LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery called Jay Cutler a franchise-level quarterback during training camp, and his position remains unchanged.
"I'm a Jay Cutler fan. I believe in what he's doing as a quarterback," Emery said. "You look at some of the simple things, the 9-1 (record) in the last 10 games, 22-10 over the last three years. Those stats say something that we have a winner at a key position for our franchise. I said earlier in the year I felt Jay was a franchise-level quarterback. I will continue to say that."
In addition to voicing support for Cutler, the general manager gave his take on incidents occurring earlier this season involving the quarterback. During a seven-sack outing against the Green Bay Packers in which he threw four interceptions, Cutler yelled at left tackle J'Marcus Webb before eventually bumping into him during a heated exchange on the sidelines.
Another incident with Cutler involved offensive coordinator Mike Tice during the team's win over Dallas. When the Bears failed to convert on a third and 1 early in the game, Tice attempted to sit next to Cutler on the bench to discuss the situation. As Tice sat, Cutler rose and walked away, drawing even more criticism nationally regarding the quarterback.
Emery gave a long-winded answer in addressing Cutler and those incidents.
"I see my job as an evaluator and as a manger of people. When you're in that role, you're always looking for analogies; what things I can look at and relate to, stay calm, unemotional through the process when I analyze people, players, the team," Emery said. "To me, it's a family. I know some people are going to say, ‘Well, that's cliché.' It's not really. A team is very much a family. The analogies are very much the same. And family is something everybody can relate to.
"I know that each and every one of our families has very unique people in it, unique personalities, unique interrelationships. I know we have a lot of happy times in each one of our families, and sometimes we have some dust-ups that we have to work through. To me, the important thing of family when I consider my own family and when I look at the team is, at the end of the day, are we all going in the same direction in a positive way? Do we have a passion for one another? Are we allowing each other to move towards excellence? Are we there to help one another; true love and understanding for each other? And do we have a commitment towards moving forward?
"In each one of those ways, when I look at Jay Cutler, the answer is yes. He's a passionate player. He has great drive and energy. He's moving towards excellence. He does care and love his teammates, and he's a big part of the positive things we're doing."