David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune quotes former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman on current Bears quarterback Jay Cutler:
“The better [Green Bay quarterback Aaron] Rodgers plays Sunday, the smarter Cutler must. Yet after visiting a “relaxed” Cutler on Friday at Halas Hall, Aikman sensed no additional pressure — even if it is palpable around Chicago.
“’As you get older in this league or remove yourself from the game and look back at games that really shaped who you were as a player or what you achieved as a team, this is one of those games,’ Aikman said. ‘These are the types of games that, as a quarterback, really help establish whatever legacy you have. I’m looking forward to seeing how Jay responds.’”
Aren’t we all.
Just an FYI to Aikman, the more “relaxed” Cutler looks, the more nervous he is inside. His press conference late last week where he reverted to the bratty child we all have come to know is the result of that pressure. The more he feels it, the more he reacts in a way that’s designed to make you think he doesn’t care about you or what you think about the game.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t play well. What you need to do is take a good look at him warming up right before the game. His body language should tell you all you need to know. If he looks pale, stiff and expressionless, the Bears will be done before they even start. If he doesn’t, the Packers might have a game to play.
There are a lot of things to look for in this game. For me it’s mostly its about whether the Bears can bounce back and show some drive and determination when it counts. But those who put how Cutler responds at the end of a contract year with the division title on the line above that will, indeed, have a good argument.