- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Chicago Bears defensive end Alex Brown joined in the scathing criticism of Jay Cutler on Monday night, calling cornerback D.J. Moore’s comments from earlier that day “the bitter truth” while questioning the quarterback’s leadership ability.
Brown credited Cutler for being “a heck of a talent,” but isn’t sure the quarterback is the ideal player for the club long term.
“D.J. Moore, if I’m not mistaken, played with him a little bit at Vanderbilt. Then he played with him here in Chicago,” Brown said to Jonathan Hood on “Chicago’s GameNight” on ESPN 1000. “So (Moore), Earl Bennett, they probably know him better than we’ll ever know him. Those are probably the two guys to talk to to see what type of guy Jay is. If you’re the same guy you were six years ago, that’s probably just how you are.”
Cutler became the target of heavy criticism last Thursday night when he was seen yelling at left tackle J’Marcus Webb and bumping into him on the sideline during a 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. During the game, Webb gave up two sacks to Clay Matthews and two more pressures as the Packers generated seven sacks and forced Cutler into four interceptions.
Cutler chalked up his outburst to “trying to win football games.” But Moore said Cutler was “wrong” and added, “I don’t think you can act like that, though, to make it seem like it’s my fault or whatnot.”
Brown played eight years for the Bears, and worked alongside Cutler in 2009, his final season with the team and the quarterback’s first.
Cutler’s contract runs through 2013 and Brown believes the Bears might be coming to a crossroads with the quarterback.
“The Bears are gonna have to make a decision here. They’re either gonna pay him a lot of money or they’re gonna get rid of him,” Brown said. “Do they want to invest a lot of money in a quarterback that may or may not be a leader for this football team? I don’t know. That’s a question they’re gonna have to answer. I don’t think you make leaders. I think you’re born a leader, and if you’re not, you’re not. I don’t think you become a leader.”
Brown acknowledged that, in a way, “Jay’s right” to complain about shoddy pass protection, but also said “the problem can’t be everybody else all the time.” Asked whether he considered 2012 a make-or-break season for Cutler, Brown maintained the club needs a leader at the position and questioned whether Cutler is an ideal fit.
“I just don’t think you can make a leader. You can’t groom a leader. They have to want to be,” Brown said. “You can’t just jump on the wagon and say, ‘I’m gonna do it my way, do it this way’ when you’re talking about a franchise. The whole franchise is not gonna change for you. There are certain things you don’t say. Even if you really, really feel that way, you don’t say that stuff out in the public. You just don’t.”
Brown acknowledged that Cutler possesses immense talent, but said there’s a reason the Denver Broncos let the quarterback go.
“You don’t find 24-, 25-year old quarterbacks. They’re rare,” Brown said. “You don’t find those guys, and you don’t just give them away. So when Denver got rid of him, there was a reason for that. I really like him being on the team. I think he makes the team better. But he has to be able to control this stuff. He has to understand that whether you want this or not, you’re the quarterback.”