- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler expounded Tuesday on his sideline dustup with offensive coordinator Mike Tice during Monday night's 34-18 shellacking of the Dallas Cowboys, in which the quarterback lit up the home team for 275 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Camera crews captured an awkward exchange between Cutler and Tice on the team's bench, but the quarterback dismissed the situation as one that often occurs in the heat of battle all around the league on a weekly basis.
"It wasn't anything about Mike," Cutler said during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. "We got into a third-and-1 situation. We'd talked about getting in third-and-short all week, and we didn't convert. A crucial point in the game where we didn't convert."
As tempers flared, Tice moved over to sit next to Cutler on the bench to communicate, but the quarterback rose and walked away as the coach attempted to speak. Tice appeared to be dumbfounded by Cutler's actions. But Cutler explained the two quickly worked to iron out the situation, which garnered some conversation among the Monday Night Football crew broadcasting the game.
Of the third-down call, Cutler said: "We've just got to execute it. So Mike came over and said, 'We've got to make that.' I said, 'I know.' (I) got up, got some water, watched the defense for 10 seconds, came back and talked to Mike about what we were gonna get into the next series, and we were off and running."
Cutler explained that a 10-second clip on national television sans audio doesn't exactly capture what actually transpired, and said he consciously removed himself from the situation to help both himself and Tice regroup in what at the time was a tight, competitive game.
"Everyone's mad. Third-and-1, you've got to convert that," Cutler said. "Mike was fired up. He was mad because we didn't convert it. So I took a second, came back to him and was like, 'Hey, let's let it go. We're going to have a lot more opportunities, let's keep moving on.' And he agreed. So it's unfortunate these things get so much attention because it happens on a weekly basis, game by game between players and coaches, players and players."
Cutler dismissed the notion that the exchange with Tice came about as a result of the coaches sending in plays late. Despite the hiccup occurring on third down, the Bears still managed to convert on 58 percent of third downs for the game with Tice dialing up the plays.
"Me and Mike are good," Cutler said. "I thought he called a great game. I thought he put a good game plan together. He's our guy. He's got my full support."
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