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Lovie Smith: “Our quarterback is a tough guy”

Lovie Smith

Bears coach Lovie Smith said at his press conference today that quarterback Jay Cutler has an MCL sprain, and he lashed out at NFL players who took to Twitter to question Cutler’s toughness.

“I haven’t seen it before,” Smith said of the kind of criticism Cutler has gotten from around the NFL. “It seems like if you’re in that fraternity you’d be stepping up for your fellow man. Especially when you don’t know. You don’t know what’s going on. As far as Jay, Jay didn’t take himself out of the game. If you’re going to be attacking somebody, attack me, as a head football coach — and our medical staff — we’re the ones. He wanted to go back in. He was injured and went back in in the second half. So I see it as the complete opposite.”

Smith told the reporters present that he was surprised there was so much scrutiny on Cutler.

“For most of you it seems like the storyline has been about whether our quarterback is a tough guy,” Smith said. “Our quarterback is a tough guy. He wanted to win the game as much as anyone. It’s pretty simple what happened yesterday. Before the half Jay hurt his knee, showed a lot of toughness to continue to play with it. Right before the half, when we threw the pick, the medical staff — we all — made the decision that he couldn’t go. We took him in to try to work on him, which we did. But Jay, you know, we got the treatment there at halftime, we weren’t sure if he would be able to go. He wanted to go and tried to go the second half as he went back in that first series. You never want a player to be out on the football field if he can’t protect himself and can’t perform his duties. That’s what happened.

“For guys to take a shot that weren’t there, to try to look at his body language and figure out whether he was hurt because he was on the sideline, or, ‘What I would do in that situation,’ you don’t know what you would do in that situation. The guys that know what he was going through were the guys on our sideline. And you go to our players and see exactly what went on. I have no questions about any of that for our football team.”

Asked what would lead other NFL players to question Cutler, Smith said he wasn’t sure.

“I have no idea,” Smith said. “You’d have to talk to them about that.”

And Smith said he has nothing but confidence in Cutler heading into 2011.

“He’s our quarterback,” Smith said. “He’s done a lot of great things for us. I can’t wait for our future together with him leading our team.”

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26 Responses to “Lovie Smith: “Our quarterback is a tough guy””
  1. krow101 says: Jan 24, 2011 2:27 PM

    I thought Cutler was their quarterback?

  2. comeonnowguys says: Jan 24, 2011 2:28 PM

    Sprain = Partial tear, but not a complete rupture.

  3. Gary says: Jan 24, 2011 2:32 PM

    This is somewhat reminiscent of what happened to JR Richard.

  4. xstaticonradio says: Jan 24, 2011 2:32 PM

    That’s my quarterback, man. My quarterback.

  5. jc1958coo says: Jan 24, 2011 2:33 PM

    tough but not mentally, which is what you need in the NFL.

  6. billyrocket says: Jan 24, 2011 2:36 PM

    When you have to tell everyone that your QB is a tough guy, he usually isn’t a tough guy.

  7. clayjayhawk says: Jan 24, 2011 2:38 PM

    We know he’s tough. He got his a$$ whipped all through college ball and still showed up every saturday. The problem is he didn’t win very many games, and that’s because he gave up everytime VANDY got down by more than 14 pts. So nothing has changed other than the fact that he gets paid millions to quit now. Besides it started out this morning as a tear now Lovie is calling it a sprain. Next we will see him on TMZ dancing at Chicago’s finest gay club

  8. dirksimmons says: Jan 24, 2011 2:39 PM

    @comeonnowguys

    You mean his leg was still attached and he didn’t play!?

  9. eljefe9 says: Jan 24, 2011 2:42 PM

    might not be able to criticize his “toughness” but you absolutely can question his heart. didn’t look like he wanted back in, and he completely disengaged from the game. didn’t help his backups or the offense one bit and looked a bit bored to be honest.

    unfortunately for the bears this is going to be more difficult to rebound from than a sprain.

