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Posted at 2:28 PM ET, 01/24/2011

Lovie Smith: Jay Cutler 'is a tough guy'

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 4:55 p.m.

Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith lashed out at the "just-add-tweets-and-stir" criticism of quarterback Jay Cutler, who was knocked out of the NFC championship game Sunday with a knee injury.

"I haven't seen it before. It seems like if you're in that fraternity you would be stepping up for your fellow man. Especially when you don't know. You don't know what's going on," Smith said. "As far as Jay, Jay didn't take himself out of the game. If you're going to attack somebody, you should be attacking me, as a head football coach, and our medical staff. We're the ones. He wanted to go back in. He was injured and went back in in the second half. So I see it as the complete opposite of how it's being portrayed right now."

Cutler has a Grade II tear, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report, an injury that typically takes three-to-four weeks to heal. The decision to keep Cutler on the sideline after the first series of the second half belonged to coaches, not to Cutler. Had the Bears won, Smith said "it would have been questionable whether he could have gone" in the Super Bowl in two weeks because of the injury.

"For most of you it seems like the storyline has been about whether our quarterback is a tough guy. Our quarterback is a tough guy. He wanted to win the game as much as anyone."

And as for the incoming fire from Twitter?

"We don't have any trouble with Jay Cutler and what he brings to the table. I can't wait for our future together leading our team," Smith said. "That's on the guys that chose to do that. What type of guy would do that? We're down right now. We lost the game. We're going through quite a bit, so to dogpile a little bit, you have to talk to those guys about that."

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Cutler has a sprained MCL, not a "torn" MCL.

Posted by: milltownfan | January 24, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

hey milltown, whats the difference between an MCL tear and MCL sprain? The answer is nothing.

Posted by: jdelis | January 24, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Jay Cutler is an outstanding quarterback, as evidenced in the Seahawks and other games, as many have said. In the recent Packers game, one could see the blood on his jersey for a while before he had to leave the game. He was obviously hurt and yet kept trying on the exercise bike on the sidelines. Whether with a torn ligament or a bad sprain and with a leg shaking as some on the field said it was, how could a quarterback, especially, make accurate passes or scramble out of the pocket very well, if necessary, and run? As Lovie Smith commented, it was his and the medical staff's assessment and decision that Jay should not continue in the game, very disappointing and worrisome to all and undoubtedly to him. But, as Lovie said, the Bears had, after all, a great season and will, I'm sure, continue to have in the future, and Jay's resting his leg with treatment will, of course, help insure that. I think the injury must have been severe enough that he really couldn't stand on the leg long or with any stability and probably wasn't able to run at all.

Thanks to the Bears for so much good football and for so much concern and help for kids through the years.The Bears always make their fans proud. This comes from a fan who has played women's competition football and other sports and who was present as an infant at the 1941 Bears-Packers game at the great Soldiers Field with my mother and dad, whose career in sports at the University of Texas in the mid-1920s almost exactly paralleled that of Red Grange. My dad was captain of both his football and basketball teams there,lettered in all sports, was active in the ex-student athletes association and knew a lot of early players and early U. S. football history. He would surely have been an All-American had that honor existed then. He got his commission in his forties as a captain in the Marines right after Pearl Harbor, and my mother and I went with him to the Midwest, where we lived for 2 years. We lived in Detroit, right after Arlington and Quantico, and then in central Illinois and St. Louis. My mother had been an athlete at UT, too, helped build the stadium there, held many honors there and graduated in 1928 as one of the early women grads with top honors.

I consider myself very lucky to have been in the Midwest in 1941, with my mother and father in the war effort. We really all were veterans of WWII. I was very fortunate to be a part of UIUC in postgraduate work and in research in Engineering Administration in the 1970s and 1980s. I am lucky to be able to get to see beautiful Memorial Stadium all the time now at UIUC, a great university with very important football and other history some of which ties in with Bears history.

God bless Jay, Lovie and the Bears. Your fans, Chicago and Illinois love you and look forward to the 2011 season. Go Bears!

Martha Trescott

Posted by: tfayem795 | January 25, 2011 1:12 AM | Report abuse

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