Cutler's toughness questioned; reliability will be now too
Somewhere today, Chris "Beanie" Wells understands. He gets exactly what Jay Cutler is going through.
OK. Maybe not exactly. But to have your toughness questioned? Your work ethic, pain tolerance, your desire questioned? Yeah, the Cardinals running back has been there.
The Bears quarterback suffered some kind of a knee injury in the NFC Championship game and was replaced by Todd Collins and later Caleb Hanie. And while he stood on the sidelines during the biggest game of his career, without the aid of crutches and without the assistance of trainers, his NFL colleagues were taking a twitter blowtorch to Cutler's toughness and career.
The Cardinals Darnell Dockett tweeted "If I'm on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!" Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew "Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now... When the going gets tough........QUIT." Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks tweeted "I have to be crawling and can't get up to come off the field. Josh Freeman would not come out. Meds are available…" and then later "There is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart."
Shortly thereafter, a photo of a fan in Chicago burning a Cutler jersey hit the TweetDeck and the bonfire of the sanities was on.
Cutler didn't take too kindly to the questioning afterwards and neither did teammate Brian Urlacher.
"I don't give a [expletive] about players around the league who are watching the game from home," Urlacher told Sports Illustrated and others. "It's easy to talk [expletive] about someone while you're sitting on your couch watching the game."
Earlier this season, and throughout his career, Wells had to answer many of the same injury/toughness related questions as Cutler. Only one person truly knew how badly Wells' knee was injured….and that was Beanie Wells. Not Dave Burns and not first-time-caller-long-time-listener-Bill, who tells you to tape a couple of aspirin to it and get your butt back on the field. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt.
But you better believe I can question your reliability. I need to know that I can count on you. I can't count on Beanie; as much as I want to he always seems to be battling….some kind of ailment.
I can't count on Cutler; the urgency of that moment demanded he do everything possible to get back on that field and he could not. Maybe we'll find out later his knee looks like shredded cheese. If so, all….well, most….is forgiven. But if Cutler missed the most important game of his career due to a minor injury, he can never be trusted again.
Once those seeds are planted, once you lose that trust, it is next to impossible to get it back.