Brian Urlacher never had what could be described as a buddy-buddy relationship with Jay Cutler. They were teammates and never had any beef with each other. However, it was also apparent during their four years together that the two were battling for the identity of the Chicago Bears. Urlacher wanted it to stay focused on the defense. Cutler wanted it to be the offense. Both wanted to be seen as the leader of the team. It didn’t help that the Bears traded Kyle Orton in the package to get the QB. Urlacher was a big admirer of Orton.
So that probably didn’t get them off on the right foot. All that being said, the Hall of Fame linebacker has no animosity towards Cutler. He admitted on Bussin’ With The Boys that he marveled at the quarterback’s talent and felt they could’ve and should’ve won a Super Bowl. It never came together for whatever reason. Part of the issue was injuries. Urlacher broke his wrist in 2009 and missed the entire year. Then in 2010, Cutler tore his MCL in the NFC championship. That is where questions about his toughness began. Urlacher still can’t believe that was ever a thing.
Brian Urlacher is correct.
People can criticize Cutler for his leadership and his sometimes questionable decision-making. The idea that the guy lacked toughness is absurd. Only two examples are playing through the knee injury in the conference championship and then the broken thumb against the Chargers in 2011. Don’t forget he tried playing through a concussion when the New York Giants sacked him ten times in one half. Then there was the time he played on an ankle that wasn’t fully healed in 2013.
The guy gave up his body time and again. It was hard to watch, in all honesty. As the years went on, it was becoming obvious that Cutler wouldn’t last long due to the Bears’ failures to get him adequate protection. Had they done a better job, Brian Urlacher might have a ring. He knows that. It is one of the few things he probably struggles to stomach about his career. It is also a lesson the organization has learned. Justin Fields endured lots of punishment last year, and the offensive line doesn’t look much better.
Cutler can relate. It took five years before the team finally put together a solid unit. By then, it was too late. Urlacher and others can only hope Fields doesn’t suffer the same fate.