More thoughts on Cutler

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In my post-game comments I took a shot at Cutler having a “fake injury” in good part because what I saw of him on the sideline gave me the strong impression that he just wasn’t THAT hurt. But the more I’ve read about it, the more certain I am that it wasn’t “fake”.

  • He was sufficiently injured. A torn (or sprained) MCL can be a difficult injury for QBs considering the planting, twisting and pushing they do with their legs. Olin Kreutz vouches for Cutler saying he noticed his leg was “wiggling” coming back to the huddle in the second quarter – it looked seriously unstable.
  • He didn’t pull himself out of the game. The team’s MDs AND Lovie Smith decided to yank him.
  • After reading the rather intense defenses of Cutler offered up by teammates like Urlacher, I get the strong impression that Cutler had to have been seriously hurt to not be in there.

Now, that said. Here are some additional thoughts:

  • As some have pointed out, why was he not more active in trying to help Hanie especially. He did offer some assistance from over on the bench I guess, but a real gamer, in a game like that, would have been on crutches with a headset on next to Martz helping out instead of sulking on his own. As difficult as that is emotionally to be pulled from a game you want to win badly, I was just surprised to see him not actively helping the team. Now, if he had been in tremendous, agonizing pain – then yes I’d understand…he should have gone to the locker room. But he seemed to be at least well enough to offer guidance to his back-up. Rodgers was actively involved helping Matt Flynn at NE despite not having passed his concussion tests yet. Or, like Maurice Pouncey – the Steelers’ all-pro center who went down yesterday, he came back out there in 0 degree weather on crutches to get his guys fired up and to help where he could. Cutler was the guy who studied the Packers all week and he’s the guy who has played against the Pack a bunch. I would think his words of wisdom could have really helped Hanie.
  • What it looked like from the sideline – which is why many are criticizing – is that Cutler was too busy feeling sorry for himself when he probably could have been at least trying to help out his team.
  • Could be that what really happened is Cutler was irate about being pulled from the game so he went to the bench to get away from Lovie and those who made the decision to yank him. Still not the way to handle it.
  • I’m not reading enough out there right now questioning why Lovie would ever put Todd Collins as the #2. I posted this during the game yesterday too – a massive calm swept over me the second I saw that guy warming up. After having one of the worst NFL games ever by a QB earlier this year (Chic @ Carolina), Todd Collins was rightfully demoted. Yet, a few games later, somehow, he emerged again as their #2 QB. I wrote about this when it happened wondering if perhaps Caleb Hanie hit on Lovie Smith’s wife or something. There could be no other explanation, Collins is so bad.
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41 Responses to “More thoughts on Cutler”

  1. Bill Says:

    Could it be that you continue to assume too much. Like you assumed to play doctor and then you assumed that he wasn’t helping Hanie. Hanie wasn’t on the headset, so why would you assume that Cutler would be on the headset? He needed to coach the QB, not coach the coaches. That is what he was doing, idiot.

    • Nick Says:

      He’s back!! I thought we had no chance Bill? What happened to that??

      • Bill Says:

        Go back and read my posts. I wrote that the Packers have no chance to go all the way (win the Super Bowl) without a running game, that James Starks game against Philly was a fluke, Rodgers’ had a great game against a seriously overrated Atlanta team and that neither Starks nor Rodgers were going to do that against the Bears. My game prediction for yesterday was that it was going to be a tight game, as most Bears/Packers games are and that it would come down to a DB slipping on the turf, Hester breaking a run back for a TD, etc. One key play. My keys were the Packers’ ability to rattle Cutler and Martz ability to retain a disciplined 50/50 run/pass mix. Those 2 keys are interrelated. If the Bears are throwing on every down, the Packers were going to blitz on every down, taking advantage of a vulnerable Bears offensive line. Cutler can’t do what he does best if he is laying on his back.

        I was correct on every point. The Bears Defense flat out stoned Rodgers and Starks. Martz blew it as I feared, Forte had only 17 carries. And the game came down to a fat lineman intercepting a pass while dropping into a zone against a rookie QB.

      • Nick Says:

        Yeah, you were correct on every point, except the most important one: the game prediction. The bears were schooled. Go home.

      • 400metres Says:

        “and that neither Starks nor Rodgers were going to do that against the Bears.”

        Um, Starks had a better game rushing against the Bears than he did against that “seriously overrated Atlanta team.”

        Bitter much?

