Bears' Cutler brushes off former teammate's criticism

ByJeff Dickerson ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Bears quarterback Jay Cutler brushed off negative comments directed at him by former teammate Martellus Bennett, who questioned Cutler's on-field decision making in a recent ESPN The Magazine interview.

"I don't know. I'm really not going get into that," Cutler said on Wednesday. "Most receivers and tight ends are always open. So hopefully Tom [Brady] I guess can do a better job of finding him than I did.

"I don't know, man. I could say something clever and smart, but I'll just pass."

Bennett, whom Chicago traded to New England in the offseason, openly complained about his role last year before the Bears placed him on injured reserve with a ribs injury on Dec. 8. The veteran tight end earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2014 when he

caught a career-high 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns, but Bennett, who boycotted Chicago's entire voluntary offseason program over a contract dispute the following offseason, suffered a step decline in production in 2015 (53-439-3 in 11 games) that he partly blamed on Cutler.

"I'd be open and he'd throw into double coverage," Bennett told ESPN The Magazine.

"Worst quarterback in the NFL," Bennett's brother, Michael, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, added.

Bears Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long said he could, "care less" what the Bennett brother's had to say, pointing out that neither one is on Chicago's 2016 roster.

"I could care less what somebody not on our team thinks about our team or our players," Long said. "We've got our guys and we've got our team. And yeah, best of luck to them."

The mood on Wednesday lightened, however, when a reporter informed Cutler that another that another ex-teammate, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, proclaimed on ESPN's First Take that Cutler can win 2016 league MVP honors if receivers Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White stay healthy.

"You can't please everybody," Cutler chuckled. "We're at both ends of the spectrum here. We wish both those guys good luck. I had fun playing with them here, and that's just kind of how it goes. Guys play for different teams, and we wish them both the best of luck."