Bears general manager Jerry Angelo ripped the players around the NFL who criticized Jay Cutler's toughness in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, calling it ''dirty pool'' to criticize Cutler, who left the game early in the third quarter with an MCL sprain.
''I was very surprised. I think it's crap,'' an agitated Angelo said. ''I thought they were a union. If that's the way they unionize, they've got bigger issues than the ones they have wit the owners. I'm very disappointed. That to me is dirty pool.
''It is what it is. Certainly people are allowed to say what they want to say. But that doesn't make it right. And it's certainly not grounded.
''I certainly didn't like what was said. And I take that personally, too. He's our quarterback. We wouldn't have been where we are without him. I want to make that clear. We stand by him. Nobody's perfect. His play isn't perfect. He's not perfect. There's not a person in this room or in this league that is, either. ''
Cutler was 6-of-14 for 80 yards and an interception before leaving the game after the first drive of the second half. He did not return.
''If you think Jay Cutler isn't tough, something's wrong with your vision of what toughness is,'' Angelo said. ''I can't even believe I'm sitting here talking about Cutler's toughness. If you asked me about Jay Cutler, I'll talk about his toughness first and then his arm strength.''