week on how Cutler showed little to no interest in at least attempting to run down Hall.
Do you think the criticism on Cutler's lack of toughness was fair?
Many fans and critics would also agree, that once Cutler hangs his head, you can pretty much count that the Bears have lost the game.
And it's little antics like these that cause fans, writers and NFL analysts to question Jay Cutler's character. His toughness has never been doubted. If you watch the first half of the season, you couldn't help but wonder how Jay Cutler wasn't in a hospital after the game. He was constantly sacked, hit after a throw, and absolutely beaten up. He suffered a concussion against the New York Giants, a game in which Cutler was sacked not one, not two, but nine times in the 1st half.
Chicago was just 3-3 with Cutler in the first half of the interception and sacked filled season. They then changed their offensive line switching and moving Chris Williams from left tackle to left guard and Roberto Garza from left to right guard. With the switch, Cutler flourished and the Bears finished 7-2 after the bye week.
After a 35-24 Divisional playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks, in which Cutler threw four touchdown passes, Cutler had the Bears 60-minutes from the Super Bowl.
Then the Green Bay Packers happened and Chicago reverted back to 1st half of the season play.
Before exiting the game, Cutler was just 6-14 with an interception and a QB rating of 31.8. He was off all day, overthrowing twice a wide open Devin Hester, one of those in the end zone.
With Cutler standing on the sidelines looking uninterested and unattended to by Doctors, football fans began to wonder whether Cutler was benched, hurt, or pulled himself out of what was until then, a dreadful performance.
The Twitter board lit up after the Bears 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game as many former and current NFL players questioned Cutler's toughness.
It took the Chicago Bears almost a full day to finally announce what so many people wanted to hear, the severity of Cutler's injury, a sprained MCL in his left knee. What took the Bears front office so long?
With the announcement, finally the frenzy died out a bit. People finally stopped criticizing Cutler's toughness and started going after his actions. All day long, the same video of Cutler sitting on the bench with third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie at his side, looking uninterested has circulated.
Today, Cutler's biggest rival, Philip Rivers sort-of defended him saying that he felt for Cutler not being able to play in the Championship Game. Rivers also took one last pop shot at his rival saying "I'd have to be taken off in a cart".
In the end, Jay Cutler's toughness should never be questioned. He is one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL, his antics however, may make him one of the worst.