<
>

Jay Cutler: Kyle Long, Bears have to be smarter about camp fights

"It's a tough team, I think, but now we're getting to the point where we are just kind of being a dumb team," Jay Cutler said AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Jay Cutler is fed up with the Chicago Bears' unusually high number of training camp fights this summer.

"It's a tough team, I think, but now we're getting to the point where we are just kind of being a dumb team," Cutler said Monday. "We have to find that fine line of when we are being tough and when we are being dumb. I think we are right there on that edge, so now we have to start dialing it back."

Head coach John Fox added: "We've been stressing finishing, stressing some toughness. I think that led to maybe some issues that we might have had. I think we got that cleaned up; you won't see that anymore."

The tipping point occurred on Saturday, when a full-fledged brawl erupted during the Bears' annual Family Fest practice at Soldier Field. What began as an altercation between center Ted Larsen and linebacker Lamin Barrow quickly escalated when Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long, who was not even involved in the play, sprinted over from the opposite end of the field and dove into a pile of players that had formed around Larsen and Barrow. Long's actions caused several defensive players to leave the sidelines and enter the fray. It took a couple of minutes for order to be restored.

Cutler specifically expressed disappointment in Long, who became the leader of the offensive line after the Bears released veteran Matt Slauson in the offseason.

"I mean, he's got to be smarter than that," Cutler said. "We talked to him. He's better than that, he's smarter than that, and he's come a long way in his years here. I know he is protecting his teammates and doing everything possible, but there are some things we just can't do."

For his part, Long apologized for his behavior but said the chemistry in the Bears' locker room is strong.

"It's unfortunate what unfolded, but it's football and tempers can go sometimes," Long said. "At the same time, we are all family, so we're all talking about it amongst each other in the locker room. But it can't happen. We can't let that happen. I hold myself accountable for some of the stuff. That's on me. It's a bad representation of the Bears and not a good representation of myself as an athlete and somebody as a role model for younger kids."