Friday, October 5, 2012

Cutler and Romo Walk Fine Line in the Media

Jay Cutler expressed his frustration in the Chicago Bears early-season loss to the Green Bay Packers when he gave a "shout out" and bump to left offensive tackle J'Markus Webb. Webb had the unenviable job of blocking the Packers' Clay Matthews who was credited with two and a half sacks. Two weeks later, in Monday night's impressive Bears win in Dallas, Cutler was noticeable miffed and disrespectful to Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice. Cutler was clearly getting some coaching as Tice sat next to him on the sidelines after a failed third-and-short play when Cutler jumped up out of his seat ignoring Tice in front of national television. Both Tice and Cutler have stated that there is no rift--it was not a big deal. Tice suggests that he had already belabored a point to Cutler. Cutler called it a non-issue all the way around. Of course, we sit in front of our TV sets assuming that Cutler knows how bad this looks on TV, but it must seem a lot different on the sidelines during the contest.

Without having any inside information, it seems that Cutler gets frustrated with the pace of Tice's play-calling. Choosing the best play for each and every down can be a daunting job these days especially when a coach must concern himself with not only the success of the play, but the endless expert analysis and game postmortems that follow each loss.

Cutler, of course, is under great pressure and scrutiny himself. Quarterbacks are measured with a rating system as well as the final score. They also are credited with an incomplete pass when a receiver misses the ball regardless of the accuracy of the throw. For Cutler, the attention routinely goes beyond his performance. He's been criticized for being stoic in defeat one week only to be criticized for being over-the-top emotionally the next.

If the Bears miffs and muffs seemed to have gotten some attention here in Chicago, the talk in Dallas must be wildly animated in comparison. It would seem to me that the one person saddled with the heaviest burden was Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo. Rarely will a quarterback play well when his receivers drop catch-able balls and mess up on their routes. Yet, much criticism seems to fall on the "inconsistent Tony Romo." I think there are a lot of NFL teams who would love to have the Cowboys "inconsistent" quarterback. The Bears were only leading Dallas 10-7 at half--not exactly a blow-out. I think if the Cowboys receivers would have played better, the game would have been a lot tighter rather than a 34-18 blowout.

Copyright 2012 Sporting Chance Press, Inc.

Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Patrick McCaskey's Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout and other fine sports books. Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout is a personal chronicle of Chicago Bears Senior Director Patrick McCaskey that looks back at decades of spiritual enrichment and life lessons from athletes, coaches, religious and everyday people. McCaskey recalls the stories of those who strived to make the cut on and off the field—plus people who left comfortable lives to serve the under-served in extraordinary ways. Order online.

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