Theismann comes to defense of Cutler

It’s not surprising the quarterback who once appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with tape covering his mouth has an opinion on the quarterback who hasn’t had much to say since his final game last season.

Joe Theismann weighed in on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and some of the criticism that he’s received really since arriving in a trade with the Denver Broncos more than two years ago.

What you’re basically asking Jay to do is change his personality,” Theismann told Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune. “I think the fans have to understand that Jay is not an outspoken individual. He is a very quiet, reserved demeanor individual. That’s who he is. You are rooting for him when he steps on that football field and he leads the Chicago Bears and plays quarterback. That’s why the fans are there.

“You have a lot of different types of personalities. Brian Urlacher is a bit more outspoken as a person. And Jay is not. To me, I would say, hey, respect who the guy is. At least you know he’s not a phony. There’s no false pretense about Jay, where he is going to go out there and try to be a rah-rah guy.

"That’s the other thing people said: ‘This was a great chance for Jay to enhance his image, to be able to walk up and down the sidelines and cheer his teammates on.’ That’s the biggest crock of baloney I’ve heard. You know, he was true to himself, the way he plays the game, the way he mentally prepares. I’ve sat with Jay. I have sat and talked in meetings with him. The guy loves the game of football. He’s smart, he’s talented. But he’s quiet. What’s wrong with that? Oh, my gosh! Someone quiet in our society. That’s a novelty.

“You have to respect people for who they are. I went through this in my career. I bought things that I thought (NFL) quarterbacks should have. I said things because I thought that was the way a quarterback should act. I fell into that trap. So maybe that is why I am a little more sensitive to the way Jay is than maybe other guys, because he hasn’t. He’s his own man."

Theismann also believes criticism Cutler has received for the performance of the team’s offense is also off base.

“What the Bears need is a wide receiver," he said. "Let me tell you, Jay Cutler is the least of that offense’s problems.You need somebody to throw the football to. They finally woke up and said, ‘Hey, Devin (Hester), we’re only going to use you part-time because you’re such a valuable asset on punt returns.’”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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