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Jay Cutler: It bothered me that people questioned my toughness

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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has tried to lay low since the NFC Championship Game, when he was criticized by players across the league for sitting out the second half with a knee injury. But Cutler opened up about the situation in an interview with Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, acknowledging that it hurt him to get ripped by so many of his fellow players.

“I was gone, and I stayed away from it all,” Cutler said. “But I can’t say it didn’t bother me that people questioned my toughness and desire to play. I think I’ve been through a lot here in Chicago, and I would have loved to play. . . . They can think what they want.”

But as much as Cutler was bothered by critical reactions from players on the 28 teams that were watching the conference championship games at home, he was heartened by the support he got from his own team.

“Those are the guys you are with a lot of the time,” he said, “and those guys didn’t flinch. I’ve got to thank them for that . . . the guys in my locker room have my back.”

Cutler said his knee is healing, and that he expects to get together and work with teammates some time soon.

“If we’re locked out by May, we’re definitely going to have to make something ­happen,” Cutler said. “Everyone likes to have the time off, but around now, guys get itchy.”

And Cutler, perhaps more than any player in the NFL, is itchy for this season to start so he can start to erase the taste of last season.

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56 Responses to “Jay Cutler: It bothered me that people questioned my toughness”
  1. skeeterladeeter says: Apr 8, 2011 9:42 AM

    WHY?!!! WHY!?? IT’S APRIL AND WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS??!

  2. jjboogie2011 says: Apr 8, 2011 9:44 AM

    wake me when there’s an actual NEWs story – emphasis on “NEW” today

  3. tramonisland says: Apr 8, 2011 9:45 AM

    2011 bears starting quarterback = tough guy with an awesome mustache caleb hanie.

  4. bhindenemylines says: Apr 8, 2011 9:47 AM

    Emmitt Smith – Seperated Shoulder

    Phillip Rivers – Torn knee ligament

    Jack Youngblood – Broken Leg.

    Nobody will ever question their toughness.

    Or more importantly, their heart.

    Not sure the same will ever be said in the same sentence as Cutler’s name.

  5. broncobeta says: Apr 8, 2011 9:48 AM

    First bright thing he’s ever said.

  6. broncobeta says: Apr 8, 2011 9:50 AM

    skeeterladeeter says:
    Apr 8, 2011 9:42 AM
    WHY?!!! WHY!?? IT’S APRIL AND WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS??!
    —————————

    Maybe because he got interviewed on it and this site is the TMZ of football.

  7. andymc58 says: Apr 8, 2011 9:51 AM

    nice to see he gives a crap about something, i guess. go jay.

  8. uwsptke says: Apr 8, 2011 9:53 AM

    He’d probably be better off not addressing the situation at all. Saying that he’s “bothered” by what other people think about him will make the same people who questioned his physical toughness to question his mental toughness as well.

  9. ny82jy says: Apr 8, 2011 9:56 AM

    Cutler should just for once shut up and stop crying. Go out there next season and have a good year and that will shut everyone up about him. But id bet that he wont do that. If he didnt cry in denver and have a bad attitude over the years maybe people would be a little more forgiving towards him. He just isnt that likeable and i was a fan of his when he first came in the league to.

  10. jocheech1244 says: Apr 8, 2011 9:57 AM

    Oh, Nice to hear from you Jay

  11. Mike Tomlin says: Apr 8, 2011 9:57 AM

    “Everyone likes to have the time off, but around now, guys get itchy.”

    Maybe its time to cut the mop…

  12. mattsffrd says: Apr 8, 2011 10:07 AM

    Jay, people weren’t mad that you left the game, they were mad because you went and sulked on the bench like a five year old. grab a clipboard and help your backup, cheer on your teammates, and stop acting like a child. THATS what upset people.

  13. jc1958cool says: Apr 8, 2011 10:08 AM

    next time fake a limp you whimp!!

