LAKE FOREST, Illinois — Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler insisted receiver Brandon Marshall did not single out him or anyone else during his outburst following last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins.
"He didn't come near me," Cutler said Thursday. "He didn't say my name. I don't think he attacked anyone personally (with) what he was saying."
Cutler's comments came on the heels of a 27-14 loss at Soldier Field that raised all sorts of questions about the leadership and direction of the team.
They're 3-4 and staring at a road game with Tom Brady and the AFC East-leading New England Patriots this week. The fact that the game is not at Soldier Field might be a blessing considering the Bears are 0-3 there, and the latest loss was particularly ugly.
Reporters standing in the hallway after the game overheard Marshall screaming in the locker room, part of an emotional postgame scene. Some reports said the relationship between Marshall and Cutler was strained, while others had Marshall yelling at kicker Robbie Gould.
"I think some people are indifferent, some people are responding well to it," said Cutler, friends with Marshall since they were teammates in Denver. "Like I said, I don't think anybody's taking it negatively. It was a frustrating loss for all of us. I think once guys left the locker room, that's kind of where it died. We moved on Monday and Tuesday and we practiced Wednesday. It was just one of those things."
Coach Marc Trestman said he has no problem with players venting as long as they do so "in an appropriate manner" and there's "no lack of respect involved."
"To me, this is commonplace and over a weekend of games, believe me, our locker room is not the only one where players express themselves when things haven't gone well," he said.
The Bears insist they are not coming apart, that the season's not slipping away, no matter how bad things looked after that Dolphins game. Still, there are plenty of lingering questions about the leadership and their quarterback.
Cutler continues to be bitten by turnovers at inopportune times even though his rating (94.4) and completion percentage (67.3) are career highs. He had an interception and lost a fumble last week, and both turnovers led to points.
Even so, general manager Phil Emery insisted during a fans chat on the team's website this week that Cutler is an elite QB because he has a winning record — 59-52. Others aren't convinced. Put former teammate Brian Urlacher — no pal of Cutler's — in that category. In an interview with 87.7 FM in Chicago, the former star middle linebacker said Cutler is paid like an elite quarterback but hasn't produced like one.
Asked if he took issue with Urlacher saying that, Cutler said, "No." Did it bother him that it came from a former teammate?
"No," he responded.
Cutler also raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he missed his weekly radio show. But he insisted that was because he had to take his young son to the doctor.
"It's almost easier to do the radio show and just get it out of the way after a loss," Cutler said. "Some of these questions you don't have to answer on Thursday."
NOTES: LBs Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jonathan Bostic (back) were limited in practice as were TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring), CB Kyle Fuller (hip and hand) and RT Jordan Mills (foot). DE Jared Allen had the day off.
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