Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler declined Monday to discuss reports about him possibly uttering expletives about fans booing the club Sunday during its 23-22 win over the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field.
Fox cameras followed Cutler as he walked to the locker room with his team trailing 13-7, after the quarterback finished the first half with a passer rating of 18.1 and absorbed six sacks. As Cutler looked into the crowd, he began to mutter something that some believed to be an obscenity about the fans.
"No, (I wasn't ticked at the fans)," Cutler said during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. "I was mad at the offense. I was mad at my performance and us as a group."
Cutler acknowledged he heard the fans booing, but he felt like the team deserved it after putting up just 49 net yards of offense while turning the ball over twice. Because of the six sacks Cutler took in the first half, the Bears had thrown for minus-15 net yards as the offense missed on all three of its third-down conversion attempts.
Asked what he was thinking as fans booed the team, Cutler said, "We should be booed."
"I told (Brandon Marshall) when we got into the locker room, he's like, 'They booed us.' I was like, 'I know, I would boo us too,'" Cutler said. "It was ugly, and we didn't snap out of it until 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
"Rightfully so, we got booed. Chicago fans know it was a lousy performance. We know it's a lousy performance, and hopefully when we come back on the Sunday night game (against the Houston Texans on Nov. 11), we'll do better for them."
After the Fox camera crew caught Cutler walking into the locker room, several websites slowed down the footage to show what the quarterback was supposedly saying, and the small snippet of video became a subject on television shows and websites.
Questioned again about the subject, Cutler joked, "Is this court? Are we in court right now? Are you a judge and jury?" Then the quarterback explained again that he chooses not to engage in debate about subjects referring to seemingly trivial matters such as his body language or sideline demeanor.
"I'm not going to get involved with it," Cutler said. "I can't control these things, what websites say. So we should have been booed. Rightfully so, we got booed and we have to get better. That's that."
Cutler said that he didn't "really recall that moment" caught on cameras by Fox.
Either way, the quarterback rebounded in the fourth quarter, completing 12 of 14 attempts. Cutler hit on 3 of 4 during a drive that led to a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kellen Davis that pulled the Bears within five points after Robbie Gould's field goal.
After the Panthers rallied back to take a 22-20 lead on Justin Medlock's 45-yard field goal, Cutler moved the Bears 55 yards in nine plays to put Gould in position for the winning field goal. During the drive, Cutler completed 6 of 7 passes for 52 yards.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera credited the Bears for making the necessary adjustments.
"Our guys were doing a good job," Rivera said. "They went to more quick throws, short throws. They went to more three- and five-step drops. Jay delivered some really good passes, and that's why Brandon Marshall is one of the better receivers in the league. We were trying to make they systematically beat us. They got in field goal position, and you take your chances at that point."