  14. randylaheytpb says: Apr 8, 2011 10:10 AM

    @ skeederledeeter – shtapple

    if you don’t want to read it, don’t click it. it’s quite simple. this is newsworthy, especially for bears fans out there. this is cutler speaking out for the first time on a very contentious issue. whenever a high-profile player’s toughness is questioned it certainly worthy of a story on a website called “pro football talk.” what stories are you expecting to read about if not like this? there is a lockout now, but it Is still the offseason.

  15. tatum064 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:19 AM

    “It bothered me that people questioned my toughness”

    Good. Your idiotic half-sneer look of indifference bothers the entire football world, and probably half your locker room…fortunately, the Bears have your back….and you got to an NFC Championship (albiet against an inferior Seahawk opponent to the Championship. And then, a 3rd stringer showed more passion, guts and nearly pulled the Bears back into the game..making you look even worse.

  16. xerocc says: Apr 8, 2011 10:19 AM

    yeah, like he’s never shown us anything prior to raise questions.

  17. tatum064 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:23 AM

    broncobeta says: Apr 8, 2011 9:50 AM

    skeeterladeeter says:
    Apr 8, 2011 9:42 AM
    WHY?!!! WHY!?? IT’S APRIL AND WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS??!
    —————————

    Maybe because he stood out like a roach on a white carpet with that stupid look and headphones on as Hanie was fist pumping and getting his team down the field….that crowd was silent up until the 3rd quarter…he is a downer, and that city is going to turn on him in a heart beat once that team starts circling the drain….fortunately, they have only the Pack in front of them…

  18. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 8, 2011 10:33 AM

    If he’s so tough why does it bother him at all?

  19. polegojim says: Apr 8, 2011 10:35 AM

    After watching the Jay Cutler act in Denver and now seeing it play out in Chicago, it hasn’t changed one bit.

    mttsffrd nailed it.

    Sulking, hiding, whining on the bench is NOT what a Chicago Bear QB should stand for.
    WAY too many years of true tough guys who put blood and guts out onto Soldier Field. Wearing the helmet, doesn’t make you one of them.

    Changing those facts and public perception is all up to Jay… but he’d rather hold a tissue than a title.

  20. ernestbynershands says: Apr 8, 2011 10:36 AM

    Cutler is bother by people questioning his toughness? He ought to be more concerned that he is a crybaby, primadonnna. That is what leads people to question his toughness.

  21. northeastern31 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:37 AM

    Phillip Rivers

  22. MichaelEdits says: Apr 8, 2011 10:39 AM

    Oh boo hoo, stop calling me a wimp, I’m tough, wah. Just shut up and play the damn game before we start calling you Brett Favre.

  23. medtxpack says: Apr 8, 2011 10:40 AM

    Easy Jay,
    Everyone else questioned youtr toughness cause it was overly apparent that you hadnt questioned yourself hard enough, or at least made it look so. I saw my team’s defensive leader completely break his collarbone and then grimmace while celebrating on the sidelines in the Super Bowl. you sat on the bench like a cry baby. Da Bears still suck.

  24. nfl25 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:40 AM

    sorry but cutler is the ultimate ME player. he doesnt seem to care about the team at all. i feel like he doesnt care how the team does if he is not at QB. you never hear about a young pro bowl QB getting traded, it never happens, except with cutler

  25. p4ck3r5 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:40 AM

    I wasnt bothered that he was or was not injured. What botherd me was that when Cutler was injured or apparently injured he wasnt constantly giving pointers to the backup qb’s

  26. JimmySmith says: Apr 8, 2011 10:41 AM

    I’ll never understand why people think of Cutler as the answer at QB, his toughness figuring in at 19th ranked factor out of 20.

    He’s never really won prior to this last year, he’s never won in the playoffs putting aside a very weak Seahawks team this year and he throws far too many INT’s for any team to overcome.

    He’s immature, a crybaby, lacks leadership skills, and thinks he’s something special, hardly the mental mindset of a NFL QB.

