Friday, January 28, 2011
Brian Urlacher sees silver lining
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher believes the Jay Cutler controversy could pull the team even closer together next season as it attempts to build off its NFC Championship Game berth.
Urlacher was the first to defend Cutler, who left Sunday's 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a sprained left MCL.
"We're such a close team, and I think we know how to put things behind us," Urlacher said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Stuff in the media just makes us stronger as a team, pulls us closer together, gives us something to build on."
Urlacher said he was upset when he was told during the postgame press conference that other players were questioning Cutler's toughness via Twitter.
"It [ticked] me off," Urlacher said. "I didn't think it was warranted.
"Anyone who knows Jay and has played with Jay and seen the hits he's taken in his career knows he's not a sissy. He's a tough guy. He goes out there every day and doesn't say anything about what's going on, just practices and plays and goes about his business. It really frustrated me. I didn't think it was warranted, but that's just the way -- with all the social networking now -- it's the way things go."
Cutler often has been criticized for body language that suggests he's aloof or disengaged. That perception was enhanced Sunday when he was sitting next to third-stringer Caleb Hanie in the fourth quarter and didn't seem to be encouraging the young quarterback, who later said Cutler did offer advice and encouragement.
"I think [the critics] are going off his body language, which to me doesn't matter anyway," Urlacher said. "He was probably frustrated he wasn't in the game.
"As a player, I personally try not to take shots at other players publicly. Sometimes it's hard to do that."
Urlacher has no plans to coach Cutler on interacting with the media.
"I'm the last person who needs to tell someone to have fun during an interview," he said. "You've seen me do mine.
"I'm getting better. The more smart alec you are the more fun it is, for me at least. No, I'm not going to say anything to Jay. That's his deal."
Urlacher also said he has no plans on reaching out to Cutler.
"About what? I talk to our trainers," Urlacher said. "I don't want to bother him in the offseason. For the most part, he should be OK in a couple of weeks, if he does the rehab and stuff."
Personally, the 32-year-old Urlacher said he feels great and has a few more productive years remaining.
And while he respects the Packers, he answered quickly when asked if he'll be rooting for Green Bay in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Hell no I'm not rooting for the Packers in the Super Bowl," he said. "I have a ton of respect for that organization and the head coach, but I don't want them to win the Super Bowl. They're in our division, I want them to lose."
It really frustrated me, I didn't think it was warranted, but that's just the way -- with all the social networking now -- it's the way things go.
-- Brian Urlacher, on Jay Cutler criticism