At this point, it's fair to wonder if Lovie Smith shares the same viewpoints as his mentors.
Tony Dungy stepped out this spring and was critical of Jay Cutler's leadership ability, and now Mike Martz, another close friend to Smith who lobbied hard for him to get a head coaching job, has piled on.
Martz and Jim Mora Sr. made pointed remarks about Cutler's postgame press conference Sunday night at Lambeau Field after he threw a career-high four interceptions in a 21-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Bears were 0-for-3 in the red zone and spoiled an all-around defensive effort. Cutler strung together a series of cliches and said miscommunications were partly to blame for the turnovers.
"When I saw that postgame press conference last night, I thought he looked completely immature,'' Mora said on the premier of The Head Coaches on NFL Network Monday night. "He acted like he didn't even care."
What's much more disturbing from the Bears' standpoint, however, is the criticism that came from Martz, who suggests the team is not handling him properly.
"He just doesn't get it,'' Martz said. "He doesn't understand that he represents a great head coach and the rest of those players on that team ... somebody needs to talk to him."
Smith remains close to Dungy and Martz both. It's difficult to imagine they would be critical of the marquee addition to the organization--the replacement for Sid Luckman six decades later--without knowing Smith would be understanding and accepting of their evaluations. Dungy called Cutler's makeup into question before.
"We'll see about his maturity level,'' Dungy said in a teleconference announcing his addition to NBC's coverage in early June. "That's what I would question. And some of the things that happened leading to him leaving Denver ... that would concern me as a head coach. He can make all of the throws, but quarterbacking is much more than just making throws."
Cutler can come across as being brusque in press conferences to uninterested and it's fair to say he was short Sunday night. What Dungy and Martz saw gave them reason to be concerned beyond the mistakes on the field.
``Having always handled my postgame press conferences in a professional way, I'm an authority on these types of things,'' Mora joked, referring to his "playoffs" rant that has become a popular beer commercial. "I just didn't think he was very professional, very accountable. I could give him a tip or two.''
It's going to be interesting to see what Smith's take on the situation is Wednesday. His new quarterback continues to take fire, and this is more friendly fire.