Jay Cutler and Mike Tice in (slightly) happier times. We think. (AP)
It's not unusual for quarterbacks and offensive coordinators to go at it on the sidelines when things aren't going well. Tom Brady famously went off on former New England Patriots offensive coordinator and current Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien in December of 2011 during a 34-27 win over the Washington Redskins, but Tom Brady is Tom Brady, and he's going to get a free pass.
Not so much for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who threw quite the series of temper tantrums in Chicago's 23-10 Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Cutler was pilloried for showing up left tackle J'Marcus Webb, and for losing control at several points in the game. Cutler was not contrite at all after the fact -- while he said that he shouldn't have pushed his teammate, he considered his behavior to be within the purview of a quarterback who just wants to win.
What will be made of Cutler walking away from offensive coordinator Mike Tice on the sideline during the Bears' Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys might be another matter. Frustrated at one point over the Bears' inability to much anything going in the first half, Cutler got up from the bench and walked away just as Tice sat down to discuss the gameplan.
"I know you guys have to sell papers," Cutler said to the media after the gane. "It's hard out there. But you can't blow up every headline. Things happen during football games. Just because I walk off and go get water doesn't mean much."
Despite Cutler's history, he's got a valid point there. This stuff happens more often than you might think, though it is blown up for reasons that are very much Cutler's fault.
The Bears had to call timeout on two drives because the play clock was winding down, and the plays were coming in slow. It's not the first time that has happened, as Cutler (sort of) said on a recent radio show.
"I think he's getting better and better each week, and he's putting more and more into it," Cutler said of Tice's play-calling and game management. "He's taking more advice and learning on the run, and I think he's doing a great job. It's not an easy job ... It's a tough job, it really is, to call plays and be 2-3 plays ahead of it."
Cutler was understanding on the radio. On the field, it wasn't quite the same.
[Michael Silver: Refs' reign of error not enough to hold Packers down]
In the end, it didn't matter, except to the morning talk shows that will make a mountain out of this molehill. In the Bears' 34-18 win, Cutler threw 18 completions in 24 attempts for 275 yards and two touchdowns. In the second half, Cutler completed 11 of 12 passes for 219 yards and both scores.
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