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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Pat on back for Marshall, bump for Webb?

By Michael C. Wright

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler explained Tuesday why he reacted differently to receiver Brandon Marshall’s dropped pass in the end zone Thursday in the loss at Green Bay Packers compared to his handling of J’Marcus Webb during a fiery confrontation near the team’s sideline.

Brandon Marshall
Jay Cutler took the blame for Brandon Marshall dropping a pass in the end zone against the Packers.
“Everyone’s different. Everyone reacts differently,” Cutler said Tuesday on "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. “I’ve known Brandon for a long time, played a lot of football with Brandon. I know what Brandon’s capable of. I know that no one was more disappointed in that stadium or as a Bears fan than Brandon Marshall for dropping that. I know that genuinely in my heart.”

Marshall dropped what appeared to be a sure touchdown pass, and in the ensuing moments cameras caught the quarterback consoling the receiver by patting him on the head. On Tuesday, Cutler took the blame for the misconnection.

"He had man coverage, and I put it up probably just a half a count quicker than I wanted to," Cutler said. "I felt a little bit of pressure and put it up. B-Marsh is going to tell you it's a catchable ball, but I could have made it 10 times easier for him just putting it a little bit to the left and holding him up a little bit because he crushed the guy on his route. I just could have made it easier for him and that would have changed the complexity of the game."

Moments before that play, Cutler was seen yelling at Webb and shoving him, resulting in widespread criticism -- even from a teammate -- of the quarterback’s actions.

Perhaps Cutler has a point here, although he even admitted to mishandling the situation with Webb. Cutler and Marshall entered the league together with Denver, where they played three years, forming a prolific duo.

Webb, meanwhile, is playing in his third year and has struggled thus far, resulting in extensive punishment for Cutler, who has been sacked
84 times in his last 27 regular-season outings dating back to the tackle’s rookie season.

Still, Cutler expressed faith in Webb.

“J’Marcus is capable of playing this position, there’s no question about it,” Cutler said. “This isn’t about J’Marcus. This is about us as an offensive unit, us as a team getting better. It’s not one player. It takes 11 to make an offensive play go. As a united front (on) offense, we all collectively have to take a step in the right direction and get better.”