In October, former linebacker Brian Urlacher created some noise, as the current Bears would put it these days, when he said the only elite quality about Jay Cutler is the quarterback’s new contract, rather than his performance.
Since then, Cutler’s play has done little to argue otherwise. If anything, Urlacher’s comments have been proven correct. And Thursday, before the Bears hosted the Dallas Cowboys, he again spoke out about Cutler.
“He hasn’t changed, that’s for sure,” Urlacher said during a guest appearance on “Mike & Mike” on ESPN Radio. “He is who he is. I got a bunch of flak because people asked me if I thought he was elite. All I said was is what he’s shown us. His paycheck says he’s elite. His numbers do not say he is elite.”
Cutler entered the Cowboys game with a career bests in passer rating (91.2) and completion percentage (66.5 percent). But he also was responsible for 20 of the Bears’ 23 turnovers, including six lost fumbles.
On Thursday, Cutler completed 32 of 46 passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and a 94.6 passer rating. He also ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
But much of Cutler’s production came during a stat-padding late rally, which started with the Cowboys leading 35-13 in the fourth quarter. Cutler threw his 15th interception on his final pass of the game.
“I just said the facts, and I got a bunch of flak in Chicago for saying that,” Urlacher said. “But it’s the truth. The picks are up there, the turnovers are there. He’s talented. He’s 100 percent a talented guy, one of the most talented guys in the NFL. But it’s not a talent contest. It’s about winning football games.”
Urlacher suggested that fans should be concerned with Cutler’s lack of progress despite all his weapons and an improved line.
“The flashes are there,” Urlacher said. “It’s just being consistent with him and [coach Marc] Trestman was supposed to fix all that.”
Urlacher also discussed his defense of Cutler after the 2010 NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, when “[Cutler] blew [out] his MCL,” he said.
“People were taking shots at him after that game,” Urlacher said. “From my opinion, it wasn’t fair to him.”
But it’s no secret that Cutler and Urlacher aren’t exactly the closest of friends.
“I don’t talk to him,” Urlacher said. “That’s my relationship with Jay Cutler. I don’t talk to him. I watch him on TV when I watch the Bears.’’