  27. phamt02 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:42 AM

    Bothered? He means bothers because people still think this………so not in past tense

  28. djteknision1200 says: Apr 8, 2011 10:43 AM

    Well Jay I still have to question your toughness if you are still bothered about what people said about you 4 months ago…MAN UP!!!

  29. ndgarretjax says: Apr 8, 2011 10:47 AM

    Give.This.A.Rest.

  30. phinfan says: Apr 8, 2011 11:04 AM

    Locked out by may we’ll get something going?

    Miami started working out already.

    Cutler = wuss

  31. mr92687 says: Apr 8, 2011 11:06 AM

    “They can think what they want.”

    Kind of condradictive to:

    “I can’t say it didn’t bother me that people questioned my toughness and desire to play.”

    On another note, how is the Cutler situation much different from L.T.#21 sitting on the sideline with his helmet and jacket on and not once seeking assistance from the medical staff?

  32. huskerguy says: Apr 8, 2011 11:07 AM

    The Bears should be glad he came out… Hanie actually made it a game.

  33. paulseiferth says: Apr 8, 2011 11:12 AM

    *sigh*

    All this crap again. It’s been well documented that Cutler got his ass kicked all year leading the league in sacks. He also took a ton of hits on plays that he got the ball off. Up until the NFC Championship game, nobody questioned his toughness, not once. Maybe people in Denver did, but they are obviously still very bitter about all that happened there.

    People in Chicago have been wanting to hear from Cutler since he hasn’t said anything and has hardly been seen since the NFC Championship game. He gave an interview, and was honest. So people who comment saying that he needs to shut up and play can bight me.

    Facts: He got hurt early in the 2nd quarter. He tried playing later in the 2nd quarter. He took a pain killing injection at half time. He tried to play the 3rd quarter but couldn’t plan and couldn’t move around. COULDN’T MOVE AROUND. With the Packers pass rush and the Bears o-line, a sitting dock was not going to help the team. He tried and tried to play but he just could do it on that knee.

  34. smarterthantheaveragebearfan says: Apr 8, 2011 11:21 AM

    Reading this makes me very happy to have Aaron Rodgers leading my team….

    I can’t fathom following a team that has such a rabbit eared whiny QB.

  35. scoops1 says: Apr 8, 2011 11:25 AM

    hey jay

    Kristin Cavallari is trying to call you from my house. She says you can’t wear her panties any more…

  36. salmen76 says: Apr 8, 2011 11:35 AM

    Jay Cutler the wuss tapped out during a Conference Championship game and he wasn’t even seriously injured. Facts are facts. I’m glad he ain’t the starting QB for the Saints. Geaux Saints!

  37. pervyharvin says: Apr 8, 2011 11:50 AM

    Cutler,Stafford and Rodgers should just quit and start a girl band.

  38. orangeflh says: Apr 8, 2011 11:55 AM

    I hope Cutler is the Bears’ starting quarterback for the next 15 years. I love watching the Bears not just lose, but lose in a humiliating fashion.

  39. shieldsisland37 says: Apr 8, 2011 11:55 AM

    Tough guy, not a tough guy, injured, not injured. Thank you Cutler for the NFC Championship! We could care less how you view yourself or how much you cry yourself to sleep at night. Heck, lets say you are the toughest man alive and the best qb ever. ON THAT DAY YOU WERE NOT! So just shut up.

  40. arnoldziffel says: Apr 8, 2011 11:56 AM

    The fix here is very obvious … the Bears must add to their staff by hiring two (2) additional coaches:

    1. An Acting Coach
    2. A Politician

    Job Descriptions:

    1. Cutler’s biggest problem is that he always looks like he doesn’t give a crap. The Acting Coach must work with Jay to change his body language and facial expressions. “Be the Bear Jay, be the Bear!”

