Chicago Sun-Times

Ditka talks about Cutler's talent, leadership

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Mike Ditka addressed issues from player safety to the league's labor stoppage in an interview with Dave Krieger of the Denver Post (via

His most interesting comments, however, involved quarterback Jay Cutler.

"Jay Cutler is a talent," Ditka said. "Nobody will argue that. I think part of playing quarterback is talent. The most important part of playing quarterback is leadership. And the way you act and the way you conduct yourself around your teammates on the sideline, with the media, all those things.

"Now, I can't speak for Jay in the sense of, I don't know what being a diabetic does to you. I have no idea, so I can't really speak to that. But I'm just saying that he needs to improve his body language, and I think everybody would admit that.

"But as far as the game of football and the ability to throw the football, he does that very well. And I think the other quality we got to get to is the leadership thing. You've got to be able to lead as a quarterback."

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Jay Cutler does have a alot of what makes a good QB into a Great one. What he does not have is people skills. He puts himself out their like he is above his fans. When he is addressing the media he sounds like a tool. It appears that he never looks at film on the sidelines.
Jay cant produce pro-bowl seasons in the next two years I feel the Bears should cut their losses and move on. So far what we have saw from Jay Cutler are flashes of greatness and a consistent weakness while under pressure. He was under mental pressure from Denver and his job was in question and might have to fight to be a starter. What was his first reaction- get the heck out of there.
There is a good unspoken reason why Jay Cutler has no problem working and helping Caleb Hanie cause Jay Cutler knew Hanie had no chance to be a starter. Now that the rookie and Caleb Hanie are gonna be his back up there is no threat so Jay is gonna be happy and content in Chicago. Untill the Bears get a QB to compete against Jay Cutler, Jay will say everything is gum drops and gummy bears.

I have always been a Ditka fan, but I really am tired of the negativity and silly "body language" nonsense regarding Jay Cutler. Personally I see no problem with a professional player of any sport avoiding the too often simply silly media attempting to make much ado about nothing.In fact, with the ridiculous antics of all too many pro players, seeing a player who ignores all the attempted media hype is absolutely refreshing.

I know Paul that Mike Ditka is now part of the media but keep in mind he isnt another sports writer or a face on tv that just knows football, Mike Ditka not only played the game but is a Hall of Famer and a very respected retired head coach.
Ditka is just saying that Jay Cutlers demeanor could use a little work. With a little work on Jays demeanor, he could just be the most respected QB in Bears history and also become one of the elite in the NFL. As a former head coach Ditka is bothered by Jay Cutler "who cares" shrugs and hopes Jay Cutler not only as a gifted talent will step up to the plate and be a leader and shows he realy wants it more then anyone.

Hahaha!! From the guy who threw a blob of chewing gum at a 49ers fan. Great advice on leadership, Mike.

You know I have seen people worry less about Body language on Animal Kingdom. "Oh Mugongo the chimp has raised his spinal hair's, Cogo may see this as a challenge to his dominance, oh know here we go."

Cutler is a quiet guy who prefers to lead on the field, he never throws his teamates under the bus, and generally he tells you point blank what he did wrong or right in a game."

Ditka is worried about his leadership, how would he know anything about his leadership he is not in the lockeroom. The man took a crazy beating all year, had a OC that did not give a damn about his health, and does not have a bunch of elite players on his line or at the skill positions. He didn't say jack about those guys and took all the blame himself.

This is Ditka trying to back track on what he said a couple of months ago. Because he was wrong then and he is wrong now. It's not a big surprise that many of us said the Bears offense would struggle the day they hired Martz, and sure enough the offense regressed. What do some of us fans keep getting lucky with our predictions? The guy has been fired/let go from three jobs, and has not had an elite offense for the better part of a decade.

As for some of those who wonder about Cutler and Hanie. Cutlers two closest friends onthe Bears are Olsen and Hanie and it has been like that since he got here. Hanie has stated more than once that Jay has helped him a lot. The question should really be who is helping Jay. Looks like the only guy getting that are Tice and Lovie of all people.

History of the Bears organization over the past two decades or better suggest they don't know a whole lot about offense and don't do enough in scouting offensive talent. You have the never ending list of QB's, not one semi elite reciever, a buch of first round backs who have busted out, and some horrible O-line draft picks and signings.

