With all the quarterback confrontations that have occurred at NFL training camps in the last week or so, people naturally want to know what players, coaches and analysts think of all this. One of those players, former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, was remarkably candid in his thoughts, saying that there have been times when he’s wanted to punch Jay Cutler but didn’t out of respect.
Briggs played with Cutler for six seasons in Chicago, from 2009 to 2014.
Cutler, as you may know, doesn’t have the greatest reputation around the league, in part because he smiles about as much as a doorknob. Given that, is it possible that other Bears feel the same way about Cutler as Briggs does?
Maybe, maybe not.
“I’ve never had a problem with Jay,” Bears linebacker Jared Allen said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I competed against Jay for may years. He was with Denver, I was in Kansas City and I actually enjoyed our rivalries. He was a fiery, mouthy (guy) and I was the same way. So it made for great, fun football. He’s a competitor. I’ve been on the losing side when that guy can get going, so one of the reasons I came to the Bears is because I honestly believe Jay is one of those top-tier quarterbacks. The guy has the ability to be flat out amazing at times. I’ve been on the opposite end of it. What were they, the No. 2 offense a couple years ago? Honestly, I believe if Jay wouldn’t have gotten hurt that year they probably would have won the North. So I’ve always had a cool relationship with Jay on and off the field.
“But you got to understand how some people are,” Allen continued. “Some people’s personalities are different. Not everybody’s going to be the stoic franchise (quarterback like) Peyton Manning standing in front of the mic and making you laugh and (answering) all the questions and stuff like that. Some guys are more quiet and they just go out and do their job. One thing I respect about Jay is the work ethic. You always see him in the building. He’s always out there, he’s always working to get better, he’s always talking to guys, he’s always commanding the huddle and stuff like that. I’ve never had a problem with him, I still don’t have a problem with him and I honestly believe we can win with him.”
So is it fair to say that Cutler has universal respect in the Bears’ locker room, or is the admiration unique to Allen and perhaps a few others?
“I think he has universal respect,” Allen said. “And honestly . . . in this locker room, it’s not all on his shoulders. Everybody’s got to step up, everybody’s responsible for commanding a locker room and everybody’s responsible for wins and losses. The quarterback position, yeah, a lot of light shines on it and he shoulders a lot of that responsibility, but I think our team’s got a genuine respect (for him). We respect the way he approaches his job.”