The Green Bay Packers 23-10 win over the Chicago Bears Thursday night may not have come as a surprise to most Packers fans, but those Bears fans and followers who had ultimate faith in their quarterback, Jay Cutler, heading into Thursday night’s game were jumping ship by the droves afterward.
Seven sacks and four interceptions later, the media and the fans were blasting away at the S.S. Cutler and the shooting probably won’t end until Cutler turns his game around or at least until the Bears play another “Sisters of the Blind” opponent. Putting a 40-burger on the Indianapolis Colts just wasn’t convincing. The Bears will have to beat a quality opponent before anyone’s going to let up on Cutler, Lovie Smith and the Bears’ offensive line.
Asked about Cutler’s “good luck” comment, Woodson told Jim Rome:
“We got a laugh out of it, really. It was funny. They do have some big receivers over there but they’re not fast receivers. There’s no Calvin Johnson on that team, that’s going to stretch a defense. Yeah, there are some big guys, physical guys, and they like to push and pull and grab and get behind guys, but we weren’t going to let that happen, so it worked in our favor.
“If you get pressure on Jay, he’ll let the ball loose,” Woodson said. “That happened for us numerous times last night.”
But that was just the beginning and probably the most mild comments shot at Cutler.
Take, for instance, the comments made by Terry Bradshaw – yes, the same Bradshaw who won a bunch of Super Bowls and is one of the most recognizable faces in any NFL media roundup.
Here’s some of his comments that were published in the Chicago Tribune (I would really like to hear what he said under his breath, but we can’t do that):
“I like him, I think he’s a great talent,” Bradshaw said on WSCR-AM 670’s “McNeil and Spiegel Show.” “I do not like, I’m telling you I’ll go right on the record – I do not like calling out my linemen and bumping them and screaming and hollering because you’ve got all these cameras watching.
“Tell everyone, say I stunk, I stunk the joint up and it wasn’t my night. You know, apologize to the Bears fans and that quells it a little bit but don’t have to apologize during the week for the media who is going to be all over this when you could have snipped it, you could have cut it right there and now it’s going to just snowball and you don’t need that as a player and you sure don’t need that as a team.
“This is a guy I’ve never met and I’ve heard so many things negatively about Jay. His body language for a person that’s never met him suggests he’s not a person I really want to meet, but that’s kind of a silly thing. I’d really like to sit down with him and I’d have a better understanding of what makes him tick. I think just by talking to him but … I just sometimes, I don’t understand.”
Here’s what Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner had to say:
All of his worst tendencies came out in this game. He threw passes he should not have with terrible mechanics and nightmarish footwork. He embarrassed his teammates by yelling at them in plain sight, even as he was making those abysmal throws. He pouted on the sideline, started fights, and in no way resembled the kind of leader every great quarterback must be. At one point, Cutler pushed left tackle J’Marcus Webb aside as the Bears were coming off the field. At another, he slammed the ball to the ground and started barking at everyone when the Bears drew a delay of game infraction.
Here’s some of what Lynn Zinser of the New York Times had to say:
And yes, the fact that Cutler, who rarely seems to be residing in the same universe as the people around him, is the Bears’ quarterback was probably already enough to have them on a Maalox drip. But then he went and interpreted a Game 1 victory over the hapless Colts as reason to taunt the Packers, saying good luck to the defensive backs trying to match wits with him, and well, you could have almost envisioned the outcome right there: four interceptions, seven sacks and a 23-10 Packers victory. The teachers’ strike might now be more popular in Chicago than he is.
As Rick Morrissey writes in The Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears tried to oversell themselves after one win and got called on it. Yes, they made all of those nifty off-season moves and seemed to improve themselves, and yes, the Packers looked dreadful in their Week 1 loss to San Francisco. But their quarterback is still Jay Cutler, and if he were a stock, he’d be Facebook. So much potential, so much hubris, so much disappointment. Clearly the offensive line that Cutler spent his night screaming at shares a big part of the blame, but you still have to start with Cutler, writes Michael Wilbon on ESPN.com. And Chris Burke of SI.com believes it is valid to start questioning everything about the Bears’ purported strength.
Adewale Ogunleye, a defensive end on the Bears during Cutler’s first season with the team, had this to say:
“If you are not doing your job, yeah, someone should be allowed to get in your face,” Ogunleye said during an interview on the ‘Mully & Hanley Show’ Friday morning on WSCR-AM 670. “But if you live in a glass house, you can’t throw any stones. So the way I am looking at the game, no one is yelling at Jay when he is throwing the ball three (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.
“To go and bump another player, you know the only reason Jay Cutler can bump on offensive lineman and not get his butt beat is because he is the star quarterback of the Chicago Bears. If this is in the street, and you bump a man that is 300 pounds, Jay is in serious trouble.
“The team is going to have to police itself. Maybe Brian (Urlacher) will have to say something. The more you yell at them, the more pressure you are putting on your own teammate.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I called Cutler the best quarterback in football in the past, but last night he took huge steps backwards and my opinion of him has changed. I don’t question his talent, but I am starting to question his ability to be a franchise-type quarterback. Sooner or later, this guy has to start acting like a leader and not a spoiled brat. If you think I’m being harsh, look at the personnel and coaching changes that have been made to appease Cutler. It borders on ridiculous.
All you have to do is Google Jay Cutler and I’m sure you can find more – If you want. It’s just nice to know the Packers are better than they showed in their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers and back to respectability among those who doubted them.
And getting back to that respectability couldn’t have come against a more worthy opponent than Jay Cutler.
Oh, by the way, Jay: Good luck.