Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers renew rivalry
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler seems to have forgotten all about his feud with San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, even as reporters tied to jog his memory Wednesday in anticipation of Sunday's game in Soldier Field.
During his media session Wednesday, Cutler kept all but one of his answers about Rivers to a few words.
Reporter: Where did your rivalry with Rivers start?
Cutler: I don't know.
Reporter: Was it the 2007 game around Christmas?
Cutler: I don't remember.
Reporter: Miss playing against him?
But Rivers took the high road Wednesday in praising Cutler -- who was a division rival when he was with the Denver Broncos -- as a competitor and saying he has nothing against Cutler.
"Sure, sure [I would talk to him]," Rivers said. "We've spoken in the past since then, whether it be at the coin toss or postgame.
"I mean, it wasn't as if we were big buddies beforehand and had a big falling off. I mean, he and I had minimal conversations even before all that got blown way out of proportion. I have nothing against Jay. I think he's a heck of a player. The one thing you know about him is he's a super competitor. One thing he's doing right now is he's leading his team to win four in a row. I'm fighting like crazy to just try to get a win."
On Dec. 24, 2007, Rivers came out to celebrate a defensive stop with the Chargers' victory over Cutler's Broncos well in hand. He yelled "Atta baby!" and on television it looked like he was shouting at Cutler. After the game, the Chargers accused Cutler of talking trash and maintained Rivers wasn't directing his comments to Cutler, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Cutler appeared on "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period" during the '08 season and said about Rivers: "We're not best of friends, at all. We don't really have a lot of contact with each other. It's become a nice rivalry. I'm just not that big of a fan of the guy. I don't like how he carries himself. I don't like some of the stuff he does on the field."
The two started five games against each other with Rivers winning four before Denver traded Cutler to the Bears in 2009.
"I am going to miss that rivalry," Rivers told ESPN.com's Bill Williamson at the time. "It was fun. I think it was good for the division. I really enjoyed it. People say now it will be a rivalry every four years or if we ever play Chicago in the Super Bowl. I've heard that a lot. It was fun. I'll miss it."
Cutler obviously has not been feeling similar emotions.
"I haven't played against him in a few years, so it's kind of different," Cutler said Wednesday. "It's something that's in the past.
"He's a great player. He's still putting up big numbers. They're going to throw the ball down the field. Defensively the way we're playing, hopefully we can shut him down."
Cutler joked after being asked Wednesday whether he'll try to smooth things over with Rivers.
"You got his number?" Cutler asked the reporter. "We can call him or something."
Rivers laughed when asked if he'd pass his number along.
"Probably not by way of you guys," Rivers said.
ESPN Stats & Info contributed to this report.