One of my favorite things in the world is when an athlete rips another athlete, then tries to cover himself by saying something like, “With all due respect.”
This happened yesterday to Brian Urlacher, the Bears linebacker who was asked about Jay Cutler. His money quote, as told to Yahoo Sports: “Look, I love Jay, and I understand he’s a great player who can take us a long way, and I still have faith in him. But I hate the way our identity has changed. We used to establish the run and wear teams down and try not to make mistakes, and we’d rely on our defense to keep us in the game and make big plays to put us in position to win. “Kyle Orton might not be the flashiest quarterback, but the guy is a winner, and that formula worked for us. I hate to say it, but that’s the truth.”
Urlacher later explained that he wasn’t ripping his teammate. Which is funnyâ€”because he was clearly ripping his teammate. And rightly so. The Cutler Experiment has gone terribly wrong. The problem: First, the Bears traded for potential more than reality. They traded for the big arm and amazing athleticism and larger-than-life reputation. But, truth be told, Cutler had been a good day’s Steve DeBerg in Denver. Good, solidâ€”but nothing amazing.
Now the Bears are stuck with a petulant quarterback who makes crazy money, rarely looks off a receiver and treats the media as if they’re maggots.
Which we often are.
But that’s not the point.