Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie defended teammate Jay Cutler on Monday, saying not only that Cutler would have finished the NFC Championship Game against the Packers if he could have and adding that Cutler helped him and encouraged him during the second half.
It just frustrates you to hear that stuff from anybody, let alone other players and well-known respected media guys on TV,'' Hanie said. ''I'll just tell you this: The one thing I know about Jay Cutler is that he's tough. Another thing I know about him is that he's going to stand up for his teammates. And he didn't want to let his teammates down. So if he could have been on the field and been productive at all for the team, he would have done it.''
Hanie said Cutler talked to him several times during the second half, but was frustrated that it seems like only the times Cutler is standing by himself doing nothing get shown on television.
''He talked to me. He was very encouraging,'' Hanie said. ''You only get five-second clips on him during the game. For some reason they didn't get the clips of him talking to me standing up when I come off the field, which would have been nice for everybody to see that.
''But he encouraged me before I went in, when I came off the field, between every drive. A few of the things he said was, 'Hey, just play within yourself, trust the offensive line, those guys are doing a good job protecting. Just use your legs if you need to and just go make plays and have fun.' He said that to me numerous times, calmed me down, did a great job of that.
''To hear that criticism of him, he doesn't care about the game when he's out of the game is very aggravating when you know ... I can tell you first-hand that he was very encouraging to me and helped me out tremendously during the game.''