Monday, January 24, 2011

Defending Jay Cutler

I won't begin to pretend to understand what happened with Jay Cutler on Sunday. I don't know that we will ever know who made the call to sit him. I won't repeat here what I heard because it probably is about the same thing that everyone else heard. Peoples' opinions of Cutler are going to be driven more by a manufactured perception of what an NFL player should be rather than any sense of reality. If Cutler was a linebacker or lineman or corner then no one would question the validity of the injury. It probably wouldn't have been an issue if it had happened in Week 3 or Week 7 either. It baffles me to think that an injury that is "real" when it happens to someone else or is "real" when it happens in a less important game suddenly becomes a fake one when it comes to a game of this magnitude.

It baffles me that people reason that Cutler has devoted his entire life to football only to quit in the biggest game of his life.

Jim Trotter of SI also weighs in on the question.

Cutler says he knew something wasn't right when he took a hit on the outside of his left knee near the end of the first half. Doctors examined him at halftime and a decision was made to test it to start the third quarter, when the Bears would receive the opening kickoff.

He needed only one pass attempt to know the problem was serious. Cutler says the joint lacked stability and, at that point, the medical team made the decision to pull him, according to coach Lovie Smith.

"It's no player decision," Smith said. "For us, Jay hurt his knee. He couldn't go. ... The trainers, doctors and all -- they're the ones who really made that decision. "

The problem was, in this age of the Internet and instant commentary, Cutler was crucified on the Twitter and blogs. Maybe things would have been different if an announcement were made in the press box that the medical team had ruled him out because of the injury. However the only statement was that Cutler's return was questionable. In this case, most interpreted questionable to mean that he COULD play.

I doubt the headlines will ever change, and even though the Bears have already told us that the decision was taken from Cutler, I doubt that the opinions of so many that were cemented as fact last night will ever change. Cutler is a different kind of a guy. Cut from a different cloth, shaped from a different mold, [something] from another cliche. No doubt that his history with the Broncos play into the perception that people have of him now, but until last night no one ever questioned his competitiveness, and really I see no reason to start questioning it now.

Edit: Luis DeLoureiro reminds us that Cutler passed for 3500 yards and 20TD during his second season while playing with undiagnosed diabetes.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed 100% with Pat before reading this, and heard he tore knee ligaments at lunch today via ESPN - I assume that's true.

    Chicago fans - worst fans ever? This implies yes.



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