The Bears' biggest concern coming out of their disastrous 23-10 loss to the Packers should be the misguided notion of what passes for leadership at the quarterback position.
Jay Cutler's berating, bad-mouthing and brow-beating of his offensive line is more blame shifting than
That display in Green Bay was not an example of tough love.
It was more like a blame game with the QB refusing to accept responsibility for his role in one of the more inept offensive performances since the Caleb Hanie Reign of Terror last season.
If this is an example of Cutler's leadership style, it badly needs a makeover.
Asked about his own performance, Cutler said, "Good and bad."
He was half right.
Cutler held the ball too long on at least 3 of the 7 sacks, and he failed to do his usual excellent job of sidestepping the rush and scrambling for a little something when nothing was there.
The interceptions were all on the quarterback.
•The first came when he threw off his back foot with poor mechanics.
•The second was after Cutler bought some time but threw late and over the middle, a bad combination, especially when 15-year veteran Charles Woodson is lurking.
•The third interception, and the second by Williams, was horribly underthrown and forced into heavy coverage.
•The final pick was another underthrown ball to Bennett.
In his postgame press conference, Cutler never came close to accepting blame for anything. His 28.2 passer rating was the second worst of his career. But you never heard Cutler say, "My bad," or "It's on me," or anything that would give anyone any idea that he had any role at all in Thursday night's fiasco.
It's a fairly easy thing to do. Example: Right tackle Gabe Carimi said: "When you get hit that many times, that's on the O-line, so we have to do a better job of protecting Jay and give him more time."
Example II: Left tackle J'Marcus Webb, after getting manhandled by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said: "I got myself into trouble by not using my hands and not using my feet at times, and it showed."
Plenty of quarterbacks criticize their linemen. Sometimes the quarterback needs to deliver a verbal foot in the rear end, but that type of "leadership" rings hollow when the guy in charge refuses to take any of the blame, especially when it's so richly deserved.
Not that Cutler deserves all the blame. Brandon Marshall dropped what should have been a touchdown pass that could have cut the Packers' lead to 13-7 with 24 minutes left in the game.
But, until that point, Marshall had been ignored because, as Cutler said, the Packers played two safeties deep the whole game.
It's odd the Bears' offense struggled to attack a Cover-2 scheme, since that's what they see from their defense throughout training camp and every day in practice. The Bears' defense also played Cover-2 against the Packers, yet Jordy Nelson was targeted nine times by Aaron Rodgers, and he caught 6 passes for 84 yards.
Marshall was not targeted at all in the first half, and he didn't have a reception until there was 7:24 left in the game. At that point, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, who shadowed Marshall much of the night, had already caught 2 passes from Cutler. Marshall finished with 2 catches for 24 yards. Williams had 38 return yards on his 2 interceptions.
But, even if the Packers successfully bracketed Marshall most of the night with a safety over the top, that should have opened up opportunities for other receivers, and especially for the running backs.
"Absolutely," Cutler said. "They played (two safeties deep) 90 percent of the game, so we have to get other guys involved, and get (the Packers) out of it. We never challenged them in that, and they never had to get out of it, so it was an easy game for them."
Cutler and the Bears' offense made it that way, even though they didn't all take the blame for it.