    2. The Political Coach must help the Bears lie their asses off. During the Packer game, instead of saying Jay had a knee injury … just say he had a concussion. After all, he sat there looking dazed and confused. The Politician must also be handy with props … if Jay is going to sit on the bench looking like he just stuck is finger up is butt and then smelled his finger … then get him a helmet with a colored visor. And … don’t let him take the damn thing off – even on the sideline.

    Also, if you want to stick with the knee story .. then wrap that sucker in a big ice bag and for God’s sake, give him a pair of crutches to lean on.

    Oh, and then don’t let him go out on the town for Pizza after the game. (Dominoes delivers, you know).

    The only downside … the Politician will demand to be the highest paid coach on the staff. That might piss Lovey off.

  41. iffybiz says: Apr 8, 2011 12:04 PM

    I think it extremely funny that a bunch of internet wimps would question ANY players toughness.
    Questioning the toughness of a guy sacked 60 times in a season when they’d crap their pants and cry to mommy if they were sacked once by an NFL player is really funny.
    The Bears coaches and medical staff took his helmet away after the series he started in the second half. At that point it no longer becomes his decision whether to play or not. For NFL players to question that (all later recanted) should “hurt” Jay, they should know better. Unlike you.
    BTW, he did help out his backups during the game, Hanie said so several times.
    Also, you Denver fans need to “get over it” Cutler was simply the first person to get that your ownership had made a big mistake. Given the fact that McDaniels dismantled an already good offensive team so that he could have his own people, shows that Cutler was right, they weren’t going to work out. The only “crybabies” are the Denver fans who can’t let it go.

  42. jmc516 says: Apr 8, 2011 12:07 PM

    All this crap again. It’s been well documented that Cutler got his ass kicked all year leading the league in sacks. He also took a ton of hits on plays that he got the ball off. Up until the NFC Championship game, nobody questioned his toughness, not once. Maybe people in Denver did, but they are obviously still very bitter about all that happened there.

    ———————————————
    Us Denver Broncos fans aren’t bitter. Jay Cutler whined that he was mentioned in trade talks when McDaniel tried to get Matt Cassell instead of him going to KC. He also told the Denver Post that he has a better arm than John Elway. Meanwhile, Elway has been to 5 Superbowls and has 5 AFC Championships. Cutler? He never even won a playoff game in Denver. And like the other person above said, he throws way too many interceptions and ultimately makes poor decisions at crunch time. I was happy to see him go.

  43. broncfanor says: Apr 8, 2011 12:10 PM

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  44. goombar2 says: Apr 8, 2011 12:12 PM

    Yeah, sure Cutler got hurt… I remember the play, it was the James Stark, 4 yard TD run… As soon as the Pack was up by 14 Cutler threw the towel and tapped out.

    Oh Jay Jay, you can always drown your sorrows in booze, just remember to inject yourself every 15 minutes… Oh, and go on a tirade against the refs – only cost you 20 gs the last time you did that in front of cameras.

    Thank Hayzeus this guy ain’t the QB of my team. I bet all Denver fans felt they got a little closer to a Super Bowl the day this punk left town.

  45. sowcrates says: Apr 8, 2011 12:17 PM

    Reading dozens upon dozens of comments on here…

    Has it ever occurred to you guys that Cutler constantly jumping up and down and saying things to Hanie while he was trying to get his head as much around the playbook as he can (more than 2 TV shots panned to the playbook in his hand while he was on the bench) actually would have done him a DISSERVICE!

    I don’t care if you’re talking about Peyton Manning or the practice squad QB…. both are PROFESSIONAL. ATHLETES. Deserved to be treated like one. Listening to some of you guys, its as though you’re talking about the emergency 3rd QB having to come on the field for a high school program.

  46. descendency says: Apr 8, 2011 12:38 PM

    He can’t say it did bother him either.

    That’s what apathy means.

  47. gridassassin says: Apr 8, 2011 12:42 PM

    WHY are we talking about this still? Because this is the FIRST time Jay Cutler has commented on it since it happened. That’s why.

