During the Great NFL Lockout of 2011, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears finally broke out of his shell to retort against his critics of him and his Grade II MCL strain injury that occurred during the NFC Championship 21-14 loss to the Super Bowl Champions Green Bay Packers. He took his time, but he or his agent found this time appropriate for his response against his critics. In the game, he was replaced by backup Todd Collins and ultimately Caleb Hanie. The issue to some Chicago Bears fans and NFL fans in general was that Jay Cutler did not argue with head coach Lovie Smith openly on the sidelines, even though it appeared he was not injured significantly while on the bench. He recently told the Chicago Sun-Times that “[he] would have loved to play” and regarding his fellow teammates that criticized him, “they can think what they want.” Bears coach Lovie Smith, during the owners meetings last month, endorsed Jay Cutler wholeheartedly despite the incident.
In Philadelphia, we have experienced similar to Donovan McNabb during his tenure here as quarterback. If it wasn’t concerning a shoulder injury near the playoffs, it would be his miracle recovery and lackadaisical approach while into the playoffs. In Super Bowl XXXIV against the New England Patriots, Donovan McNabb supposedly suffered from nausea and ultimately collapsed against the Patriots 24-21 with three interceptions. During McNabb’s stay in Philadelphia, head coach Andy Reid admirably defended him until Michael Vick took over as starter last season and Donovan McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins for one short season.
If Michael Vick or for that matter, Donovan McNabb, had such an injury and did not debate with Andy Reid openly on the sidelines, the response from the Philadelphia Eagles fans would have been livid, boisterous and incessant. If the local newspapers and sports radio shows didn’t criticize him, the Philadelphia Eagles fans would have surely responded in kind. I would be fairly certain that some fans would be calling for Andy Reid’s head on a stake as well. And if it happened again, the bleeding would not stop for Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb.
Jay Cutler should be grateful that he is not a Philadelphia Eagle. As visceral as some Chicago Bears fans have reacted, they had an appropriate reasons to do so. It was their NFC Championship Game, and it was their rivals the Green Bay Packers whose season could have ended if they could have defeated them during their last game of the regular season. Jay Cutler is still a quarterback for the Chicago Bears, but if the Chicago fans are anything like Philadelphia fans, they may be exhausting their patience for Cutler’s temperament soon. We have experienced failure during the playoffs with both Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, and you have already experienced it with Jay Cutler. We feel your pain, Chicago Bears fans.