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updated: 9/18/2012 7:23 PM

Cutler will be likable if he makes big plays

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  • The biggest mistakes Bears quarterback Jay Cutler made in Green Bay didn't involve his attitude. It was his 4 interceptions.

      The biggest mistakes Bears quarterback Jay Cutler made in Green Bay didn't involve his attitude. It was his 4 interceptions.
    Associated Press

 
 

Jay Cutler said Tuesday what really needed to be said.

No, he didn't publicly apologize for bumping teammate J'Marcus Webb on the sidelines last week.

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Cutler doesn't do that. Pro athletes in general don't unless their agents write and circulate a printed statement for them.

The closest the Bears' quarterback came was acknowledging that he shouldn't have made contact with his left tackle on the sideline during a game.

None of this means all that much anymore anyway, or as Cutler put it, "It's in the past" "We're moving on" "It's behind us."

Cutler made the remarks during his weekly appearance on ESPN-1000's "Waddle & Silvy" show broadcast from the Westwood Tavern in Schaumburg.

That didn't keep the stars of another ESPN property -- "Pardon the Interruption" -- from pondering, "Can Cutler lead Bears to title?"

So on and on the episode goes. What mattered during Cutler's radio gig was that he mentioned he has to play better.

Bingo!

If Cutler plays well he can say anything he wants and bump whom he wants. Heck, if plays well and the Bears win he can parade down Michigan Avenue in his underwear or without his underwear for that matter.

Cutler isn't even close to being the most unlikable quarterback in Bears history, though he still has time to move up the charts.

We'll get around to Jim McMahon, the legendary Punky QB, in a moment. First things first: Cutler is a sweetheart compared to what Bob Avellini was.

McMahon would be the most notorious if he weren't so noteworthy for quarterbacking the Bears to a Super Bowl.

Unlike Cutler, McMahon played nice with his offensive linemen. It pains me to say this because he was such a pain in the petunia, but when healthy the guy was an outstanding quarterback and a winner who could seize the moment in big games.

Cutler hasn't had McMahon's luxury of a great supporting cast. He hasn't had time to throw or until this year the receivers to throw to.

Still, Cutler has shown flashes of premier status during his career both with the Broncos and the Bears. But he has played in only one postseason and never beaten a winning team in the playoffs.

So it isn't surprising that Cutler's biggest mistake against the Packers wasn't behaving like a spoiled brat in a junior high game. His biggest mistake was making too many mistakes himself, like throwing 4 interceptions.

The Bears didn't give Cutler many opportunities to make game-changing plays at Green Bay. When they did, however, he failed to deliver.

It should be pointed out that one thing the best quarterbacks do is make their teammates better, and Cutler hasn't made a habit of doing that.

Another thing is to make something out of nothing. In other words, take a busted play and turn it into a big play, which Cutler doesn't do enough.

Cutler has had all sorts of excuses, from bad play-calling to bad protection to bad receivers to bad karma to bad badness.

For whatever the reasons -- those along with his own faulty mechanics and shaky instincts -- Cutler hasn't been able to make the plays that would give him license to do what he has been doing.

Even in his seventh NFL season there's still time for Cutler to do whatever it takes to make unlikable be acceptable.

That would make him the good guy and everyone else the bad guy.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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