Opinion: Bears QB Cutler Plenty Tough
Still think Jay Cutler's not tough? If so, there's no chance you watched Sunday night's game in Pittsburgh in which the Bears moved to 3-0 on the season with a 40-23 decision over the turnover prone Steelers. One of the big plays came in the fourth quarter, and it featured Cutler delivering a hit. With the game still up for grabs, Cutler scrambled on a third and 10 play for a 13-yard pick up and a huge Chicago first down. The play ended with a pulverizing hit and it was Cutler who came out on top.
Instead of going into the customary NFL quarterback slide, the Bears signal caller finished the play by lowering his shoulder and basically obliterating Pittsburgh safety Robert Golden. It was nearly Walter Payton-esque. I'm sure Earl Campbell smiled if he was watching. The ball carrier was the aggressor. But it wasn't a bruising running back. It was a quarterback. A position not known for the rough and tumble nowadays.
The play propelled the Bears to more points and things went Chicago's way for the rest of the night.
As soon as Cutler demolished Golden, I couldn't help but think of the NFC Championship game after the 2010 season and all the unwarranted criticism that came Cutler's way following it. That was the game Cutler left due to injury and Green Bay went on to eliminate the Bears on their way to a Super Bowl title.
For some reason, Cutler was crucified for getting hurt. It was garbage. Pure trash. The man was injured during the ball game. It was determined that he would not return. Based on the reaction, you would've thought this was something new in pro sports. Guys get hurt all the time and do not come back in a particular game. Cutler’s early exit from the NFC Championship however, set off a firestorm.
The cowards immediately typed away. You know, the NFL players who were already eliminated and sitting at home watching the title tilt on the boob tube. They tweeted about Cutler. They said he let the Bears down, that he should have kept playing, that he quit. This is the type of behavior you expect from wimpy journalists who obviously would be crushed by Cutler if it came down to a physical altercation. Instead this slimy stuff came from fellow NFL players. Big, bulky men who figured they’d take a shot at the quarterback from their smart phones and computers. Why? Well, for some it’s to get their name in the paper and on ESPN. Many of the tweethearts weren’t exactly household names. The unfortunate and biggest reason they did this however, is that they truly believe Cutler didn’t "man up" or whatever dumb term you want to give it. Interesting. A man who at the time had only missed one game due to injury and had been sacked more than anyone over two seasons, was suddenly having his toughness questioned.
Here’s the most disturbing part. NFL players are notoriously loyal to their union and its members. But Cutler was slammed because they think they know how hurt the man is. What a bunch of hypocrites. By the way, if this same situation unfolded and Vick was the player in question, we wouldn’t have heard a thing. Except of course the same sickening show of support for him from his peers.
Another reason Cutler was bashed is simply his position. If Brian Urlacher or Lance Briggs left that same game, no one would blink an eye. It would be chalked up as an unfortunate loss for the Bears at the worst time possible. Quarterbacks are always under the microscope. Too much praise when teams win and too much credit when teams lose. Yet, that misconception that QB-1 is always the most important position on the field is still there. Sometimes it is the top reason a team succeeds. Still for every Montana or Aikman or Elway that has won it all, we also have our McMahons and Rypiens and Dilfers and Johnsons etc. So long story short, stop and think before you fly off the handle about a situation you don’t even really know about. That goes for milquetoast journalists and muscle bound athletes alike.
I hope some of the whiners from three seasons ago saw the Cutler hit Sunday night. Maybe they finally realize how wrong they were about him. If so, I doubt any of them tweeted about it.