    I would hope any NFL player wouldn’t like others questioning their toughness.

    OK – whatever – all these decertified NFLPA players and owners are ‘dead to me’ again – until they pull their heads out of their asses. Carry on.

  48. thefiesty1 says: Apr 8, 2011 12:48 PM

    Cry baby! Get over it if people don’t like you and MOVE on with your career. Stick and stones!

  49. paulseiferth says: Apr 8, 2011 1:08 PM

    Clearly most people who are commenting don’t really know what they are talking about. Anyone who thinks Cutler tapped out in that game is simply a fool. You think any player would just take themselves out of the Championship game after fighting all year to get to that point? He was hurt, he couldnt plant on that leg, he couldnt move in the pocket. Stop making stuff up about him quitting.

  50. CKL says: Apr 8, 2011 1:36 PM

    smarterthantheaveragebearfan says:
    Apr 8, 2011 11:21 AM
    Reading this makes me very happy to have Aaron Rodgers leading my team….

    I can’t fathom following a team that has such a rabbit eared whiny QB.
    _________________________________
    I think Rodgers is a great QB and I am hardly a Cutler fan (I do not question that he was actually injured)but unless you just became a Packer fan in 2008, you spent a substantial amount of years rooting for a rabbit eared whiny QB who passive aggressively complained to the media through family and his agent and on his own.

    I would be shocked if any fan loved all the players on his/her team. I sure don’t…but I root for laundry.

  51. dempsey63 says: Apr 8, 2011 4:25 PM

    It wasn’t his toughness that I questioned; it was the fact that he looked totally disinterested and refused to give advice to his understudy.

  52. teal379 says: Apr 8, 2011 4:39 PM

    I see a lot of people talking about how many sacks Cutler too and how that makes him tough – think he’s the first one to be sacked 50 times? Rodgers and Big Ben were 50 sack guys the year before – no crying there.

    As to those who think toughness begins and ends in the NFL – I suggest you spend some time around our military folks – able bodied and not, then comment on what is and isn’t tough. They do it for a 20 grand a year, week.

  53. teal379 says: Apr 8, 2011 4:40 PM

    I see a lot of people talking about how many sacks Cutler took and how that makes him tough – think he’s the first one to be sacked 50 times? Rodgers and Big Ben were 50 sack guys the year before – no crying there.

    As to those who think toughness begins and ends in the NFL – I suggest you spend some time around our military folks – able bodied and not, then comment on what is and isn’t tough. They do it for a 20 grand a year, week.

  54. bronco1st says: Apr 8, 2011 6:38 PM

    Cutler may suck, but this blog sucks worse. A bunch of morons leading even more clueless idiots. What a joke.

  55. gamingphenom says: Apr 9, 2011 1:41 AM

    A lot of you people that are complaining about Cutler being bothered that other players questioned his toughness would have also criticized him if he said that he didn’t care what others thought about him. You just can’t win with some people. How come no one mentioned the charity work that was mentioned in the article? Once again the media (and commenters) only dwell on the negative.

  56. beefbus says: Apr 10, 2011 12:27 PM

    There are a lot of arm-chair psychologists here. What would your facial expressions look like if you were seriously injured and benched by your coach? Would you be smiling gleefully hoping to get a front row seat on the sidelines? Highly unlikely. Contrary to what people think, the FACTS say Jay did indeed help Caleb multiple times on the bench. I remember words like “trust yourself” and “use your legs to get out of trouble” mentioned in PRINT! I realize he’s not a likeable guy, but he hasn’t done anything illegal, nor is he a controversial figure in the limelight. Let’s spell it out for what it is….pure hatred for an individual personality. Needless to say, I hope he takes this experience to heart and proves all you irrational naysayers out there. That, and the Bears fixing one of the worst O-lines I’ve ever seen as a fan. I won’t use it as an excuse, but certainly it merits conversation on how it has effected his growth as a young QB. Three systems in three years is all you need to know about why he hasn’t become elite.

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