Mike Martz is sorry for making a fuss about Jay Cutler for his friend Lovie Smith, but he meant what he said when he tore into the quarterback after the Bears' season-opening loss at Lambeau Field for his demeanor in a postgame press conference. On the field, he considers Cutler one of the rare talents in the league who is just beginning to put it together at 26.
"He is just scratching the surface,'' Martz said today when he visited with Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle on ESPN-1000. "He's a remarkable talent, he's one of the elite talents that I've ever seen. I just think he's just getting going with what they do with Ron Turner and the discipline and add more receivers over the years, over the next 10 years or so, Chicago has got to be excited about the future of that position. He's gonna ice that thing down for a long time to come.''
The former St. Louis Rams head coach was, in a way, trying to defend Smith when he spoke about Cutler on the debut episode of "The Coaches Show'' on NFL Network after Cutler's poor debut.
"He just doesn't get it," Martz said at the time. "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."
Martz was more diplomatic in his radio appearance.
"No, it's not a big deal,'' he said. "The thing that I regret is it created issues for Lovie, and I regret that. But what I said it was I felt and I still feel that but that's just not who Jay is. I met Jay and talked to him for a quite a while when he came out and the thing [is] that didn't reflect his character and who he is, you know the way he appeared in that press conference, I thought that was really unfortunate.
"If you look at the elite players at that position in the league, whether it's Tom Brady or shoot, Brett Favre or whoever, it doesn't make any difference. You know when bad things happen in a game and they don't win and he just has to learn that part of it. I know he was upset but you just can't let that show, man up so-to-speak, that's just not who he is. I felt it was very unfortunate because I think people got the wrong idea about him.''