It is hard to remember the last time ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” crew went after a player harder and with such intensity. Then again, the Bears quarterback gave them plenty of ammunition.
During the game, Jon Gruden showed his disgust on several occasions. He knew it was going to be an ugly evening early on.
“I don’t know what can happen next, but this is hard to watch,” Gruden said. “The Bears look chaotic and disorganized on offense.”
When the Bears went to the locker room trailing 14-0, Gruden said: “One of the most disappointing first halves I’ve seen from anybody in a long time.”
During the second half, Gruden saw enough, pleading with Marc Trestman to make a change.
“If I’m Marc Trestman, I’m going to take a look at Jimmy Clausen to see what I have here down the stretch. It’s just not happening for Cutler,” Gruden said.
The piling-on continued in ESPN’s postgame show. Steve Young, Ray Lewis and Trent Dilfer dissected Cutler. Here are some sound bites:
Young: “The whole nation witnessed what Jay is and what Jay could be.”
Lewis: “All the talent in the world. I don’t care how far he can throw the ball, how fast he can run…Who made the decision when you saw this guy, my future, the Chicago Bears future, I’m going to give this guy $100 million? And now I’m looking to shop the same guy?
“Who looked at this talent and said, ‘That’s the guy who can lead us to the Promised Land.’ Now we have to address who is bringing these people in?…I don’t know if Jay is proven. I never have seen him prove anything.”
Young: “(Coaches say) we can mold him. It’s like he’s the $6 million man. We can do this…There’s not enough guys to bring in (to replace Cutler). That’s why Jay keeps hanging around. There’s not enough alternatives.”
Dilfer: “He keeps hanging around because the league still is enamored with their old-school quarterback evaluation of height, weight, arm strength. It creates this long leash for this guy. It creates this wow factor. You go, ‘Oh my God, if I can get him to do that, I can get the best quarterback in the league.’”
Lewis: “A leader is born from the heart. Leaders don’t lead from talent. When you watch him, there’s nothing that speaks leadership. There’s no way he is the leader of this team….You don’t duck your head every time you throw an incomplete pass. If I’m going down with the ship, I’m not going down like that.”
Young: “It’s maddening because you know it’s in him.”