Morrissey: D.J. Moore’s silencing is latest move catering to Jay Cutler
BY RICK MORRISSEY firstname.lastname@example.org September 19, 2012 9:32PM
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler seems to lack self-awareness. Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:59PM
The only person in the Bears organization who isn’t enabling Jay Cutler these days recently received a phone call from coach Lovie Smith. The message was simple: You might want to consider knocking off the criticism.
Consider it done.
“He wasn’t happy at all,’’ defensive back D.J. Moore said Wednesday. “He said, ‘Don’t say it in this setting’ or ‘Don’t say it here’ or ‘Don’t say it there.’ He was just telling me the right way to do stuff.’’
Ah, just another day in Bearadise.
It has been a week since Cutler shoulder-bumped J’Marcus Webb after verbally tearing into the left tackle during the Bears’ dreadful loss to the Packers. That was the same loss in which Cutler threw four interceptions and somehow didn’t get shoulder-bumped himself.
Inside the protective moat the Bears bring with them wherever they go, the quarterback has perfect throwing form, perfect decision-making skills and probably perfect skin. Smith treats him like that other sinless J.C. Cutler hardly has taken responsibility for his poor performance and behavior in Green Bay.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who we’re told has a telepathic connection with the QB, says Cutler needs to be fiery to be effective. Then again, neither of them has to pick up the charred remains of abused teammates.
So it was left to Moore, a nickel back, to call out Cutler for his treatment of Webb. Sometimes things need to be said.
“I don’t think you can act like that,’’ Moore said Monday. “To make it seem like it’s just [Webb’s] fault, I think it’s just wrong. I would feel some kind of way if he was to do me like that, to make it seem like, ‘Well, the reason I’m having a bad game is because of what you’re doing and not about me taking accountability for myself because I’m throwing these type of passes and doing these type of reads.’ It’s a tough situation.’’
What galls many people is Cutler’s apparent lack of self-awareness. If it’s not too indelicate, the consensus seems to be that the quarterback doesn’t think his poop stinks.
If you listened carefully to what Cutler said on his radio show Tuesday, you didn’t hear him apologize for much. Not for his treatment of Webb. Not for the way he played.
At his Wednesday news conference, Cutler came a little closer to taking responsibility for his awful game. About an inch closer.
“It’s a group effort,’’ he said. “It’s on me, it’s on everybody.’’
It would have gone a long way with teammates and Bears fans had Cutler taken advantage of any of the various opportunities he has had since the game and said, “I stunk up the field.’’
If you argue that it’s not a backup’s place to speak out, know that this is the Bears reaping what they sow. When the locker room is open to the media during the week, it often looks like a ghost town. The organization does not encourage their players to be available to the media or to be accountable. There aren’t many starters in the locker room when the media are around. You might see a starter or two, a few backups, the kicker and the punter. Reporters sigh, take out their notebooks, tape recorders and microphones, and descend.
Smith has always been very good about sticking up for his stars. Smart career move. Criticizing the star quarterback probably isn’t the smartest career move by a nickel back. If Moore isn’t in a Bears’ uniform next season, it will be reasonable to ask if his comments about Cutler played a role.
A parent or a coach usually nips a player’s bad behavior by the time the kid is 12. That apparently never happened with Cutler, and it’s too bad. What’s worse, the Bears are unwilling to address it now.
It took a backup to do it.
“I was just being myself, really, but I probably shouldn’t have because it’s really been blown out of proportion,’’ Moore said. “It was just one incident of somebody doing something, and I pretty much stated my opinion. I’ve got to realize that if I say something, (the media are) going to make it seem like everybody feels that way and they’re going to make it seem like the locker room’s split. That’s not the truth.’’
Sounds like Smith got to him. Too bad. If you have an opinion at Halas Hall, there can be consequences.
“You’re going to have to talk to the big dog,’’ Moore said.