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Lovie Smith defends Jay Cutler as a leader, a tough guy

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A month after Jay Cutler endured a barrage of criticism for sitting out the second half of the NFC Championship Game, Bears coach Lovie Smith is still adamant in his support of Cutler as the leader of the team.

Most recently, it came in a question-and-answer session on the team’s web site, where Smith was asked by a fan what kind of leader Cutler is.

“I think he’s been a great leader,” Smith answered. “First off, guys always watch you—in the classroom, on the practice field and of course your play on game day. And they like what they’ve seen from him in that sense. Jay is a tough guy, and the quarterback of the Chicago Bears should be a tough guy. The number of hits Jay took this past season, our guys saw that he constantly got up, didn’t complain, and took responsibility for what was happening with our offense. To me, that’s a leader.”

Smith went on to talk about how his team’s toughness was what impressed him most during the season.

“We kept going; fighting through adversity,” Smith said. “We lost a couple tough games at home. We had an opportunity to go one way or the other, and our guys just stood together. They were mentally tough and kept that belief in each other, and we went on a run.”

It’s just unfortunate for Smith that the run ended one game earlier than he hoped, with his leader watching from the sideline.

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41 Responses to “Lovie Smith defends Jay Cutler as a leader, a tough guy”
  1. getweird4u says: Feb 21, 2011 6:42 PM

    As if he has any choice you just traded away picks and a BETTER qb for this entitled lil muppet turd!

  2. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Feb 21, 2011 6:44 PM

    If Lovie Smith thinks Jay Cutler is a tough guy then he must think Justin Bieber is a rough badboy.

  3. stoutfiles says: Feb 21, 2011 6:48 PM

    So Lovie responds to a question about leadership with how tough he is? Is Cutler ever going to live that game down?

  4. garyman1 says: Feb 21, 2011 6:58 PM

    I think Cutler is tough…I’ll give him that.
    I just don’t think he’s a very good quarterback. He makes too many bone-head plays.

  5. raynman49 says: Feb 21, 2011 7:07 PM

    Of course he’s gonna say that, he’s stuck with him.Idon’t doubt his toughness, but his body language is like Eli Manning’s. If WE see that, I’m sure his teammates do too.

  6. skimbell says: Feb 21, 2011 7:10 PM

    ” Jay is a tough guy, and the quarterback of the Chicago Bears should be a tough guy.”

    I heard Score radio talking to the old Packer linebacker George Cumby during Superbowl week about this. Cumby said that everyone needed to lighten up on Cutler on this sitting out the second half of the NFCC game thing.
    George said that he watched the game film of the hit on Cutler, and Cumby said that the hit was so vicious that it knocked Cutlers tampon out!
    That’s a hit!

  7. contract says: Feb 21, 2011 7:13 PM

    “And they like what they’ve seen from him in that sense.”

    In that sense?

  8. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Feb 21, 2011 7:20 PM

    Hmmmm.
    I think Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler have a lil somthin somethin going on.

  9. hobartbaker says: Feb 21, 2011 7:52 PM

    But is he Orton tough?

  10. heyooooh says: Feb 21, 2011 7:52 PM

    As a Bears fan, I don’t doubt this guy is tough. I just don’t think he is going to be as good as we expected when they traded for him. He just makes too many dumb mistakes. You can’t always put that on the O-line & receivers.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  11. polegojim says: Feb 21, 2011 8:08 PM

    The more the Bears continue to defend him in the press, the more we believe all the criticism.

    Are they trying to convince us or themselves?

    Talk is cheap.

    Jay – let your on field actions prove that you are what they think you are.

  12. SmackSaw says: Feb 21, 2011 8:12 PM

    Cutler is the best QB the Bears have ever had (It ain’t saying much). The offense is built for the run. He hasn’t had decent pass protection. His receivers stink. After this labor b.s. is over, I hope Martz can persuade Angelo to get a decent receiver, like Brandon Marshall was in Denver. Plaxico and a coupla guards will help.

  13. dmobey says: Feb 21, 2011 8:20 PM

    Ever? Based on what?

    Seems like the “best QB the Bears have ever had” should play in Championship games.

    ********************************
    SmackSaw says:
    Feb 21, 2011 8:12 PM
    Cutler is the best QB the Bears have ever had (It ain’t saying much). The offense is built for the run. He hasn’t had decent pass protection. His receivers stink. After this labor b.s. is over, I hope Martz can persuade Angelo to get a decent receiver, like Brandon Marshall was in Denver. Plaxico and a coupla guards will help.

