Jay Cutler on struggling Bears: ‘We just have to get better and it starts with me’
The Chicago Bears are in full-on crisis mode, red alert, swirling around uncontrollably in a downward spiral, rapidly reaching dumpster fire status, you name it.
The team has been outscored by a head-smacking 106-37 in the past two weeks in blowout losses to the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers with a bad loss to the Miami Dolphins directly preceding the two humiliating defeats.
With the 3-6 Bears hosting the 4-5 Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on Sunday, Jay Cutler stood up during a Thursday press conference and stressed that the onus is on the Bears players to fix the mess the team has found itself in, and the responsibility for getting things turned around begins with him.
We’ve been over it all in meetings,” Cutler said Thursday, via the Chicago Tribune. “We just have to get better and it starts with me.”
Cutler was asked what it will take for the Bears to get a win on Sunday.
“Whenever you’re losing, your confidence is going to be a little bit lower,” Cutler said. “I think earlier in the week and throughout the week you’ve got to gain confidence for the (next) game. If you go into the game with low confidence, you don’t have a chance in this league.
“We, as an offense and as a whole, have to get some (positive) plays going, get some drives going and we can build on that for sure.”
But it begins and ends with executing on the field, but that involves putting in the work necessary during the week.
“You have to take a look at everything. You have to go with a fine-toothed comb and just nitpick on every little detail,” Cutler continued. “Nothing is too small, nothing can be overlooked. The finest little step, how you interact with your teammates, communicating more during the week so that there aren’t any miscommunications.
“It’s finding energy on Wednesday when everyone’s still a little down and trying to go out and have a good practice. You have to do all those little things to try to dig yourself out.”
Cutler was then asked about how finds that energy.
“I think most of the guys in the locker room, if not all the guys, like the position they’re in, likes their teammates, loves football. And that’s what kind of propels you through it. I love playing with the guys in my huddle, so that’s what gets me through it – not letting those guys down and each day coming to work and knowing that they’re doing everything possible for us trying to win a ballgame. So I need to do the same.”
As is often the case, while not fair, when a team wins, the quarterback gets too much credit and when a team is losing, the quarterback gets more than the fair-share of the blame. With that in mind, it doesn’t take a genius to ascertain that Jay Cutler is on the receiving end of the brunt of the criticism by the experts and vitriolic condemnation from the fans.
Cutler does deserve much of what’s coming to him in that regard. The Bears have scored only 7 points in 18 first-half possessions in the team’s past three losses. Cutler is at least significantly responsible for that, throwing only five touchdowns (which mostly came once the games already were out of hand), while throwing four picks and fumbling five times, losing three. His often surly demeanor both on the field and on the sidelines certainly does not inspire confidence or demand respect, either.
To be fair, the much-maligned and woefully inept defense also has received a heavy dose of the hammering as well. And rightfully so.
But Cutler, as the figurehead and face of the team, has been Public Enemy No. 1 in Chi-Town. Some of the ire directed at Cutler has been fair, and other times, not so much, primarily due to the comical gullibility of some Bears fans, as evidenced by the reaction of some Bears fans to a satirical article about Cutler from “The Onion.”
(photo credit: Mike Roemer/AP)