CHICAGO -- By all accounts from both locker rooms Monday night, the sack that bruised Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's ribs was a clean -- if violent -- play. I detected ill will from no one among the Bears nor anything but full support from the Detroit Lions after defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh drove Cutler into the ground hard and landed on top of him.
Cutler called it a "football play" and was rejected the idea of malicious intent from the well-traveled Suh. Of the play, Bears coach Lovie Smith said: "That's football."
Suh, meanwhile, noted that Cutler told him he was "good" when he checked with him afterwards.
"I can't control my momentum," Suh said. "Especially at that high speed. I'm chasing him. He's running away from me."
"A Suh. What u did to Jay wasn't cool. Great players don't have to do that. … A Suh. Something I've learned and now passing down to you. Succeed with character."
Marshall's close relationship with Cutler has been well-documented, and it makes perfect sense that he would come to Cutler's defense. And it should be noted that this was the third game Suh was responsible for a major hit on Cutler.
In 2010, Suh hit Cutler with what appeared at game speed to be a forearm shiver from behind. Last season, he ended a play with Cutler's helmet in his hands.
But in this case, what would Marshall have had Suh do? Cutler was running and fighting to get away from him. Suh ensured he was taken to the ground. Mostly, Marshall's comments should be viewed in the context of the next game between these teams. We know at least one player will be carrying a grudge into that one.