As much as the NFL wants to make the QB the only meaningful player in football, QB's need talent around them to excell. Most great offensive teams have a heck of a lot of talent on offense. Just look at the 99 Rams, or the 49er's of the 80's or even the nem millenium Pats. Elway and the Bronco's, when he won there, the did a lot to improve the O-Line, get him a running game and improve the quality of the recievers, plus Shannon Sharp.

There is a lot of work to do on this offense. To me it starts with Martz mister Style over Substance. I'll be glad when he is gone, and I am glad the Bears gave him a minimum offer.

You know to many people confuse leadership with the Post Game Press Confrence. Not everyone is Tom "Zoolander" Brady, or Brett "Croc Tears" Favre. Brady gets up there and he can't wait to Mug for the Camera, "Look at my Ponytail, check out my looks, I call this Blue Steel, and check out my La Tigra." Give me a break with these clowns.

Look Cutler doesn't like getting up in front of a Camera, you can tell he's uncomfortable. It has nothing to do with how he plays or who he is. The guy had only one really bad game last year against the Skins in the regular season and he had one very good game and bad game in the playoff's. It happens. One thing I do know is he improved from the year before and is a huge reason they won the division. Kepp him from getting sacked close to 60 times and the guy probably has a very good year. People in this town have been wating for a QB for so long they expect the guy to be Navy Blue Jesus.

You got clowns running around saying he needs to make a pro bowl to prove he is good. Like that popularity contest has anything to do with how he plays or how good he is. For that matter how good any player is. Oh look Leonard Weaver made the Pro Bowl last year he must be great. Shaun O'Hara sucked last year and went to the pro bowl. So did Jason Peters big, slow and stupid, Romo and McNabb were there as well and I am pretty sure Cutler had a better season than both those guys. Hell Vince Young was in the Pro Bowl last year along with Gerrard. Outside of White no reciever for the NFC had a better year than Calvin Johnson and he wasn't there. Steve Smith over Mike Williams last year? I don't think so, the Pro bowl is a joke and anyone who holds that as their standard for how good a QB is should probably jump off the face of the earth.

I'm a huge Mike Ditka fan, and he is a well respected personnel in Bear lore. I just don't understand how Da Coach figures Jay Cutler has leadership issues? I've never heard any player question Cutler's leadership, and the players are the ones who would know, they're the ones in the huddle with him.

Jay Cutler keeps to himself so he's viewed as an oddball by the media, that doesn't mean he has leadership issues. So what if the guy keeps a low profile, who cares? The guy already has 50 td passes in just two seasons with the Bears and had the team one game away from the big dance, thats all you should really care about.

As far as Cutler and Hanie go, if you seen Hanie's press conference the day after the NFC championship game, Hanie kept going on about how Cutler was helping him and going up to him on the sideline, and Hanie also pointed out that thats something the good people at FOX wouldn't show you, because that isn't the picture they want to paint for you about Cutler. All you got were ones of Cutler standing by himself, and the ones where Cutler went up to Hanie to help him out, never made it on tv...go figure. Don't believe everything the media says, you'll end up mowing grass in december GO BEARS!!

Jay chokes under pressure. He behaves like a coward and a doosh The bears had two shots at ending the packers's season this year. TWO. Jay took a steaming dump in his pants both times and I don't care what you apologists say, injury or no injury, he quit in the second one. When you mope on the sidelines and stare off into space and you don't put on a headset or grab a clipboard or talk to your teammates or coaches, you QUIT. Jay QUIT. This won't go away and people won't stop talking about it because it is TRUE. He will quit again and you apologists will once more be left having to explain it all away again while Jay flies off to another continent to hide.

I like Jay. Ditka had his glory days and I beamed with pride when the Bears turned into true monsters under his watch, but people are who they are, and Cutler doesn't pretend to be anyone else or allow others to make him act the way they feel he should. Good for him! Give him a solid o-line and some dangerous receivers before passing judgment, and everyone, 'Da Coach' included, go get a life and mind your own business.

Creighton and Armstead make good points here.

This whole thing with Cutler's perceived body language is grossly tainted by a handful of people working for major media outlets who felt spurned by Cutler at one time or another. Ditka is part of that crew, and, while I think he's just doing his job, his take on Cutler's body language skills is a joke.