  14. getweird4u says: Feb 21, 2011 8:22 PM

    @smacksaw says hes the best qb the bears have ever had………………………………………………………………
    thats like sayin jay cutler is the best qb the bears ever had hahahahahahahahaha sadsadsad! there is always 85 for ya though.

  15. sowcrates says: Feb 21, 2011 8:28 PM

    In 2010, Cutler wasn’t making bone-headed plays 1/8 as often as he did in 2009.

    Look, the best way to force QBs into mistakes is to constantly have pass rushers in his face. Cutler was sacked more often per pass attempt than any QB who started more than 10 games in a year since Carr in Houston back in 2003.

    I don’t care if your name is Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Elway, etc etc. If any of those guys played QB in Chicago this year, they’d have taken at least 40 sacks and thrown at least 12 interceptions. Every QB will complete a lower %, throw for fewer yards, throw more interceptions and make inaccurate throws with weaker pass protection as opposed to stronger.

    52 sacks, 423 pass attempts. It speaks for itself.

  16. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Feb 21, 2011 8:36 PM

    LMAO!
    The Chicago homers are out in force. If you don’t agree that Cutler the Pouter is tough. The Bears pouting fans will give you thumbs down.
    I don’t care!!! Give me thumbs down.!!!!
    Cutler is soft, is a pouting child, can’t read defenses, and will NEVER get the Bears to a Super Bowl.
    Now, boo hoo.

  17. philtration says: Feb 21, 2011 8:39 PM

    iknowfootballandyoudont says: Feb 21, 2011 7:20 PM

    Hmmmm.
    I think Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler have a lil somthin somethin going on.
    ====================================

    Must have been really hard for you to type that with just one hand.

  18. metalhead65 says: Feb 21, 2011 8:50 PM

    I love how he and the bears take all kinds of shots because the bears did not put the word out fast enough about his injury,but if they or his teammates say anything in his defense they are covering for him or putting up a front. if his teammates hated him as much as you people seem to think there is no way they would stand up for him like they have. yes he has had played poorly at times but you forget he had ron turner calling plays his first year in chicago and last year he and his teammates were learning a new offense and did not do to bad,they played good enough that they made it to the championship game where the cheeseheads squeaked by, and for all the hero worship of rodgers remember they did not score on offense after the first 2 drives.

  19. 3rdstringqb says: Feb 21, 2011 9:15 PM

    You guys that are still criticizing Cutler for missing the second half of the NFC Championship games are idiots. I’ve never seen such a big group of fans who apparently know so little about the game.

  20. tommytd says: Feb 21, 2011 9:43 PM

    Tough guy…maybe. Leader…no way! Ever notice how the great ones review pics on the bench when they throw an INT or mess up? Ever notice Cutler? He’s on the sidelines pouting. Fast start…he’s Mr. Wonderful. Bad start…he pouts and hangs his head. No way he would run my team…there’s a reason he was let go in Denver and we’re starting to see it.

  21. khmer379 says: Feb 21, 2011 9:55 PM

    He dont have heart people it not hard to figure out I know he have diabetes but still dont start the game n don’t finish unless ur paralysis or have a freak injury during the game he getting paid millions seriously suk it up

  22. ursushorribilis says: Feb 21, 2011 10:01 PM

    Context, context, you cretin detractors:

    1. Cutler took the team to the NFC Conference Championship game.
    2. Cutler had the WORST pass-blocking line in the league.
    3. Cutler was sacked 56 times and was concussed.
    4. Cutler, as anyone with an IQ over 60, would eventually be HURT (see no. 2 above).
    5. Cutler had below average receives: Often ran wrong routes, stopped short and NEVER outfought defenders for the ball (Knox is really a WUSSY).

    Cutler took all the blame. Never complained.

    Drop to your knees and ask for forgiveness, you CRETINS!

  23. ursushorribilis says: Feb 21, 2011 10:12 PM

    Context, context, you cretin detractors:

    1. Cutler took the team to the NFC Conference Championship game.
    2. Cutler had the WORST pass-blocking line in the league.
    3. Cutler was sacked 56 times and was concussed.
    4. Cutler, as anyone with an IQ over 60 can realize, would eventually be HURT (see no. 2 above).
    5. Cutler had below average receives: Often ran wrong routes, stopped short and NEVER outfought defenders for the ball (Knox is really a WUSSY).

    Cutler took all the blame. Never complained.
    Anyone not realizing the circumstances is a CRETIN!

