I’m in total, complete agreement with every word in this measured column from Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s excessive complaining toward officials is an illustration, if not a cause, of the progress he still needs to make to become an elite NFL quarterback.
“[F]or Cutler to be the kind of quarterback Tom Brady is,” writes Pompei, “he will need to show less emotion and more focus on the field.”
The complaining has been going on for much of the season, but it reached new levels in Sunday’s 17-9 victory over St. Louis. Cutler challenged Pompei on the issue during a Wednesday news conference, asking why he thought it was a problem.
Anything that results in a penalty or a fine is a problem, Pompei responded. Totally accurate and completely fair. If Cutler isn’t worried about showing respect for officials out of a general sense of humanity, he should realize that he risks a 15-yard penalty whenever it happens. It should be obvious why that is a problem for the team.
The book is out on Cutler, and officials will be watching him more closely than other players. It’s not necessarily the cause of the Bears’ problems this season, but it’s a reaction that should be curbed.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bears linebacker Jamar Williams, who was credited with 20 tackles Sunday against the Rams, is hoping for more playing time even when starter Lance Briggs returns. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson has more.
Minnesota’s run of (mostly) good health came to a shocking end Sunday night in Arizona, write Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Erin Henderson, the younger brother of Vikings middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, said he is confident his brother will resume his career after recovering from a fractured femur. Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has more.
Green Bay linebacker Jeremy Thompson’s body “went numb” during a practice collision last Friday, writes Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel checks in with Packers receiver Greg Jennings, who has five drops this season.
It appears that Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson hit it big when he traded up to draft linebacker Clay Matthews, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
It appears that Detroit linebacker Ernie Sims (hamstring) is ready to return, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz broke from protocol and announced his starting quarterback this week because “the potential benefits to announcing it outweigh the benefits of withholding it.” Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com has more.