  2. Bill Says:

    The only people that Cutler is accountable to are those that receive their paychecks from the Chicago Bears. Anyone that knows Olin Kreutz knows that if there were any reason to question Cutler’s guts, heart or leadership, Kreutz would be the first one to call him out. He certainly would not publicly defend him, which is exactly what he did. Kreutz is likely the most ornery guy in the league. He doesn’t cut anyone any slack.

  3. Schaefer Says:

    I think people down here are realizing Cutler must have had some kind of serious issue to not play. I mean can you imagine if he didn’t…?

    However what I am hearing around the office – a lot – is that Jerry Angelo should have gotten better back up QB. (and of course he should be fired) One co-worker noted that Jeff Garcia is sitting at home. Which, though he’s old, and maybe washed up, would’ve put more of a scare into the Packers than T. Collins or Caleb Hanie. (then again Hanie did put enough of a scare into me after that Bennett TD – albeit I was more scared at our lack of fire than scared of his prowess.)

    Ah well, suck it Bears fans…the better team won.

    • Bill Says:

      Yes, Angelo should be fired, but not for the reason you stated. Hanie has done a good job, in preseason and again yesterday. It was Martz who insisted that the Bears bring in a veteran QB, which the Bears had long resisted.

      Jerry Angelo should be fired for spending all that money on a franchise QB and then putting him behind an awful O Line. The man is insane. Interesting stat, Angelo has only selected 2 O Linemen higher than the 7th round during the past 8 drafts. He picked Josh Beekman, I think in ‘O5 and then Chris Williams in ’08. The O Line was terrible when he signed Cutler and all that he has done was to sign an over the hill Orlando Pace for ’09 and take a couple of 7th round picks. In the meantime he has cut significant talent on the defense to bring in new talent. The Packers may be safe as long as that idiot is the Bears GM.

      • Joe Says:

        “The Packers may be safe as long as that idiot is the Bears GM.”

        Agreed. Angelo is not a very good GM.

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  5. PackerBelle Says:

    I do feel bad for Cutler. For all that I don’t think he, or the team, handled the situation well Chicago is not the easiest place to play and the fans can really crucify you.

    That said, I am glad the Packers won. I am very proud of our team and I hope that they win again in two weeks.

  6. 56coop Says:

    I kept wondering if in fact he was benched and this was this all a cover up to hide that fact. That would explain his lack of enthusiasm as far as helping Hanie (uh Bill, not necessarily on the headsets but maybe going over sideline pics of formations, pointing out reads, etc.). Now that I read he’s got an injury I suppose that shoots that theory in the foot.

    • Bill Says:

      Scoop, if you saw Cutler and Hanie sitting on the bench, you saw the binder which Hanie was holding. It was too sparse to be a playbook. (Who would carry a playbook on the sideline anyway?) It appeared to have pics in plastic sleeves, which one would assume to be pics of formations, etc. Hanie and Cutler were reviewing the contents of that binder.

      • 56coop Says:

        Shrill-One camera shot does not indcate a guy willing to help out. Most shots I saw showed Cutler either staring into space with a “why don’t they just send me to the locker room” glazed look on his face, walking away from coaches or just standing on the sideline.

        Look, I don’t question his toughness. Heck he got sacked like 52 times & 9 times in one half and I never heard a complaint or him throwing his line, receivers, etc under the bus. Cutler has a reputation as being aloof and self centered. He helped Chicago get to where they were but Iwill say I’m glad he’s not a Packer.

        Chill out dude, there’s always next year and I agree with you on the playbook. That would be rather cumbersome. I don;t think I mentioned a playbook so not sure where that came from. Bears have agood base–NFC North could become a powerhouse division again with lots of good competition. See ya next year

  7. roger rainey Says:

    You are all missing the coverup. He has a “sprained” MCL, not a torn one. He would only have been questionable for the next game. It still doesn’t sound like a serious enough injury to come out.

  8. DaveK Says:

    I think the media, players, and Bear fans jumped all over Cutler because they just don’t like the guy. He’s a first class douche and it’s pretty easy to throw a guy like that under the bus. I think in the end Cutler is somewhat vindicated per his injury but what is done is done. Is Cutler the type of guy to shrug off how fans have treated him? Is he willing to work on improving his demeanor and relationship with the fans and media? I doubt it and he probably becomes an even bigger jack-ass to fans and the media because he won’t forget how they tossed him under the bus at the drop of a hat.