  24. hammertoe11 says: Feb 21, 2011 10:43 PM

    lets give this Cutler fella another go at next year. if don’t improve as a QB. Then trade him to get a better QB. He is young fella so lets give one more chance. Yes he was not ready for prime time. This summer gives him time to figure out what he wants to do and how to act like a man he should be. Remember we put with FAVRE for the lat 2 yrs crying on my ankle or my back. So lets give this kid another try. If he blows then we can kicks his ass all we want to.

  25. imsmarterthanyou says: Feb 21, 2011 10:58 PM

    Looks like we’ve got a bunch of ESPN talking heads here spouting off generalizations based on a made up perception. Why doesn’t everyone accept what his coaches and teammates describe him as? I understand that’s much easier to take knocks at someone than it is to pat him on the back or even give him the benefit of the doubt…especially when mickey mouse has stamped him with the lazy, disinterested, aloof, soft, etc. tag.

    I just don’t understand why the “haters” can’t take a step back and look at the numbers. If you had football knowledge you would understand that Cutler actually performed remarkably last season. Facing more pressure than any QB in the league, and with a WR core that should bare more of the blame than they do, he still helped take this team to the brink of a super bowl birth.

    Cutler has the tools and has shown what he can do with said tools when given the opportunity to do so. A shored up o-line and a true #1 WR would put him on equal ground with the guys at the top for a real evaluation of what he can do. Until then, give the guy some credit. He doesn’t complain, even though 52 sacks says he could.

  26. 3rdstringqb says: Feb 21, 2011 11:10 PM

    khmer379 are you an idiot? Just because the guy wasn’t hauled off in an ambulance doesn’t mean he could play. He tore a ligament in his knee. When’s the last time any of you played football at any level with a torn ligament in your knee? It amazes me how stupid people can be. The guy takes a beating all year and keeps coming back but gives up suddenly in the biggest game of his career?

    I’m thinking many of you are letting your misguided hatred of the guy cloud what little judgment you have.

  27. 30ptbuck says: Feb 22, 2011 12:32 AM

    “We kept going; fighting through adversity,” Smith said. “We lost a couple tough games at home. We had an opportunity to go one way or the other, and our guys just stood together. They were mentally tough and kept that belief in each other, and we went on a run.”

    Damn Packers no wonder they won they had no adversity. We had that run at the end of the season 1-2.

  28. carnagekong says: Feb 22, 2011 2:45 AM

    Last time I checked, body language was not factored into QB rating.

  29. dino2997 says: Feb 22, 2011 2:46 AM

    Cutler gets way too much criticism unnecessarily. As a Bears QB he has a winning record and is averaging 25TD passes a season. In his 2nd season as a starter he takes them to the NFC championship game. That’s pretty tough credentials to beat.

    Sorry but it’s time to move past the whole injury bit. It’s old news…..

  30. MichaelEdits says: Feb 22, 2011 7:31 AM

    Methinks Lovie doth protest too much. Really, if I’m a player and my coach has to keep telling me how tough my QB is, he’s not.

  31. wtfru2 says: Feb 22, 2011 8:04 AM

    Hey hammertoe, If Cutler was 1/8 as tough as Brett Favre, you’d have a qb… If I were you I wouldn’t go there.

  32. 3rdstringqb says: Feb 22, 2011 8:43 AM

    @MichaelEdits… Lovie protests too much? He was answering a direct question about Cutler. He didn’t simply hold a press conference to tell us how tough Cutler is. What was he supposed to do? Ignore the question?

    It’s amazing that there is such a large percentage of body language experts hanging out on this site. I mean, it was stupid the way people immediately criticized Cutler when it happened without knowing the extent of his injury. Now that the facts have been out for weeks, it’s just downright moronic that people are still saying he isn’t tough because he didn’t play on a torn knee ligament.

    The funny thing is, every one of you guys who are questioning his toughness would have run home crying to mama the first time you got run over by a 300-pound lineman.

  33. 3rdstringqb says: Feb 22, 2011 8:45 AM

    @wtfru2… That’s another moronic statement.

  34. lrt79 says: Feb 22, 2011 9:20 AM

    I’m trying to figure out whether PFT has legions of fans who happen to be clueless dolts about football or if they simply can’t figure out how to form their own opinion without being told by the national media.

    The Cutler issue is old and worn out.

    The facts on the issue remain the same:

    1) he tore his MCL. With a torn MCL you CANNOT plant your foot to throw the football- hence the severely underthrown balls in the NFC Championship game.

    2) he tore his MCL on the first place of the second quarter. He played a whole quarter and still came out to play the first series of the second half. Which means those questioning his “toughness” are pretty much mouthbreathers.

