Jay Cutler: If you want a QB that doesn’t care, get someone else
BY RICK MORRISSEY email@example.com September 13, 2012 11:12PM
Jay Cutler made no apologies for his behavior during the Bears’ loss to the Packers — and he shouldn’t have to. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images
Updated: November 13, 2012 1:15AM
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Did somebody say something about offense? A new, improved, unstoppable, quite possibly otherworldly Bears offense?
I believe we all did after the Bears dropped 41 points Sunday on the overwhelmed Colts. We said a lot of things we thought we meant in the moment, like people do in the blush of a new relationship. But then Thursday rolled around against the Packers and, yeah, well, about that Bears offense.
It’s not quite all that you, I and Jay Cutler made it out to be.
The Bears need blocking. They need an offensive line, in the exact way the Bears have needed an offensive line for about 10 years. They don’t need bad penalties and wretched interceptions. There will be games this season in which they’ll get away with some of that. This wasn’t one of them, not even close.
Cutler threw four interceptions and was sacked seven times in a 23-10 loss to the Packers, and it was every bit as bad as those numbers suggest.
There’s a good chance an apoplectic Cutler burst blood vessels in his eyes. In the second quarter, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews blew past Bears left statue J’Marcus Webb and took down Cutler like a rodeo calf. Cutler got up and screamed bloody murder at Webb.
Forget about Cutler’s bad body language issues of last season. That was nothing. The Bears had a crazed quarterback on their hands. He lurched between snapping at teammates and spraying poorly thrown passes all over the field.
“I care about this,’’ Cutler said afterward. “This isn’t just a hobby. I’m not doing this for my health. I’m trying to win football games. I’m trying to get first downs. When we’re not doing the little things, when we’re not doing things the right way consistently, I’m going to say something. If they want a quarterback that doesn’t care, they can go get somebody else.’’
What a sudden, distressing loss of cabin pressure this was from the victory in the opener. After one quarter, Cutler was 1-for-3 for minus-2 yards. As a team, the Bears had zero yards of total offense. That’s hard to do. By the time it was over, Cutler had a passer rating of 28.2. Also hard to do.
You see where I’m going with this: nowhere, just like Mike Tice’s offense.
The Bears had a chance to score on their first drive of the second half, but Brandon Marshall dropped a perfectly catchable ball in the end zone. He was a rumor against the Packers and not even a particularly reliable one. He might have been in Kenosha, for all anyone knew.
The Bears didn’t score a touchdown until tight end Kellen Davis hauled in a Cutler pass with 6:49 left.
Bears right statue Gabe Carimi had a rough night in front of fans who liked him at the University of Wisconsin and positively loved him inside Lambeau Field.
“The protection isn’t what it needs to be,’’ coach Lovie Smith understated.
The one nice play of the first half — a throw over the middle to Matt Forte for 22 yards — was followed two plays later by a bad Cutler interception. He threw off his back foot, a habit he was supposed to have broken.
In six games against the Packers going into Thursday, Cutler had thrown seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions and was sacked 19 times. That’s called “having a history.’’ This was history repeating itself.
It was as bad a game as the Bears have had with Cutler as their quarterback, though I’m sure I’ve purged some memories just out of self-preservation.
You’re not going to beat a team that was 15-1 last season just because you’ve decided you’re better. You need to prove it on the field, especially in the trenches if your success is predicated on a high-flying offense.
Cutler had said “good luck’’ at a news conference this week when the topic turned to the Packers’ habit of pressing receivers man-to-man. Cutler liked his odds with the 6-4 Marshall and the 6-3 Alshon Jeffery.
The Packers travel to Soldier Field for a rematch Dec. 16. After what we saw Thursday, there’s only one thing you can say to the Bears.