Superstar Bears defense doesn’t concern itself with Cutler
By JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org October 2, 2012 10:10PM
Brian Urlacher (right) said if there was a mutiny against Jay Cutler in the Bears locker room, then someone forgot to tell him. | AP
Updated: November 4, 2012 6:23AM
Jay Cutler is not your friend.
All you need from him is to win football games on Sundays.
No explanations, no choirboy behavior, no cute, smiley interviews for the media.
As soon as everyone can embrace that reality, then maybe Tim Jennings will get his wish.
“Sweep it under the rug,’’ Tim Jennings said, when asked about the latest Jay Moment.
“What did he do now?’’ was actually Jennings’ initial reply.
When told that the sideline cameras caught the franchise quarterback playing musical chairs with Mike Tice when the offensive coordinator tried sitting down and talking to him during Monday night’s win over Dallas, Jennings shook his head.
Non-factor in Jennings’ mind. Not a distraction. At least for now.
If it gets to the point where the defense does feel that “As the Jay Turns’’ soap opera does take away from what is being accomplished on its side of the ball, then there might be some bad feelings.
That boiling point hasn’t been reached.
“I don’t know what’s going on with Jay or that situation, but that’s something we don’t worry about,’’ Jennings said. “We can’t control it. We control what we do, and we feel like if we can get the ball back to our offense as often as possible and score some points, everyone will forget about it. I hope you guys do what we do with all that Jay stuff — blow it up under the rug just like we do with it. Distraction? No. Under the rug.’’
That’s because this defense knows that while Cutler carries the franchise quarterback title, he has not been the star of the team. The 3-1 record has little to do with Cutler, and everything to do with the 11 guys on the field while Cutler is shoulder bumping his linemen or walking away from his OC.
A league-high 14 turnovers through the first four games, as well as 15 sacks and three defensive touchdowns is Exhibit A, B and C in making that case.
“D-line, corners, safety, linebackers — all playing good,’’ cornerback Charles Tillman said. “That’s why when people ask me about this team, I keep saying the star of this defense is our defense.’’
When Brian Urlacher declared this was the best defensive unit he’s played on in his 13 season, maybe he wasn’t exaggerating.
“Yeah, I agree,’’ Tillman said of Urlacher’s assessment. “We have a lot of talented players, great coaching, and we’re humble.’’
Cutler is not humble. At least that’s how he comes across at times. If he was a teacher or a babysitter, that might be a problem. He’s an NFL quarterback, and like him or not, after he dissed Tice, all he did was go 11 for 12 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Cutler downplayed the situation on his weekly radio show on Tuesday, saying that all was fine.
“They take a 10-second clip and blow it out of proportion,” Cutler said. “It’s unfortunate these things get so much attention. It happens on a weekly basis with teams and players. ... I don’t want to talk about it. .... If I yell on the sidelines, I get killed. If I don’t say anything, I get killed. If I walk away, I get killed. It’s a no-win situation.’’
It might be.
But as long as the Bears win it’s also a non-issue.
“We have something special going on here,’’ Jennings added. “No time for that other stuff. I’ve only been in Chicago a few years, but I know this is the best defense I’ve ever played on.
“How would I beat us? Try all of it and see if it works, how about that? There’s really no weakness on this defense.
“If you’re a smart quarterback, just take what we give you and this defense will make you pay for it in the long run.’’
And Jennings wasn’t about to put that bold statement under any rug.