One thing about the Bears quarterback became all the more clear in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, if it hadn’t already since the 2010 playoffs: Jay Cutler’s toughness is undeniable.
He might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but he’s one of the toughest nails.
With the game tied 13-13 in the fourth quarter, Cutler orchestrated a brilliant drive that started on the Bears’ 26-yard-line. He led the team 74 yards down the field, chewing up 8:34 off the game clock. On second and goal from the 4-yard-line, Cutler dropped back to pass and found nothing but shoddy Soldier Field turf on the entire right side of the field, so he tucked the ball away and took off running for the end zone. Rather than try to outrun the defenders to the pylon, he turned upfield, lowered his shoulder, and blasted through Vikings safety Harrison Smith for the go-ahead touchdown.
Smith, for those who are not intimately involved with the details of the Minnesota Vikings, is nicknamed “Harry the Hitman” … apparently because he delivers hits. Or, maybe he just gets hit by opposing quarterbacks a lot. I dunno.
Here’s where the not-so-bright twist comes in: Cutler led with his throwing shoulder when initiating contact with Smith.
I’m all about toughness in football, but I also believe in making smart choices. If Cutler shows no ill effects from that hit, we can all take a deep breath. But next time, I’d like to see if he can get as much as he can running toward the corner of the end zone.
Still, this is one more instance of Cutler proving his toughness to the naysayers. I wonder what Maurice Jones-Drew, the out-of-shape, retired Jacksonville Jaguars running back was thinking on Sunday. Probably pontificating from his La-Z-Boy, cell phone in hand, Twitter app open, and scarfing down potato chips.