By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor
Rats apparently are allowed in the Chicago Bears’ organization. And although the team’s much maligned quarterback, Jay Cutler, has been victimized by such a rat and left out to dry by his own organization, one of his own division rivals — who also happens to be a likely candidate for his second MVP award — has Cutler’s back.
During a Tuesday, Dec. 16, interview at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers addressed reports that the Bears’ own offensive coordinator, Aaron Kromer, admitted Monday, Dec. 8, that he had been an anonymous source in a report criticizing Cutler’s game-management skills.
“I think, in general, unnamed sources are pretty gutless,” Rodgers said. “But then he comes out and admits it was him. I don’t think he deserves any credit for that, but it was interesting that he did.”
Kromer reportedly apologized to Cutler after the revelation. Cutler said he “wasn’t angry” with Kromer, and added that the team was in a “better place” because of Kromer’s revelation and apology.
Cutler — and the Bears — however, delivered another embarrassing performance Monday night, Dec. 15, in the wake of the Kromer-Cutler situation. Cutler threw for just 194 yards and completed just 17 of 31 attempts, including two touchdowns and three interceptions, in a 31-15 loss at home to the New Orleans Saints. The Bears’ entire offense appeared absent most of the game.
When asked how he would react if he were subjected to a similar situation as Cutler, Rodgers said: “I would have a major problem if somebody said something like that. I think anybody that plays the position, you can’t help but empathize with Jay for that situation. You talk all the time about being connected, being a unit, believing in each other. But if you have unnamed sources, people out there cutting you down, and then you find out it’s the person calling the plays — that would be really hard to deal with, to look at him the same way.”
Also during the interview, Rodgers credited Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and General Manager Ted Thompson for creating an environment in Green Bay that would not allow for such behavior.
“I would have a major problem with that, if (Packers offensive coordinator) Tom Clements was saying stuff like that about me — which he never would, ’cause Tom and I are so close, and I think we have good communication,” Rodgers said. “I think there’s a way of doing things when you have issues, and it’s keeping it in-house.
“We talk about that with our group a lot, and Mike always talks about, usually on Mondays or Wednesdays, ‘Here’s some of the media topics (that we’ll be asked),’” Rodgers added. “It gives guys a chance, if there are any questions or anything we need to talk about, to get it out there.
“The great thing about our team is that we’ve always had really open lines of communication,” Rodgers continued. “You know, we’ve had a couple of guys over the years be those unnamed sources, but thankfully Mike and Ted have weeded those guys out. So, we’re not worried about these guys ripping on people and going out and doing things. Because if something happens like that, we address it directly.
“But yeah, I was baffled by that,” Rodgers said. “And (if a coach did that to me), we’d have some problems.”
While the Packers — at 10-4 — are on their way to the postseason for a sixth consecutive season, the 5-9 Bears will be watching the postseason from home for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Nearly the entire Bears’ organization has come under fire this season after the team has suffered a number of nationally televised disasters, including a 55-14 loss at Green Bay Sunday night, Nov. 9; a 34-17 loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27; a 41-28 loss at home against Dallas Thursday, Dec. 4; and a 31-15 loss at home to New Orleans Monday, Dec. 15.
The Bears’ defense has given up 409 points in 14 games this season, worst in the NFL. The team is also tied for third worst in turnovers with 28 and is tied for second worst in the NFL with 18 interceptions. Cutler’s 18 interceptions leads all quarterbacks.
In two seasons under Head Coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Kromer, Cutler has a record of 10-15 and has thrown 47 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Prior to that, he was 10-5 with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2012; 7-3 with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011; 10-5 with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 2010; and 7-9 with 27 touchdowns and 26 interceptions in 2009. Cutler did help lead the Bears to the NFC Championship Game in 2010, but the team lost that game 21-14 to Green Bay after Cutler was knocked out of the game with an injury.
Cutler, 31, signed a seven-year, $126 million extension with the Bears Jan. 2, 2014, with $54 million guaranteed.
Meanwhile, various reports are speculating that Trestman is likely to be fired as head coach. Trestman is 13-17 in two seasons with the team. He replaced Lovie Smith following the 2012 season. Smith was 81-63 with three division titles and one Super Bowl appearance in nine seasons with the Bears.
The Bears are at home against Detroit Sunday, Dec. 21, and then travel to Minnesota to finish the season Sunday, Dec. 28.
Posted Dec. 17, 2014