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January 24, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dickerson

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:07 PM)

Greetings from Halas Hall.

jp (lville)

Who is held accountable for having Todd Collins as the back up over Caleb Hanie? Do you think someones head should go on the chopping block for this blunder?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:08 PM)

The people who should be held accountable are Mike Martz and Lovie Smith. Will they? Doubtful.

Steven (Texas)

What a blown play at the end of the game. Out of a timeout, they run a end around with Bennett. You would think they would put it in the hands of their best open field player "Hester" Who called that play?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:10 PM)

Mike Martz. Hanie, at first, changed the play to that inside run to Forte - that would have picked up the first down. But Martz called timeout just before the snap.

Bobby (Forest Park, IL)

Hello Jeff, I played D-1 baseball in college for two years and I've competed in some very big games. There's something that clicks in your head that tells you "no matter what, I'm playing in this game or I want to win this game so bad, I'm willing to do anything". I don't question Cutler's toughness but I do question his desire to win. There were times throughout the game where it was apparent that Jay Cutler does not appear to be a "gamer".

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:12 PM)

Bobby, I don't question your past athletic accomplishments, but the coaches and training staff determined he could not continue. An MCL injury is very painful, from what I understand, so I just can't buy the argument that Cutler isn't a "gamer".

Jason J (Chicago)

What are the chances the Bears protect Cutler and announce his injury is worse than it really is? I don't think its that crazy of an idea.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:13 PM)

Jason, If Cutler in fact did quit on the team - which I believe he DID NOT do - then why would the Bears cover it up? In that scenario, I could see the team going out of its way to put the proper information out there. Why would they protect a guy who quit on them?

Ryan (Bartlett)

Just heard a report that preliminary tests show a torn MCL in Cutler's knee. Any truth to this? If it is a torn MCL there's no way he could continue. I tore mine last year playing baseball and was in a hinged knee brace for 6 weeks.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:15 PM)

Yes, the belief yesterday was the MCL suffered significant damage which made it impossible for Cutler to continue.

Nipsey (chicago)

Did you get a chance to go into the locker room after the game? And were there really a few players in the locker room who quietly questioned Cutlers heart? As was reported by other writers.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:17 PM)

Nipsey, I was in the locker room. Obviously, it's impossible to talk to all 53 guys on the team after the game. But of the guys I did speak with privately, nobody thought Cutler faked the injury or questioned his heart. But I can't say for sure everybody felt that way.

Dan (Dallas)

Even if the injury is serious, what do you think Jay has to do in order to stop being blasted? I'm a Cutler guy and am not critical of him being held out because of injury but I'm not blindly supportive of him. What do you think he needs to do, short of winning the Super Bowl, in order to save his career in Chicago?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:18 PM)

Dan, it's simple, he just has to play well. That's it. He needs to be a little more consistent and take the Bears back to the playoffs. Cutler will never win the people over with his charm. He needs to do it with his arm. I think he can. His days in Chicago are far from over.

Mark (Milwaukee)

Being a long time Packers fan I have my views....injury, no injury...Cutler has no heart!!!...The one thing that stood out the most for me...was he wasn't help his teammate out...he just sat there with that glazed look on his face...when you'd think he'd be helping out Hanie...giving him some advice.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:21 PM)

I think people would agree I'm not the biggest Cutler fan, but be fair, you only saw what TV showed you. Cutler did in fact talk with Hanie on the sidelines on multiple occassions. It just want's shown by FOX.

Evan (SLC)

How were the Bears in that game? Packers almost blew that one.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:24 PM)

It was amazing it was so close in the second half. That was all due to the defense waking up (Urlacher and Peppers in particular) and the spark Caleb Hanie and Matt Forte gave the offense.

Mike (Evanston)

Allow me to pile on. Collins threw 5 picks in 27 attempts. He should have been released much less the #2 QB.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:25 PM)

Amen.

Logan (Iowa)

I never heard the reason for the timeout prior to the end around call...it appeared they had the right call made and it was going to be a big gain..all i know is Lovie has a history of calling ill-advised timeouts..Do you know why it was called?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:26 PM)

Hanie couldn't hear the Martz call in his headset (the Bennett end around, so he changed things up and the line and they ran the Forte play - which worked. Martz, however, called timeout right before the snap. He then called the bad Bennett end around a second time, the Bears ran it and Green Bay blew it up.

Bill (Deerfield)

The talk about a Lovie contract extension should be put to bed immediately! Yesterday was one of the worst coached games I have seen.. from Lovie, Martz, and Marrennelli. The team looked unprepared out of the gate... and the decisions were as bad as a bad Cutler! Thoughts?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:28 PM)

Bears were outcoached badly yesterday (with the exception of the defense in the second half). No argument here.

Mikey Sage (Chicago)

That end around is maybe one of the worst play calls I have ever seen. In that situation there is no reason they should run that play.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:30 PM)

Especially since Forte and Taylor were both running well, and Hanie is a mobile QB. Bad call.

Rob (Ticked Off)

With the report of Cutler's torn MCL, are we going to hear an apology from columnists and athletes who questioned Cutler's toughness?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:31 PM)

We (ESPN and ESPNChicago.com) reported last night Cutler suffered ligament damage in his left MCL. That is correct.

