Jay Cutler might be one of the most polarizing figures in the NFL today. Players on his team seem to respect his toughness, leadership and abilities, while others around the league question those same qualities.
The perception of Cutler is that he doesn’t care what people outside of his locker room and inner circle think of him. While that won’t prevent the Bears from winning games, it doesn’t make Cutler one of the most liked players around the NFL.
“I didn’t really have much of a perception of Jay before I got to the Bears,” safety Chris Harris said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “I think what it is, is he’s not a guy that wears his emotions on his shoulder, on his sleeve, like a lot of players do in this league. He’s not that guy.”
LISTEN: Chris Harris On The Mully And Hanley Show
What it comes down to is what he does on the field. No one disputes the fact that Cutler has elite talent as a quarterback. When he’s criticized it’s done by those outside of Halas Hall, and is about his leadership and personality.
This criticism reached it’s apex after the NFC Championship game loss to the Green Bay Packers. Cutler left the game with a knee injury in the third quarter and never returned. Fans and NFL players raced to Twitter and Facebook to immediately claim that the Bears’ QB was soft.
Claims that were quickly beaten down by Cutler’s teammates and Monday’s MRI that revealed a Grade II sprain of his medial collateral ligament, an injury that typically takes three to four weeks to heal.
The immediate and strong support from his teammates sheds some pretty good light on the perception of Cutler from within Halas Hall. A perception that’s probably closer to reality than the one held by those who have never played with, or have never met the quarterback.
“He’s a heck of a leader,” Harris said. “He’s a heck of a player and all the guys in our locker room definitely respect him as our quarterback and as one of our leaders on the team.”
On The Impending Lockout
When asked on the Mully and Hanley Show whether or not he was anticipating a lockout of the 2011 NFL season, Harris had the following to say:
“In March, yeah. It would start in March and I really don’t believe a deal will be done by March 3rd or 4th…I just can’t fathom a season with no football…I’m hopeful. I want a new deal to get done somehow in the near future and not miss out on any games.”