This all started with a smear campaign by the Broncos after THEY LIED TO CUTLER AND TRIED TO TRADE HIM BEHIND HIS BACK.

Before you criticize Cutler for being a baby, I know a bunch of executives who left their employers due to dishonest and unethical relations with colleagues and supervisors. I would have done the same thing.

Anyone remember what happened to Josh McDaniels?

And don't the players and coaches and executives of the NFL continually remind us that the business of football is, after all, A BUSINESS?

The smear continued with Mark Schlereth running his mouth - incessantly and unprofessionally - in campaigns against Jay, and continued with NBC and Fox when Jay refused to break down his 2009 interceptions with commentators from the respective networks before nationally televised Bear games.

All Jay has really done is refused to play for a coach who is now twice-disciplined by the league for cheating and has a well-documented track-record of fighting with his own players.

Since that time, Jay has kept his head down, showed steady improvement, and led the Bears to the NFC title game.

Ditka, shut up.


This story means there is less than nothing to talk about right now about the Bears, or the entire NFL. Thanks to the lockout, there is no news.

And there doesn't appear to be any end in sight. The owners and players arguing about 9 billion is like 2 skunks in a pissing contest. No one will win. These guys are complete idiots.

The real reason there is a lockout, is neither side wants to be the one that backs down in the eye of the public. Their egos will not allow them to make a rational decision, as neither wants to be the one that looks like a B*T*H.

The reason the government is involved is there are 300,000 other jobs on the line if there is a lockout, and the economy is already in deep as it is.

Why can't each side just take half, and then let there be football? If this is decided in the courts, there will be games missed. Anybody out there that has been in some legal battle with lawyers (maybe due to a car accident, or work comp injury) knows they move as fast as a frozen slug.

And COACH. I love ya. But Cutler has no leadership issues. He gives up his body time and time again to try to move the Bears down field.

OK, I'll buy that quarterback is as much about leadership as it is about talent. Ditka has me that far. That's it.

Leadership is not body language or facial expressions and Mike Ditka knows that. Cutler lead his team to the NFC title game where he was beaten by the eventual world champions. He did that with one of the worst offensive lines in the league. I don't remeber him talking about anything but the team's performance or being critical of any but his own performance in either losing or winning. I don't remember a single team member complaining about his leadership, even anonomously. He took some real beatings during the season, but never complained about it. He was removed from some games due to injury by the coaching staff, but got up and went back to the huddle every time he went down.

By all accounts he was there early and stayed late during the offseason. He lead by example at all the workouts.

Ditka has earned the right to talk about the Bears in his retirement, but now he makes money by saying things for the television and radio. Right now he, Ditka, is saying things that he, Ditka, would have ridiculed back in his playing days.

I cannot WAIT to see Cutler perform behind an improved O-line. they guy took a tremendous beating all year and never complained and yet has to hear all this CRAP about quitting when the line was getting him killed. Now we will have a MONSTER named Carimi opening huge holes for Forte and keeping Jay's jersey clean. Switch j-webb to the right side or sign matt light and if the defense can hold up another year we are super bowl bound!

Here's a little know fact about Ditka. Back in the mid to late 80's he had facial surgery to sew his two lips together right down the middle so he could talk out of both sides of his mouth. Why doesn't this moron retire and shut up already. And for you that are ready to jump on me for not "being a fan", I have a son named after "da coach." But this guy is nothing more than a clown. YES, he did lead the Bear's to their only SB win, BUT let's review the true history and a few examples of that double talk.

#1. This was the same guy who lambasted the Bears players in the late 80's for having too much outside interests while he was endorsing everything under the sun.

#2. This guy is supposed to be an advocate for player's rights, but then threw his 1987 team under the bus during the work stoppage. Any of you remember that? All he had to do was just say something like Buddy Ryan did and that team probably would have won the Super Bowl, BUT NOOO, Ditka says, "those aren't my players, these (the replacement ones) are my players." On top of that, he went against the teams vote and allowed 2 replacement players on that 87 team. If any of you remember that 87 team, they came out and looked like a team pissed off that they were left out of the SB festivities the year prior. They destroyed the defending SB champs on MNF, and then dominated their 2nd game. And I have heard the late Dave Duerson who was the player rep alternate, say on the radio that the players were very close to telling the union to jump in the lake, but at the end of the day, didn't want to do that to the union. Just a little support from Ditka would have went a long way. And after the strike, the 87 Bears were a lathargic, unenthusiastic team just going through the motions.

