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posted: 10/18/2012 9:02 PM

Cutler says bring on criticism

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With another Bears game in prime time Monday comes another opportunity for Jay Cutler to be critiqued on a national stage.

"It is what it is," Cutler said. "I'm going to go play my brand of football and let the cards fall where they may."

Most recently Cutler has been panned by Terry Bradshaw and praised by Phil Simms, two former NFL quarterbacks, one of whom was once accused of not being able to spell "cat," if you spotted him the "c" and the "a."

Simms called Cutler "mean," but in a good way, saying that was a necessary trait in an NFL quarterback, and the Bears' QB agreed.

"I think you have to have a certain edge out there as quarterback," Cutler said. "I'm going to take that away from what he said. "Everyone has an opinion.

"That's the world we live in. That's why you guys are all in this room. That's why you guys get paid to do your job. It's to have opinions. And at the end of the day, they are opinions; they are not facts."

Cutler's go-to guy, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, understands the scrutiny, even if he doesn't agree with it.

"There is so much competition," Marshall said. "So, to sell papers or to have better ratings, sometimes you have to give some of the juicy stories. The negative stuff, unfortunately, sells. Sex sells. That's just where we're at in our society today.

"Jay is an easy target because he plays with his emotions on his sleeve. I think he's misunderstood.

"But, like I always say, 'I love it.' The bigger the light, the bigger impact you can make. We're excited about the opportunity we have here."

Ground and pound:

The 214 rushing yards in Week 5 against the Jaguars were 100 more than the Bears had in any of their other four games.

Before averaging 6.5 yards per carry in Jacksonville, Fla., the run game averaged 3.5, 4.1, 3.0 and 3.3 yards per attempt in the first four games.

"I only look at how we're improving," offensive coordinator Mike Tice said. "I don't worry about up and down. I think we're getting better, and that's really what I look at.

In the past three games, all victories, Tice has called 99 pass plays and 95 runs, a balance that was missing in the Week 2 loss at Green Bay, when the Bears ran 23 times and called 34 pass plays.

"I think there was a guy that was calling plays in Green Bay who didn't call the run enough," Tice joked. I think that was part of the problem. Hopefully he's not showing up this week."

Injury update:

Wide receiver Devin Hester (quad), linebacker Blake Costanzo (thumb) and punter Adam Podlesh (not injury related) did not practice Thursday but are expected to play Monday night.

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hand) also did not practice and will not play. Cornerback Sherrick McManis (hip) was limited.

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