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Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler agreed Monday with the assertion by receiver Brandon Marshall that "everybody involved in this offense should be held accountable, even if that means jobs."
Marshall made those comments Sunday, just moments after the team's fifth loss in six weeks, a 21-13 defeat at the hands of the rival Green Bay Packers. During "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000, Cutler clarified Marshall's remarks, saying, "I think he was talking more [about] players" as opposed to members of the coaching staff.
"I don't view what we just heard as a bad thing by any means," Cutler said after listening to a replay of Marshall's interview. "I don't see it that way. I don't see it as a detriment to the team or his ability to play the rest of the season. He probably wishes he chose his words a little bit differently. But other than that, I agree with B -- everyone needs to be held accountable."
Cutler took responsibility both Sunday and Monday for the team's performance on offense. Cutler passed for 135 yards, a touchdown and an interception to go with a passer rating of 72.5 in directing an offense that failed to convert a third down on nine tries.
Cutler absorbed four sacks in the loss, and in two games against the Packers this season, the quarterback suffered 11 sacks while throwing five interceptions. Cutler's interception just before intermission set up a touchdown pass from Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to James Jones that gave Green Bay a 14-7 lead.
As Cutler stepped from behind a lectern after finishing his postgame press conference on Sunday, the quarterback walked past Marshall, who was waiting to conduct his interview session. The two stopped as Cutler extended a hand to Marshall and quietly said something to the receiver.
"As we kind of passed, I was like, 'B, calm down. It's gonna be all right.' He said, 'I've got it,'" Cutler said.
Then Marshall launched into an emotional display of frustration, after catching six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in the loss. When the teams met in Week 2, the Packers limited Marshall to two catches for 24 yards.
"It's the same thing every single game. We need to be held accountable," Marshall said. "What I've got to do is try my best to keep it together and not let this affect me, because it's starting to affect me more than it should. I love this game. I'm very passionate about this game, and right now it's affecting me way too much. I'm trying my all to do my job. So ... that's it."
With that, Marshall immediately stopped the interview and walked toward the locker room.
Asked whether Marshall directed his comments Sunday toward the coaching staff, Cutler said, "I don't think so. Brandon knows better than to get into that debate or cross that line. We talk about it all the time. We just have to control my job, and Brandon has to control his job. That's all we can do out there. We've just got to focus on ourselves."
Cutler spoke with Marshall on Sunday night, and "he was still upset," the QB said.
"He's still passionate just like (me) and some of the guys on the team," Cutler added. "He's gonna be fine."
Bears coach Lovie Smith responded to Marshall's comments by saying, "Throughout the season, we stress being accountable with every position, with all of us: coaches, players and all of us. I don't think anything has changed from that."
With two games remaining, the Bears sit at 8-6 after a 7-1 start, and they no longer control their own postseason destiny. Cutler stressed it's counterproductive to start assigning blame. The time for that, he said, is the offseason.
That won't stop speculation about Smith's job security or any other potential organizational changes.
"Yeah, I know it's out there. I can't worry about it," Cutler said. "No one on the team can worry about it. We've got bigger problems. We've got to win these next two games and see where everything falls out. None of those decisions are up to me or really any other players."