The fact that Jay Cutler was sacked eight times in the first half on Sunday was not entirely his fault, but Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka says his hesitation with the football contributed to the disastrous 17-3 loss to the New York Giants.
During the "Mike and Mike" ESPN radio show on Monday morning, the former Bears coach said he would have gone ballistic if he were on the sidelines on Sunday night. Granted, the Bears' offensive line worked like a sieve and the receivers had a difficult time getting open, but Ditka said Cutler should have been playing more heads up football.
"I don't think anybody was open down field, because they had seven in coverage, but the quarterback has to get the ball out of his hands, too," Ditka said. "He looked like he was not even aware of the pressure around him."
Cutler seemed a step behind each play he executed, missing the open man, constantly looking long and even throwing right into the arms of Terrell Thomas for an interception on the Chicago 28-yard line. Not to mention the ninth sack left Cutler concussed, calling in 38-year old replacement Todd Collins — who was then replaced by third-stringer Caleb Hanie after a hard hit left Collins stunned.
While the Bears offense compiled play after sloppy play, head coach Lovie Smith remained stoic on the sidelines. An expression, Ditka said, that would have been impossible for him to maintain watching the disarray out on the field.
"Lovie is a low-key guy," Ditka said. "I couldn't believe … I would have went [psycho] yesterday. I would have been ballistic. I watched him and he had complete control and composure. I guess that's good, but you have to call somebody out. The line coach or somebody had to call these guys over."
Speaking to the media after practice on Monday, Smith said it was a combination of weaknesses that contributed to the poor performance on the field.
"There were a lot of thing that were unacceptable from that game," he said. "I'll put the offensive line in there."
As for Cutler, Smith said he was looking and feeling OK at practice — attending meetings and video sessions — and will be evaluated by doctors this week. Smith did not attempt to answer the question as to whether or not Cutler will start Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers.