Call him the kinder, gentler Jay Cutler.
The Bears quarterback, who has often shrugged off criticism of his behavior, admitted that sometimes the nasty things people say about him hurt his feelings.
Cutler told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times his perspective changed when his son was born last August, and he sees some things differently now.
“On one hand, it puts a lot of things in perspective about what’s important and what’s not important,” Cutler said. “On the other hand, it makes you value the position you’re in a little more. I enjoy going to work. It’s fun to be in a position to be the quarterback for the Chicago Bears. …
“Not a ton of people get to do this. It’s something I enjoy, and it’s something I hope I’m still doing whenever Camden is a little older and he can watch and he can enjoy it.”
Of course, when Camden’s a toddler, he might recognize some of his dad’s outbursts from his younger years, and Cutler said recent scoldings from analysts such as Terry Bradshaw stung him.
“There’s a certain point where it bothers you. It bothers me,” Cutler said. “A lot of these people don’t know me, and they don’t know what happens behind the scenes at our place.
“I’ve never had a teammate come out and say, ‘He’s a bad guy. I don’t like playing with him.’ I’ve had teammates who have been supportive of me, and that’s the most important part to me.”
Cutler said he and offensive coordinator Mike Tice had a productive conversation on the sidelines in Dallas, but the video that played on a loop for a week was of him walking away from Tice.
“He came over, and I was like, ‘We got to make that. We got some more stuff we can call.’ And he said, ‘I totally agree. Let’s go,’ ” Cutler said. “And we moved on. …
“I understand a lot of these guys have a job to do and these networks have a job to do and they’ve got to make TV happen. But it does get old, and it hurts sometimes. But I have to keep playing football, and I got to keep winning games.”
That’s the ultimate prescription for Cutler.
If he wins a Super Bowl in Chicago, all the antics that annoyed folks will become colorful. If he loses, people will hang onto his prickly personality, and that’ll be all they remember.