    3) he took the Chicago Bears to the NFC Championship game. Considering most people thought the Bears wouldn’t break .500 this season, the amounts of complaints towards the guy is ridiculous.

    Jay Cutler led the Chicago Bears to the conference championship, which is more than 29 other teams can claim. At the end of the day, our team did better than most other teams. And jealousy (especially mixed with idiocy) is always an ugly thing to watch.

  35. purpleguy says: Feb 22, 2011 10:18 AM

    The guy is a tool and throws too many INTs, but he’s not a wuss and he’s better than 50% of the other NFL starters. Face it, he’s not and never will be an elite QB, but that’s not the end of the world. If not for the 2 first round picks/trade hoopla creating unrealistic expectations, no one would probably be bitching about him now.

  36. 3rdstringqb says: Feb 22, 2011 10:41 AM

    Purpleguy,

    Funny how the guy is labeled a tool by someone who has never met him. Are you another of those body language experts that seem so plentiful around here? Or are you simply one of those parrots that repeats anything the national media says because it fits with your bias.

    Whether he develops into an elite quarterback or not is something none of us know unless you have, you know, a crystal ball or have been paying visits to Miss Cleo. One thing I do know, though, is that he has the tools to be an elite quarterback and he put up good numbers in 2010 despite playing behind the worst line in the NFL. Of course, it’s easy to ignore that fact and just ignorantly label him as a tool.

  37. lrt79 says: Feb 22, 2011 12:36 PM

    He does indeed have the tools to be an elite QB. The conversation about him must always include the fact that he’s been in the league for 5 years and has had 4 different offensive coordinators.

    Compare that to a guy like Rodgers, who has been in the same system his entire career. There’s a reason Rodgers seems more comfortable with his offense- it’s because it’s the only one he’s ever known.

    Give Cutler another year in the same offensive system, give him a better line (52 sacks this season vs. 11 his last season in Denver) and you’ll see him showing more of that potential. Give him a big-time WR who actually fights for the ball and runs routes correctly, and he’s easily in the top 10 in the league.

    You can dislike Cutler for being dismissive, aloof, and appearing arrogant off the field. You’d even have a point, as he does appear to be those things, thanks in part to a media that dislikes him because he refuses to grant many interviews and doesn’t buddy-buddy up to them.

    You can say those things, but they don’t hold water if you try to use them to justify his play as QB. He’s by far the best and most successful QB of his draft class.

  38. gbmickey says: Feb 22, 2011 12:50 PM

    I have quite a few friends who live in Chicago and in spite of what many are saying in here the city is divided on Cutler. If he truly had a grade 2 sprain it would have been immediately noticeable. I believe is was put at a grade 2 passify the detractors. With a grade 2 it would have had swelling and stiffness making it difficult for him to get around rather than him walking steps at a retaurant after the game or walking Rodeo drive a day or two later. Not until it was obvious that he could do nothing to move the team, much like the last game of the season, did it become an injury he couldn’t perform with. He pouted and showed a glaring disinterest in the game from that point forward. Many will claim he is tough because he was sacked many times during the season but what I discovered in the game was that Cutler’s leadership will be questioned because it was obvious for most to see with his demeanor on the sideline.

  39. gallopingghost says: Feb 22, 2011 12:56 PM

    “SmackSaw says:
    Feb 21, 2011 8:12 PM
    Cutler is the best QB the Bears have ever had”

    Sid Luckman. The game existed before the superbowl.

  40. lrt79 says: Feb 22, 2011 4:11 PM

    gbmickey says: Feb 22, 2011 12:50 PM

    If he truly had a grade 2 sprain it would have been immediately noticeable. I believe is was put at a grade 2 passify the detractors. With a grade 2 it would have had swelling and stiffness making it difficult for him to get around rather than him walking steps at a retaurant after the game or walking Rodeo drive a day or two later.
    ———————————————-

    No. A grade 2 sprain would not limit the ability to walk or walk up stairs. It prevents you from being able to plant that leg, though, which QBs kinda need to do.

    You can criticize the guy for all sorts of things, but not for leaving the game because his team doctor and head coach ordered him to. If you think Cutler took a beating all season long just to quit 1 half away from the Super Bowl, you might want to have your IQ tested. There’s a chance you deserve a monthly check from the government.

  41. gbmickey says: Feb 24, 2011 4:20 PM

    Obviously you never had a sprain or known anyone who did because you would refrain to commenting about anyone’s IQ. With a grade 2 it is a partial tear that leads to swelling and stiffness because of internal bleeding in the area. Thus making it difficult to walk for a while after. That being said Cutler is coward and obviously not a leader.

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