If there are frustrations with Jay Cutler inside Bears' locker room, they aren't the first

If there are frustrations with Jay Cutler inside Bears' locker room, they aren't the first

One inevitable byproduct of dismal, losing football appeared this week, pretty much on schedule, with a report that a couple of Bears players are venting their unhappiness, predictably, with quarterback Jay Cutler, who has inspired this sort of thing since even before he ever put on a Bears uniform.

Back in 2009, it was Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher who weren’t all that enthralled with Cutler coming to Chicago, partly because of what they’d heard or known about him and partly because a lot of the locker room believed in and liked Kyle Orton, who was sent away after a 9-7 season as part of the trade for Cutler.

So it probably should come as no surprise now that Mike Freeman over at Bleacher Report tweeted that a couple of players told him “most” of the locker room had “given up” on Cutler, not an altogether unnatural reaction to Cutler’s four-turnover performance in the 36-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It would not be the first time even this season when frustrations with Cutler boiled into public view. Linebacker Pernell McPhee confronted Cutler on the sidelines after a catastrophic Cutler interception in the 15-point loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.

The surprise would be if feelings and bonds weren’t frayed by a 2-7 season that has seen the Bears lose two of their last three in blowout fashion and with the outcome no closer than nine points in five of the seven losses.

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But while the latest criticisms of Cutler are anonymous, support for him is public.

“No, no (truth to the Freeman report),” tight end Zach Miller said. “That's a complete B.S. report in my opinion. I think that anybody that you would put up there would say the same exact thing.”

Irritation at quarterbacks’ mistakes typically might be found on the other side of the football. But Cutler has at least one supporter on the defensive end.

“He’s a great quarterback,” defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said. “And everybody is behind him and wanting him to do well for our team. You know there’s going to be situations where the outcome isn’t what you want. But we’re still behind him. I know I’m still behind him personally. And I know our defense is cheering our offense on and wanting the best for our team.”

Cutler was elected one of the offensive co-captains (along with Alshon Jeffery) and appeared to be making an effort to lead the Bears and the offense out of the morass that the Tampa Bay game turned into.

“I think midway through the third quarter he’s still in the huddle saying, ‘All right, let’s get going. Let’s do this,’ and trying to pick us all up to rally around him,” Miller said. “We understand that we aren’t playing well collectively. We certainly didn’t do that on Sunday to help him out at all. So I communicate with him probably more than anybody on the football team, and he’s going to continue to grind and continue to prepare and we’ll be on to New York.”

Bears Week 3 injury report: Eddie Jackson, Trey Burton limited in practice

Bears Week 3 injury report: Eddie Jackson, Trey Burton limited in practice

The Chicago Bears have a favorable matchup Monday night against the Redskins in a game that could be just what the offense needs to get back on track. Washington will be the worst defense Mitch Trubisky has faced (by far) this season and should present opportunities for big plays in both the passing and running games.

But as is the case every week in the NFL, injuries could play a part in the outcome. And the Bears have a few notable names on their injury report.

The most notable is DL Bilal Nichols, who's expected to miss the game with a broken hand. Trey Burton was limited in practice once again with a groin injury, but he should be good to go Monday night. He returned to action in Week 2 and played 26 of 60 snaps on offense.

Kyle Long (hip), Eddie Jackson (shoulder) and Eddie Goldman (oblique) were also limited Thursday, but none appear at risk of missing the game.

The long week should help the Bears climb closer to full health with the exception of Nichols.

Power ranking Chicago Bears players entering Week 3

Power ranking Chicago Bears players entering Week 3

It's early—very early—in the 2019 season, but there are a few Chicago Bears players who've quickly established themselves as critical pieces to whatever success this team will enjoy. Obvious names like Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks are irreplaceable parts on defense, but what about HaHa Clinton-Dix? The Adrian Amos replacement has emerged as one of the team's best all-around performers through two games.

A glaring name missing from Chicago's best of the best this week is QB Mitch Trubisky. He'll need a big game against the Redskins on Monday night in order to silence his critics and climb back into the who's who list on this roster. No position is more important to a Super Bowl run than the quarterback, so for Trubisky not to be among the Bears' best right now is somewhat concerning.

And how about that kicker? Eddy Pineiro is on the verge of becoming a household name because of his journey to the Bears' starting job and his clutch 53-yard game-winner against the Broncos in Week 2. He earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors because of it, as well as a spot in this edition of the Power Rankings.

Here are the top-10 Bears heading into Week 3.