Chris (Jersey)

I read AJ Mass a minute ago write that once Hanie came into the game. I thought that rule only applied to emergency quarterbacks - was Haine left off the game roster? If so, naming the rotting corpse of Todd Collins the primary backup seems like a remarkable blunder.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:32 PM)

Yes, Hanie was the No. 3 QB yesterday. So when entered the game before the 4th quarter, the Bears could not go back to Cutler.

Stephen (Chicago)

Best option yesterday...A hurt Jay Cutler or Caleb Hanie?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:33 PM)

Given the extent of the injury to Cutler, I'd say a healthy Caleb Hanie.

Melvin (North Carolina)

Jeff, I think it's a no brainer to extend Lovie Smith's contract to at least coincide with the expiration of Jerry Angelo's contract. A new coaching regime with a new system will do nothing but set this team back at least two years. How come those people calling for Lovie Smith's job do not recognize this side of the argument?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:35 PM)

Melvin, the loss is stil fresh and it really hurts. But take a step back; the Bears had a really good year. They won 12 games and were a touchdown down to the Packers in the fourth quarter. My best guess is the Bears and Lovie Smith still have talks about an extension in the offseason, and it possibly gets done. I don't believe Lovie gets fired because of the loss yesterday.

Dito (Chicago)

That lovie Smith Time Out totally cost us the game. If you go back and look at the Film Forte had a clear lane to the End Zone... Thats the 2nd time Lovie cost us a game against the pack because of a T.O. He needs to be FIRED...

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:36 PM)

Martz called the timeout. If you want to open up a conversation about Martz maybe being fired...I'm all ears.

Jerry Angelo (Halas Hall)

Tell me why I'm not going to fire Mike Martz? Putting Todd Collins in front of Caleb Hanie on the depth chart, going back to his horrible unbalanced ways when it counts in the NFC Championship game, and that horrible end around when despite all this the defense and a QB I didn't believe in has kept us in the game.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:37 PM)

I guess you don't fire Martz because that would be the fourth new offense for Jay Cutler in the last four years. Besides that, I have little use for Martz.

Chris (Chicago)

Any chance Jay would want to force a trade out of here? So many people just do not like the guy, fair or unfair...

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:39 PM)

No chance. Not after all the $$$ he was paid by the Bears.

Pat (Chicago)

"Why would they protect a guy who quit on them?" To not drive away trade partners?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:39 PM)

Pat, the Bears are not trading Cutler.

Scott ((Toledo))

What are the chances of Olin Kreutz being re-signed this offseason? The offensive line may have been our biggest weakness this season, but Olin still is on of the biggest leaders the team has on offense.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:41 PM)

I think the Bears would be wise to bring Olin back. I'd hate to see the Bears go into 2011 with a rookie starting center. I don't envision that working well with Cutler. Kreutz might not be a Pro Bowler at this stage of his career, but he's still a pretty good center.

Chris Chicago,IL [via mobile]

When will Chicago get a real football team??

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:42 PM)

Come on, Chris. They made the NFC TITLE GAME! Am I the only person who doesn't view the year as a complete failure?!

Stifler (VA)

Rodgers crushed that Tampa 2 coverage all day long yesterday. That HUGE gap b/t the LB's and Safety's is about a mile wide. Would you suggest drafting a O-lineman or DB with our first pick?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:45 PM)

Offensive line. But the Bears are going to need help at CB in the near future. Bowman and Jennings only have one year left on their deals, and Tillman will be entering his 9th year.

D.J. (Decatur)

With Hanie's great performance yesterday do see other teams taking interest in him during the offseason?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:47 PM)

Caleb Hanie has three years of NFL service. Regardless of the new CBA, I bet the Bears will still own his rights for another year or two. He'll be a restricted free agent, likely, so the Bears can match any offer based on the tender.

Joe (Pana, Il)

Can we finally make Hanie our b/u QB next year and move on to improving in other areas? Any FA o-linemen that can help us out if 2011 happens?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:48 PM)

I think that's fair. Open the 2011 season with Hanie as the No. 2. I think he earned that.

Jeff (Gastonia)

Any chance Chicago will begin to look for another QB?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:50 PM)

No. Maybe a new No. 3 to backup Cutler and Hanie next year. But that's it.

Scott (Chicago)

Am I the only one that thinks Aaron Rodgers had a concussion during the second half, if not sooner?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:51 PM)

Maybe. Peppers crushed Rodgers. He did not look right after that.

Andy (Chicago)

I hope the bears get Nnamdi Asomugha? or a great cover corner whats the chances of that happening? I think better than deviating from the Tampa 2 deep zone

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:54 PM)

Andy, that's a ton of money to spend on a player who isn't suited to play in a zone defense. I'd say the chances are slim.

Ryan (Peoria)

What do you think of other players and ex players bashing Cutler on twitter? Fair or unfair?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:56 PM)

I can't tell Asante Samuel or Maurice Jones Drew or Darnell Dockett how to feel....but you should always wait for the facts to come out before making a determination. The facts are Cutler suffered a significant MCL injury. Maybe Samuel could've kept playing. I don't know. All I know is the Bears told Cutler he couldn't.

j (vegas)

Any chance Hanie is next years starting quaterback?

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:59 PM)

Unless Cutler gets hurt in camp or the preseason, no chance.

Jeff Dickerson
  (12:59 PM)

Thank you everybody. Jurko is next.

ESPNChicago.com
  (1:10 PM)

Sorry, Jurko can't make it today. Thanks.