Cutler critics need to formulate blame more accurately

September 20th, 2012 - 4:06 pm

I just wanted to take this opportunity to make an attempt to clear up some confusion that seems to be circulating among the media and select fans about Jay Cutler. For whatever reason, those who are most critical of the quarterback are incorrectly blaming Cutler for pointing the finger at his teammates — namely J’Marcus Webb — and “calling them out” in public.

I think what is going on here is that the critics are trying to connect the dots by saying that Cutler was metaphorically hanging Webb out to dry by confronting him on the sideline during the Packers game.

That is simply not true.

In front of the microphones, has Cutler ever criticized his offensive line? The closest comments you can pin on Cutler in that regard came during this past summer when he was asked if he felt the offensive line was still a concern.

Cutler responded that the line was “definitely going to be a concern.” When the media tried to drum up controversy with those comments, Cutler later clarified what he meant by saying:

“You always want to be pro-Bears and compliment your teammates and stuff but … over a three-year career here (the offensive line is) definitely at the forefront of my mind every year. Until we get those front five hammered down, we’re still kind of up in the air offensively — even though we’ve got some really, really talented guys on the outside.”

Cutler went on further:

“I talked to [center Roberto] Garza about it and asked if anyone was offended. He said no. He agreed with me. [I] didn’t throw anyone under the bus, didn’t name anybody specifically and say that they are a weak link. I just said until we get that front five we’ll see what happens.”

Seems perfectly logical, doesn’t it? If you don’t agree with what Cutler said, then you must not agree with what offensive coordinator Mike Tice said this week.

When asked what the Bears need to do better moving forward, Tice chuckled and said: “We need to block. Block. Block people. We can’t do anything unless we block people.”

Tice wasn’t calling out his linemen. He was stating a simple fact, just as Cutler did over the summer.

In fact, listen to Cutler’s addresses to the media and he uses the word “we” when talking about needing to get better. Said Cutler, after the Packers loss: “We need to be to better, I need to be better, and we will be on Sunday vs. the St. Louis Rams.”

If critics want to blame Cutler for throwing four interceptions, some of which were horrible decisions, that’s fair game.

If critics want to blame Cutler for nudging Webb on the sideline, breaking what is supposedly an unwritten rule by making contact with a teammate, that’s fair game, too.

But for those who continue to incorrectly identify Cutler as a bad teammate for pointing the finger instead of the thumb, they are simply wrong for doing so and they need to rethink what exactly they’re criticizing him for.

After all, Cutler had every right to be angry with — and confront — Webb for allowing defenders to abuse him for the past couple seasons. He just could have comported himself better.