    On another note, Urlacher had a great game yesterday and I have a lot of respect for him as a player and a person. But, he sure seemed to be a step slower then he was a few years back. Jackson made him look silly on that dump pass. Rodgers really ran away from him on a scramble and he hardly seemed nimble on that int return. He’s still a smart player and leader but you have to wonder if his ability starts really falling off considering he is playing MLB in a tampa 2 defense.

  9. awhayes Says:

    Bill – Cutler wouldn’t have been so “lonely” as HE stated, if he were more actively involved in coaching up Hanie and helping out. I know there was one shot when they flashed to the sidelines and Cutler was talking something over with Hanie and co – that was great. But the cameras, which were on him often, showed pretty clearly that he didn’t leave the bench and spent most of his time there alone. All I was saying is that as the starting QB who went down with an injury, he should have stood next to the coaches (on crutches if necessary), and yes, had a headset on in order to contribute thoughts to the discussion of the coaches. When Rodgers was out at New England, that’s exactly what he did – he was wired in with the coaching staff in an effort to help Flynn out.

  10. Dave in Tucson Says:

    –With regard to “helping out” after getting pulled: Cutler seems to have some real socialization issues. FOX had pre-game segment that showed him on the sideline. A coach (QB maybe? Not Smith or Martz) started talking to him, and he got up and walked away, pretty much dismissing him.

    –With regard to his injury: I wonder if he was hurt for the Seahawks game, too. He was just one catch over a 50% completion rate, and (as I recall) most of the 274 passing yards he’s credited with came after the catch.

    If Cutler was hurt going into the playoffs, it’s not surprising he didn’t do well against a quality defense. It’s also not much of a surpise that Cutler didn’t finish the game. What is a surprise is that Lovie Smith didn’t pull Cutler until an injury forced him to.

    D∈T

    • Bill Says:

      Cutler’s passers rating against the Seahawks was 111. Ever since Rodgers has posted those obscene comp %’s, you guys seem obsessed with that stat as if it is the only passing stat that matters. I haven’t looked at the stats lately, and unfortunately, it is difficult to find this stat, but the most important stat for a QB is yards per passing attempt.

      • Nick Says:

        No – the most important stat is win percentage. His (36-34) is not very good.

        He’s a loser. On and off the field.

      • Nick Says:

        Sorry – it’s actually 36-35. Worse than i had stated.

      • Lumpy Gravy Says:

        I’ve actually heard this same sentiment from multiple sources – for reasons I’m not equipped to explain, yards/attempt is considered a pretty good metric for measuring quarterback efficiency/effectiveness.

        According to pro-football-reference.com (great website):

        Career average (rank among active players)

        Yards/Attempt
        Rodgers: 7.9 (4)
        Cutler: 7.2 (9)

        Net Yards/Attempt (defined as (pass yards – sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks))
        Rodgers: 6.87 (5)
        Cutler: 6.44 (9)

        Adjusted Yards/Attempt (defined as (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown))/(passing attempts))
        Rodgers: 7.04 (3)
        Cutler: 5.81 (15)

      • Dave in Tucson Says:

        Yeah, completion rate isn’t everything. But it is important. The Bears had exactly two wins this year when they completed less than 52% of their passes: the Seahawks in the playoffs, and the Panthers in week 5.

        Link:

        http://pfref.com/tiny/KEoqR

  11. Lumpy Gravy Says:

    I recall hearing on ESPN radio later that evening (I think while the host was talking with John Clayton) that a possible reason Hanie was third on the depth chart (rather than second) is because Martz apparently was one of the main reasons for Collins’ being signed early in the season. I’d assume that if he touted Collins initially, it would belie his stubborn nature to place an unknown (Hanie) ahead of the guy he brought in as a backup.

  12. Bill Says:

    Martz is an idiot

  13. Bill Says:

    How do you call an end around, with your slowest WR (Bennet) against a fast, aggressive defense, when you are 3rd and 4 and the season on the line? The Bears could have handed the ball to Forte, twice, and the odds are that they would have picked up the first down. If they didn’t get the first down, then at least they would have danced with who brought them there.

    Like I said, Martz is an idiot. If I were a Packer fan, I would be praying that Martz is back as the Bears OC next year.

