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Cutler's a Leader, but We Knew That...

I consider myself one of the more outspoken Cutler defenders on here and I think if you look back at a lot of my post's on the subject you'd probably agree. For the most part, however, I find that most Bears fans will defend Cutler, at least to a point. Especially against unwarranted, completely unfounded criticism. Well, on that front, let's look no further than Dan Pompei's article from Wednesday titled "Jay Cutler shows he's no leader."
Most of us here just dismissed the article and Pompei as being petty, having an axe to grind and/or just not understanding the situation on an NFL field. But I am going to dismantle his article using logic and evidence from previous articles.

Now I thought it was interesting that in yesterday's den Pompei's article was placed right above Mark Potash's article about the same incident. The two authors took very different approach's to the story, Pompei obviously took the "Cutler is terrible and will never be a leader or whatever" while Potash took it as just another thing that happened and since Cutler owned up and moved on it was no big deal;

But Cutler at least made a plausible case that it’s much ado about nothing. And that, in itself, is significant progress for Cutler, who is on a roll with back-to-back games of 99.6 and 115.9 passer ratings. He has had consecutive games without an interception for only the second time in the last four seasons.

Cutler handled the Martz situation as adeptly as he did the Detroit Lions’ pass rush Oct. 10.

Look at how differently these two take Cutler's acknowledgment of the incident in his press conference, first Potash:

Cutler didn’t deny cursing or directing it at Martz. And he said he didn’t regret saying it, either. Just two competitive people clashing in the heat of the moment. Happens all the time, he said.


Cutler says he has no regrets. He writes it off to the heat of the moment.

"You know, I'm a competitor, so is he, so is everyone on this offense and whether we're up three touchdowns or we're up three points, a second- or third-down call is as important as anywhere in the game," he said.

The message Cutler really sends — to his coaches, his teammates, his opponent and the public — is that he lacks respect and self control. Cutler doesn't have to agree with the call, or how it was made, but he does have to show courtesy to the people and the process.

Wow, that is pretty scathing and quite different from Potash's take on it. Now let's see what a former NFL player has to say about it:

"Tell (Martz) I said (bleep) him."

Oh, well.

A couple of words that likely have been said before between the two, only now it was broadcast for everyone to hear.

I've seen it spill over on the sidelines with players and coaches. Headsets are thrown, trainers and equipment managers act as peacemakers, words — even threats — are exchanged.

So then, a former NFL player, who, I think we can all agree, would be much more in the know on something like this than anyone else says it isn't a big deal. So maybe Pompei is just fueling a fire that's not there.

Pompei leads this little spat into a rant on how Cutler isn't a good leader for teammates and that Bears greats such as Urlacher and Singletary never got into with their coaches or teammates publicly and ended with this;

Yelling and cussing out people who are on your side isn't leading. It's allowing your frustration to spill over onto others.

Oh really? I have heard of many examples of bosses cursing out underlings or, vice versa but still holding mutual respect for one another and putting it behind them. I don't recommend it in most situations. I have heard about an "inferior" cussing out their superior and just totally publicly berating them and the two shake it off and go get a drink. Workplaces are stressful and I believe if you and your superior have a good enough and close enough working relationship you two can spar like that and there be no long-term repercussions but it depends on the relationship.

A player/coach relationship, I would think, would fall into the category where it's OK for them to do this. These guys see each other every day and Martz works closely with Cutler, after a full season plus playoffs and two training camps, I think these two know their working relationship well enough for Cutler to know whether or not he can get away with saying that. If it was week 2 last season, I might say "oh jeez, that might have been inappropriate" but after a year and some, Cutler and Martz at this point know each other well enough to be able to pull off cursing at one another.

Furthermore, Martz said he didn't even know it happened and said that wasn't even a big deal,

‘‘Well, if it was [directed] at me, that’s probably the nicest thing that a player said to me during a game,’’ he said, drawing laughter.

‘‘You’ve got to understand, during a game, a lot of things get said. Trust me. It’s a very strong, very competitive
environment. That’s not an issue, really. Just part of the deal. It’s not an issue.’’

I'll take Martz's word for it. He's been around the block.

Moving on, one of the bigger issues I had with Pompei's article was when he talked about other evidence of Cutler's lack of leadership;

You do not deal hope staring daggers at an offensive lineman who has committed a false start. You deal discouragement.

You do not deal hope tearing into a doe-eyed, undrafted 23-year-old fresh off the bus from Columbus, Ohio, for apparently not making the right adjustment. You deal self-doubt.

You do not deal hope stomping your feet and gesturing when a sensitive wide receiver can't handle a fastball at point-blank range. You deal resentment.

How can Pompei write this when there is nothing but evidence to the contrary, that Cutler's "looks" make the team better than worse;

During the 2010 regular-season finale at Lambeau Field — his only catch-less game of the season — Bears receiver Johnny Knox slipped on the turf and missed a chance to make a sizable gain.

Knox prepared for the ­immediate repercussion.

"You kind of put your head down because you know it’s coming," Knox said. "I’ve gotten ‘The Look’ a few times."

Jay Cutler’s eyes have it.

"He’d give you ‘The Look,’ " said Adam Kress, Cutler’s left tackle at Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Ind. "It’s like him saying, ‘Come on, man. You’re better than that.’ "

But Vanderbilt teammate Steven Bright said Cutler picked his spots carefully, depending on the personality of the player.

"Jay’s always had the ­ability to know when’s the time to get on somebody, to fire them up, or to say, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll get the next one,’ " Bright said.

Commodores head coach Bobby Johnson noted that Cutler was a three-time captain, pointing to a specific example of his leadership.

Wow, that's some pretty good evidence that he's not breeding resentment, discouragement or any other negative feelings, but what's that? There's more...oh here's Dane Sanzenbacher,

Dane Sanzenbacher has experienced the "wrath" of Jay Cutler several times this season, but the Chicago Bears rookie said the sometimes tough treatment by his quarterback only makes him and his fellow receivers better.

"He absolutely doesn't take it easy on me," Sanzenbacher said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "You're going to get the wrath of it every now and then. [I got it] at least three times [Sunday night against the Vikings]. It was all warranted.

"Jay has been great since I got here. I think I was surprised by how patient he was with me at the beginning. I think it's helped. He's a tough critic. He's tough on all the guys, but it makes us better in the long run. But I think he has been one of the most helpful guys for me personally in my development."

Wow, he's helpful but critical, sounds like a pretty good leader to me. Way to go by all the evidence out there, Dan, before writing a scathing article that looks kind of silly when you put it next to all this.

In closing, I think we can all agree that the Martz/Cutler spat was overblown and that Pompei's article was way off base and if you still want to see evidence that Cutler is a leader and that he isn't quick to just chew out his teammates every play let's look back at his mic'd up segment (From from the Panthers game;

I just hear a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement. Even if they didn't show parts of his chewing out his guys, this still shows he does encourage them and help the team win.