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Significant praise for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler

The Chicago Bears quarterback is setting a new kind of record, and getting high praise from his head coach.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When you look around the league and find NFL players-- starters on teams making millions of dollars per year-- who have criminal records, who have beaten their significant others, who have abused children... It's not hard to find scum bags playing in the league if you glance in any particular direction.

Reflect inward now, and you'll see a Chicago Bears quarterback that has been nothing but off-the-radar in his personal life, save for being married to a reality star, yet Jay Cutler has received more criticism than many of the players referenced in the first paragraph. And he's received that criticism from fans and media alike, despite never being involved in scandals or controversy.

This year, though, much of that has subsided. Cutler is playing better football, and is maturing both on the field and on the camera. He's finding a rhythm with new offensive coordinator Adam Gase, and his mechanics have improved.  And most importantly, he's not turning the ball over nearly as much as he has in years past.

And as Jeff Dickerson points out, Cutler is setting a different kind of record-- for NOT turning the ball over.

One year after leading the league in turnovers, Jay Cutler is the only NFL quarterback with at least 10 starts this season and zero multi-interception games.

Cutler did not throw an interception for the sixth time this season in the Chicago Bears' Week 16 victory against Tampa Bay.

It's just the third time in Cutler's 10-year NFL career he has avoided being picked off in six separate games -- 2007 (Broncos) and 2012 (Bears).

Head coach John Fox had some high praise for Cutler this week as well, after a game well-played versus the Bucs:

"It's an art he's good at," coach John Fox said Monday. "He's good at it and done it a lot. Because you're going to have protection issues, and everybody in the stadium knows you're throwing on third-and-13 so they pin their ears back, especially on the road. It's a tough spot.

"But he has a good feel for it. He's been way better in his pocket presence all season long, finding holes, buying time."

While many were calling for his ouster after last season (and many seasons before), the new and improved version of Jay Cutler all but guarantees he'll be back in Chicago next season, and most people are completely okay with that.

The question is whether Adam Gase will be back.  Stay tuned...