  14. Bill Says:

    Passer Ratings for NFC Championship Game:

    Hanie – 65.2
    Rodgers – 55.4
    Cutler – 31.8 on a bad knee and an idiot OC failing to call the RB’s number

    • Nick Says:

      Wel Rodgers certainly didn’t have his best game, and Hanie played very well given the circumstances – but the Packers d stepped up bigger than the bears d. That was the difference.

    • 400metres Says:

      Srsly? You’re clinging to that stat for validation?

      Not that I give a shit because the Packers won and that’s the only stat that counts, but I’m sure if that funky INT that bounced off Driver’s hands/foot right into the hands of a hard-charging Lance Briggs hadn’t occurred, Rodgers’ qb rating would be higher than Hanie. I mean, you can’t seriously put that pick on Rodgers considering how completely goofy it was?

  15. CindyV Says:

    My sister and I texted each other before Cutler was taken out of the game that we thought he had given up. He looked dejected as he left the field when the punting unit came out. After the game, we talked about how we didn’t see Cutler helping out Hanie. He wasn’t cheering on the defense or even showed some excitement when Hanie did throw a TD pass.

    Perhaps us Packer fans are a bit spoiled. Brett Favre played through all kinds of injuries when he was with our team. You practically had to carry him off because he wasn’t pulling himself from a game. And even after Favre left the Packers. He played injured for the Jets and the Vikings. He played on a broken ankle this year for cyring out loud. And just look at his leg and ankle after the NFC championship game last year! This is the biggest game of the seaon so far and I just didn’t see ANY kind of passion or excitement from Jay.

    P.S. I hear Angelo say on the radio today that the Bears will be extending Lovie’s contract. Thank you.

  16. Katie Says:

    I don’t think this discussion would even be happening if it had been another player. In fact, it hasn’t been an issue in other similar situations. Cutler has built a reputation in the league, and it’s not a good one. So it should be no surprise that several current and former players jumped all over him for not coming back in. Was it unfair? probably, but he reaped what he sowed.

    Nobody would have questioned it if it had been Peyton Manning.

    • Bill Says:

      It is no secret that Cutler’s rep is that he is “aloof”. From what I’ve read in interviews of people close to him, he is actually very shy and that shyness is confused with being “aloof”. Once he is comfortable with a person, or a group of people, it is said that they love him and he opens up quite a bit.

      I can relate to this type of personality. I can be very shy in public and with a group of people that I don’t know, but am highly rated for my leadership skills by senior managers in my company.

    • PackerBelle Says:

      There is a video on NFL.com with people talking about this issue and I thought Deion Sanders made a good point. Cutler’s perception in the media probably played a part but so did the fact that we didn’t really see him get injured or see any significant visual evidence of an injury. Typically when a player, but especially a QB, gets injured enough to not be able to play it is obvious that something happened. Had Cutler come out after a hit like the one Peppers put on Rodgers, or after a pile up where you could see his knee get twisted I think the response might have been different.

  17. Daybreak Doppler: It’s Finally Sunk In | PocketDoppler.com Says:

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  18. Joe Says:

    I think Culter is getting a bad rap on this. The guy should be getting props for trying to play in the second half.

    That said, I am experiencing a bit of Schadenfreude watching many of the Bear’s fans trash their QB as a wimp, when, factoring the number of hits he took this year, he is really a pretty tough SOB.

  19. Ron LC Says:

    Cutler is the Bear’s problem. On to the Super Bowl. Let the Bears age yet another year and see what happens.

  20. Nick Says:

    Had a mini blow up on the team picture issue. REad here:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth

    Hopefully this doesnt come back at all. Looks like Barnett and Finley were not very happy (which I understand). Probably more of a clerical thing than anything, but glad to see all the guys that contributed in that picture.

  21. DaveK Says:

    All this talk about Cutler giving up or not giving up. Is he aloof or just shy. Is he a complete jerk or just bad at the PR game. Yada yada yada. On and on about his intangibles (or lack of them) and it masks the fact that Cutler, the franchise QB of the Chicago Bears, simply played terrible in the biggest game of his career. He was 6 for 14. His footwork was sloppy. He wasn’t accurate. He missed 3 or 4 throws a good QB just has to make. He threw a terrible INT before half. The offense did nothing that didn’t involve Matt Forte. Cutler was terrible and it had nothing to do with his shyness or demeanor or leadership ability. I watched him in Denver and now two years in Chicago and Cutler will tease you with good throws and a strong arm but he’ll never be a guy that can lift up a team or carry a team when needed. Josh McDaniels knew it. Chicago fans are starting to realize it.

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