The Fashionista Girl: Concerned About Cutler

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend Jay Cutler’s “Touchdown for Diabetes” charity cruise benefiting children affected by diabetes. Knowing what an important event this must be for Cutler (he suffers from the disease), I was excited to report the full lowdown on looks, guests, and goings-on at J Cut’s party, which was on a boat! The party featured the usual bells and whistles – auction items and raffles, in addition to entertainment in the form of live music and casino games.

However, as I observed Jay that evening and combined it with his behavior from Greg Olsen’s recent event, the more I concluded there is much to worry about in Jay Cutler as the leader of the Bears.

The issue begins with a quick glance of the attendance sheet. Guess how many Bears teammates joined Jay in his fight against diabetes?  One. Greg Olsen. The reason so many NFL players have charity events, most of which are much smaller affairs, is an unspoken rule that their teammates will attend. And they do.  Plain and simple.  By comparison, Peyton Manning throws a charity bowling tournament every year and every major Colt attends. Wayne, Addai, Freeney, Jim Caldwell (Manning’s asst. head coach), they’re all there. Now you can argue there are fewer distractions in Indy or that Manning’s event is during the season, which are both true.  But Cutler’s cruise wasn’t exactly in the heart of the off-season, he is the quarterback and c’mon, it was a booze cruise on Lake Michigan! The fact that only Olsen showed up speaks volumes about his locker room popularity.

You don’t think Cutler’s teammates would have wanted in on this action???

Now there were still planety of guests on the boat, all there for frivolity in the name of diabetes research.  Instead of embracing these folks who shelled out hundreds of dollars to be in his presence, Cutler was standoffish, keeping mostly to himself and his crew of presumably Vanderbilt buddies.   Does Cutler just have incredibly poor social graces, or is he not interested in embracing Chicago? Perhaps a little of both.

But the real issue is Cutler’s interaction with teammates.  His leadership style must be called into question.  In his first game as a Bear last year, Cutler publicly implicated Devin Hester after a clearly underthrown ball was intercepted. And that was only one of numerous times he’s called out teammates for the world to see.  Sure, you may be thinking Peyton Manning and Brett Favre have been guilty of the same “crime” but the difference is those guys have clearly earned the right to lose their cool once in a while. As one former scout told us, “Players don’t mind being yelled at by their leader, but they’ve got to respect the man yelling.”

There is also the question of Cutler’s sideline demeanor. He is often is seen holding his head down after a series, sometimes even after successful ones. He is rarely spotted energetically plotting with his receivers and seems to have a mandate that he can only sit next to Olsen on the sideline bench.  Long time Bears columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Dan Pompei, has had ample time to observe Cutler’s demeanor and concluded, “Jay Cutler needs to project himself better as a leader and inspire more confidence between plays. The great quarterbacks in the game — the Peyton Mannings, Tom Bradys, Drew Breeses — carry themselves completely different from the way Cutler carries himself.”  Those more inspiring quarterbacks make stars out of their receivers because a receiver always plays to or beyond his ability for a true leader.  This chemistry disconnect is a major issue between the Bears receivers and Cutler, who has both a poor attitude and ten barren fingers.

How long can one bromance last?

The aforementioned former scout brought up another interesting observation about Cutler: “Why would Denver want to get rid of guy that’s supposedly a franchise quarterback that they drafted and paid a lot of money to unless there’s something wrong with him whether it be personality or leadership. He must be a guy that teammates don’t like.”  Based on the virtually non-existent showing from teammates at his charity event, this very well may be true. Luckily for Cutler, this is the NFL and winning can cure all.

Interestingly enough, the one guy Cutler seems to have bonded in year number two as a Bear is new offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Martz, kind of like Cutler is known for being a big talent, but has had a difficult to get along with reputation. Based on Martz’s over-the-top praise for virtually every offensive player form Cutler to Garrett Wolfe, he seems to have started anew in Chicago.  Can Cutler follow suit and embrace his surroundings?  That’s questionable.  But in the meantime, here’s a spot of advice for Cutler: pat your teammates on the back, laugh once in a blue moon, and go to dinner with someone other than Greg Olsen.