Jay Cutler caused Chicago Bears fans to hold their collective breath on Sunday night when he lowered his shoulder and leveled Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Robert Golden instead of sliding. Cutler led with his throwing shoulder and chose to take deliver a huge hit rather than giving himself up. And for that, he will not apologize.
On The Jay Cutler Show with ESPN 1000′s Waddle and Silvy on Monday, Cutler was asked if he has any regrets about the play. We could have predicted his answer.
“No, I don’t,” he said, according to CSNChicago.com. “I know what I’m doing out there, but thanks for your concern, I appreciate it. We needed a first down. We were struggling in the second half with third downs and we had to make something happen. We wanted to make sure we … kept the clock going to try and continue the drive.”
Cutler’s 13-yard run gave the Bears a crucial first down on 3rd-and-10 in the fourth quarter. Chicago was only leading by a field goal at the time. Head coach Marc Trestman probably appreciates his quarterback trying to ignite a spark in his teammates, but he needs him under center in order for the Bears’ offense to continue its success.
“I understand everyone’s concern, absolutely,” Cutler added. “But I have to play the game and that’s how I sometimes have to play the game. Sorry, I’m not sorry.
“I’m not looking for you admiration, I’m just trying to pick up a first down in the fourth quarter. You’re watching it on TV, I’m in the moment, and I’m not going to miss the first down by half a yard because I had to slide.”
He has a point. Cutler was clearly beyond the first-down marker and probably could have dove head-first instead of absorbing the contact, but he was doing everything it took to pick up the first down. A quarterback that is too willing to take a hit is a good problem to have.