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updated: 9/19/2012 7:21 PM

Bears, Cutler put controversy behind them

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  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and several teammates were in agreement Wednesday, saying the controversy over Cutler's behavior toward left tackle J'Marcus Webb in the Green Bay loss is behind them.

      Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and several teammates were in agreement Wednesday, saying the controversy over Cutler's behavior toward left tackle J'Marcus Webb in the Green Bay loss is behind them.
    GEORGE LECLAIRE | Staff Photographer

 
 

According to everyone involved, Jay Cutler's sideline snit and his dissatisfaction with the play of left tackle J'Marcus Webb is completely in the Bears' rearview mirror.

"Everything is fine," Cutler said Wednesday, six days after TV camera crews caught him yelling at Webb and then bumping shoulders as he walked away during their loss to Green Bay last Thursday. "It's a dead issue. We're moving forward at this point."

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Center Roberto Garza, the veteran on the Bears' offensive line, added this perspective: "Everything's great."

After 14 years as an NFL player and in his 17th season as an NFL coach, offensive coordinator Mike Tice believes last week's storm has passed.

"I really believe," he said, "after being in this league for 30-some-odd years that the players will take care of that, and I'm sure they have."

What's unknown is how much trust exists between Cutler and his teammates. Will Cutler find himself trying to look down the field with one eye on avoiding the pass rush? Do teammates still want to play for him?

"You've got to play the game as if you have complete faith," Cutler said. "You can't be watching the line, you can't be guessing, 'Maybe they'll block this play,' because you're not going to be very successful doing that.

"So each play you've got to believe in them, you've got to trust them, and you've got to do your job."

That may be easier said than done unless Webb elevates his game in a hurry. He allowed an NFL-worst 14 sacks last season and got beat twice by Clay Matthews in the loss to the Packers.

This week's challenge for Webb is 6-foot-4, 264-pound defensive end Robert Quinn, the St. Louis Rams' 2011 first-round draft pick. Cutler said he has no choice but to have faith that Webb will protect his blind side.

"For me to be successful in my job, I've got to have faith in him," Cutler said. "I've got to believe each week he is going to do his part and it's going to allow me to do mine."

With some internal damage control that included individual talks with offensive linemen, including Webb, Cutler said overcoming last week's difficulties presents an opportunity for improvement and that the situation isn't irreversible.

"You want this to be a hurdle that you cross early in the year, when it's not as detrimental to your team and you can fix it early, move on and grow together," he said. "The sky is not falling quite yet."

As for teammates trusting that Cutler can bring the necessary leadership to the quarterback position, wide receiver Brandon Marshall said there are no worries. Marshall said Cutler still has the locker room in his corner.

"There's no doubt in my mind," Marshall said. "Guys love Jay, (from) defensive guys to offensive guys to the coaches. Jay is a guy that everyone wants to play for, and we're going to continue to do that."

At 1-1, the Bears don't have to adopt a bunker mentality yet, but as Garza pointed out, a little adversity can bring a team closer together.

"It's a tight locker room," the 12-year veteran said. "Coach Lovie (Smith) is always letting the players take care of it. We definitely circled the wagons this week. It's time for us to go out there and have fun again and execute and make some plays."

Marshall believes Cutler sometimes gets a bad rap in the media and from outside Halas Hall because Cutler's too emotional to fit what some consider the classic quarterback mold.

Cutler, he insists, is better understood in the Bears' locker room. The outgoing Marshall said there's no need for him to offer any tips to Cutler on winning friends and influencing people.

"He doesn't need any advice," Marshall said. "He's a smart guy. What people need to understand is everybody's different. Jay's who he is. Whenever you get outside of yourself, that's when you create problems. That's something I learned in my own personal life. You have to be who you are.

"When Jay is not fiery, that's when I'm going to have a problem. I'm going to want to play with a different quarterback. That's the reason why I wanted to be here, that's the guy I wanted to play for.

"We have to be productive, and we have to make sure we're communicating the right way. Sure, there are things that we need to change, but that's the guy I want to play for."

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