#3: Look above. "You got to be able to lead as a QB." Really, coach? You mean lead and not have your coach undermine the starting QB on a 14-2 team and bring in Doug Flutie and baby him from day 1.

#4: Blasts the Stan Thomas pick in the early 90's as a McCaskey pick and a waste, meanwhile he gives up all of 1 year's draft and 2 picks from the next year for Ricky Williams.

Go away, Ditka. And take Schlereth, Dilfer, and Stuart Scott with you. I don't care what Cutler's body language is, as long as he continues to improve the way he has. Not enough has been mentioned aout the strides he took from 09/10 to 10/11 considering that Angelo has done virtually nothing to help this kid out.

Hey "Butkus"....go with Ditka..get lost idiot. In 2 years Cutler has helicoptered into the endzone, been bloodied, concussed, bruised, knocked around like a tackling dummy. And it's quite obvious that the grade 2 MCL TEAR wasn't a wake up call for Angelo.

Ditka's storm of furry

Q.You hear about Drew Brees, Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning working out with their receivers. What is taking Jay Cutler so long?

A.Bears quarterbacks and receivers should have been working out together long ago. If they have not been (and I am not completely sure they have not been), it shows a void of leadership on the team.

As a leader and a caption of the team Cutler should call up the wide-outs, Caleb Hanie and the Rookie QB to do something. It seems to me Jay Cutler is taking this lock-out like a vacation. Players that want it will do anything they can to get better. Heck some players are getting out in fields, parks, streets heck even their backyard just to keep fresh.
Lets hope this lock-out will end soon cause we all know the O-Line and wide-outs are in the bottom of the NFL and they need all the work they can get.

Even if Cutler did arrange workouts, would it do much good? Knox still won't run into traffic to complete a slant route, he won't make the right sight adjustments, and Hester will still round out his routes in game action. For many offenses, I believe this timing is critical between the QB and WR, but Martz's offense works on a different cadence. Martz's offense is based on releasing the ball on a schedule to a spot, not the timing of the receiver. The QB has to trust that the receiver will get to the spot on time and be open, and the receiver has to make it happen.

So if Cutler was setting up in his drops and throwing the ball to spots, that gives him everything he should be doing by Martz's training. Whether he is doing that or not is another story, but he doesn't need the receivers to get his timing down in the offense. Personally, I don't agree with Martz's offense with our personnel, because we only have 1 receiver under contract that understands how to run a route, and will attack the ball. Earl Bennett is the only one. Knox is softer than DeSean Jackson, and Hester just doesn't have the experience to be more than a slot guy at this point in his career. Andy Fantuz? Not a chance for that lumbering oaf to be successful in Martz's scheme.

Ideally, we would be running an offense similar to what Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers get to do, but we don't have the weapons. We have Forte, and Olsen...Not exactly Faulk, Bruce, and Holt. Forte is very solid, and Olsen is better than average, but not by much. This team has invested in defense again in the draft, so there are minimal young building blocks around Cutler at the skill positions. I am happy that we actually spent an early pick on an OT, but we missed the G and C we needed. Good thing there is that hardly any centers were drafted, so guys like Linnenkohl and Barnes are still out there as UDFA. Maybe we have enough guards on the roster to make it work, but there are doubts. We should be able to run the ball better in 2011, which will help Cutler, and I think Carimi on the left will be a good thing for Cutler's blind side (as opposed to Omiyale, Williams, or Webb manning that spot).

But where are the professional receivers? Can we get a tight end that isn't a fat, out of shape guy that is too short to be a guard, but too slow to be a receiver? How about a change-of-pace running back? Chester Taylor is just another Forte-like player, who runs a little lower than Matt does, so he is better in short yardage. But they are the same type of back, so the defense doesn't have to change its thinking when they sub in.

Man, I want football to start back up again. The Bears need to get back to work.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on May 7, 2011 9:12 AM.

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