  10. seanmmartin says: Jan 24, 2011 2:44 PM

    Do the Bears draft a quarterback in April? Thumbs up for yes, down for no.

  11. huskerguy says: Jan 24, 2011 2:47 PM

    Cover up. Lovie was sick of him playing like crap and a sprain was the best way to pull him without killing his ego and ticking the fans off. This was his get out of jail free card “we lost our starting QB”.

    Just my opinion… just like many others on here. Not saying he did the wrong thing, may have helped both of them.

  12. comeonnowguys says: Jan 24, 2011 2:56 PM

    @dirksimmons

    I was just trying to get ahead of the “OMG IT’S NOT A TEAR? WUS!” crowd.

  13. CKL says: Jan 24, 2011 3:01 PM

    Someone else on one of these myriad of Cutler topics mentioned that he may not be able to take a cortisone shot due to his diabetes. I thought that was a mighty interesting point. I checked that out and that looks to be true…it’s risky because it could mess up his blood sugar. If he didn’t even have the option of taking a shot of something that could have allowed him to play, it’s even harder to criticize his not coming back in isn’t it?
    Again… I don’t like the guy but let’s not blame him for things he can’t help.

  14. xtb3 says: Jan 24, 2011 3:13 PM

    fact that they are even responding let alone defending him clearly shows you they know the criticism of cutler is quite valid.

    if someone said cutler purposely played bad – would any bear even knock such comments? of course not BUT they know cutler quit like favre etc. never would on his team.

  15. coachglove says: Jan 24, 2011 3:27 PM

    @clayjayhawk

    A sprain is a tear.

    @CKL

    a cortisone shot would do little good for an MCL tear. This issue with ACL/MCL/PCL tears isn’t the pain or swelling…it’s the risk that further damage will cause significant long-term injury to the knee. When you tear a ligament you lose stability in the knee and it is ever easier for that lack of stability to be parlayed into tearing other ligaments, the meniscus, or even snapping the leg in 2. Many ligament injuries feel like pins and needles, but when you try and plant on the leg, it just gives out.

    @haters…I would imagine many of the folks being critical have never played or coached above the HS level and therefore, have not had to deal with this type of situation. It is completely unacceptable for other NFL players and even former players to be leveling criticism here. The HC and medical staff take you out of the game, there isn’t much you can do about it honestly unless you want to create a mutiny. You don’t play with an MCL injury that has been diagnosed on the sideline or locker room. That means the medical staff can feel the instability in your knee. You can’t plan, run, or do any of the other things you simply must do when playing QB.

    Cutler is, by all appearances, a DB…but…that shouldn’t be confused with on-the-field toughness.

  16. philtration says: Jan 24, 2011 3:29 PM

    Listen to the tough guys sitting behind their keyboards.
    “I would have played and I don’t get paid a million dollars either!”

    The truth is that Jay Cutler or any other NFL player (including kickers) could choke your pudgy asses out faster than you can slur the words “law suite” as you slip into unconscious.
    You huff and puff if you have to carry a couple of bags of groceries up two flights of stairs and call in sick at the first sight of a snot bubble.
    You have to take a break from playing Madden because your wrist hurts.

    You would probably die if you took a hit that was half as hard as what these guys deal with.

  17. philtration says: Jan 24, 2011 3:33 PM

    billyrocket says: Jan 24, 2011 2:36 PM

    When you have to tell everyone that your QB is a tough guy, he usually isn’t a tough guy.
    =====================================

    No… it is more like when you have to rip a total stranger for not being tough enough it usually means that you are a complete puss yourself.

    You know exactly what I mean don’t you?

  18. laxer37 says: Jan 24, 2011 3:41 PM

    Not a Cutler fan, but saying that the guy quit just becuse he couldn’t play through the pain is shortsided thinking.

    If you’ve had knee ligament damage you know that the pain can be dealt with but the lack of overall stability cannot.

