Sports take: Even if unable to play, Cutler showed inexcusable attitude

Bears QB should have been more active on sideline

By Krista Pirtle

Perception. Sunday afternoon, Jan. 23, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., perception said it all.

Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback Jay Cutler was the focus the entire second half of the game, even though he was on the sidelines.

Cutler, who received a knee injury late in the second quarter, was scrutinized by analysts, fans and other athletes with concern about his heart.

The initial concern among many was the fact that Cutler was standing. If you can’t go back out on the field, especially during the NFC Championship, you should probably be sitting, not standing.

Besides, if you were to suffer a grade II MCL tear, you would not be standing up for very long. The MCL is a critical ligament to the stability of a knee and reaches from the end of the femur to the top of the tibia. The grade II tear, even though it’s incomplete, results in pain and instability.

Not only was Cutler standing up, but he was also riding a stationary bike, and, as he walked across the field to congratulate Aaron Rodgers on the win, his stride suffered no altercations.

Head coach Lovie Smith backed up his quarterback and claimed that the coaching staff was the reason Cutler refrained from almost any action in the second half.

Cutler was injured, but his performance was also lacking in the first half, going 6-14 with only 80 yards and one interception.

By no means am I questioning his injury or his heart, but I do wonder about his attitude in the process.

Sure, he did have a bad game, but during his time on the sidelines, he should have been interacting with his teammates.

Put a headset on. Talk to the third string quarterback that’s trying to make up for your lack of performance. Stand with the rest of the team.

As quarterback, you acquire the role of leader for your team. A leader does not stand complacently on the sidelines with his arms crossed. A leader is in with his team, has a headset on and is coaching the quarterback that is playing.

If there were any situation in which the Bears needed a leader, this was it.

Chicago was down 14-0 at the end of the first half, thanks to two rushing touchdowns by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back James Starks.

However, when the moment was prime and ready for the leader to emerge, Cutler stood back on the sidelines, quietly observing the game from a distance. He did make the trek across the field after the game to shake Rodgers’ hand, though.

Now, instead of worrying how to cram Cutler’s knee rehab into two weeks to prepare for Super Bowl XLV, the Chicago Bears can take their time.

Krista Pirtle is a sophomore journalism major from Olney and a sports writer for the Lariat.