    It’s pretty likely that the lack of stability was preventing him from planting and pivoting even though the pain was not that severe.

  19. doe22us says: Jan 24, 2011 4:01 PM

    xtb3 says:
    Jan 24, 2011 3:13 PM
    fact that they are even responding let alone defending him clearly shows you they know the criticism of cutler is quite valid

    Its official we have way to many “smart” people in this country… Genius what do you expect his coaching staff to do, sit down and twiddle their thumbs?????

  20. stairwayto7 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:06 PM

    The 3rd stringer is pretty tough!

  21. sergisbauer says: Jan 24, 2011 4:06 PM

    The truth about whether or not Cutler is tough, should have kept playing, was or was not engaged in the game, etc. is not as significant as the fact that these are the points of discussion.

    As Collins learned in college, perception is (in a sense) reality, and now that this has happened there will be a significant number of people– including many within the Bears fan base– who will now be looking for the slightest pretense next season to prove Cutler’s lack of toughness. It very much has the potential to become a monkey on his (and/or Lovie Smith’s) back, and could lead to bad things, from his trying to prove how tough he is to a full blown QB controversy in Chicago.

    The answer is not as important as the fact that the question was asked.

  22. cytofed says: Jan 24, 2011 4:22 PM

    The only person that I can recall in recent memories that can question Jay toughness is Phillip rivers. Everyone else can just shut it! Why aren’t they talking about Mark sanchised picking his nose on the side instead of going over plays and game plan. Maybe if sanchised was going over play on the side line instead of pick boogers the jets would have had a chance.

  23. 4dabears says: Jan 24, 2011 4:35 PM

    Let’s not forget this is the same guy that repeated this mantra: ‘Rex is our quarterback’.

  24. fordman84 says: Jan 24, 2011 4:38 PM

    philtration says: Jan 24, 2011 3:29 PM

    Listen to the tough guys sitting behind their keyboards.
    “I would have played and I don’t get paid a million dollars either!”

    The truth is that Jay Cutler or any other NFL player (including kickers) could choke your pudgy asses out faster than you can slur the words “law suite” as you slip into unconscious.

    ——————-

    Pretty good chance most would never think to EVER say “law suite”. Law suit perhaps, but I think “law suite” would be one of the last things to come to my mind, at least, when getting “choked out”.

  25. richm2256 says: Jan 24, 2011 10:38 PM

    Funny, Cutler himself said it was the DOCTOR who took him out, not Lovie Smith.

    And regardless, why is it that the Bears didn’t SAY that Cutler was sat down by Smith or the doctors?

    Because that’s not what happened, that’s why. This is now all about covering Jay Cutler’s butt from all the criticism from other NFL players, media, etc.

    And all this attention misses the point that in one half of a Championship Game, Jay Cutler’s offense scored ZERO points.

    He SUCKED. Plain and simple.

  26. CKL says: Jan 25, 2011 12:30 PM

    coachglove says: Jan 24, 2011 3:27 PM

    @clayjayhawk

    A sprain is a tear.

    @CKL

    a cortisone shot would do little good for an MCL tear. This issue with ACL/MCL/PCL tears isn’t the pain or swelling…it’s the risk that further damage will cause significant long-term injury to the knee. When you tear a ligament you lose stability in the knee and it is ever easier for that lack of stability to be parlayed into tearing other ligaments, the meniscus, or even snapping the leg in 2. Many ligament injuries feel like pins and needles, but when you try and plant on the leg, it just gives out.
    _______________________________
    On the off chance you come back here, thanks for the response. Sounds like even if he had taken a pain killer rather than cortisone which wouldn’t have helped in that case anyway, it wouldn’t have mattered either way.
    One thing that was too funny was that Sanders ragging on Cutler about not playing with a “sprain” when he played with a “tear” made me laugh as well coachglove, I was yelling at my tv that a sprain IS a tear. So I had one part right. :) Also..Deion is a clown.

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