Posted on: January 24, 2011 9:22 pm

Cutler's physical toughness shouldn't be question

Several NFL players, not to mention fans and media members, have raked Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler over the proverbial coals for coming out of the NFC Championship game with an injured knee Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. They reason that since they didn't see Cutler on crutches, showing obvious distress or with ice on the knee, he must have not really been all that injured. They questioned his physical toughness.
I'm not sure how injured Cutler's knee was. That's something that Cutler, Bears coach Lovie Smith and the Bears trainers and doctors know the answer to, as well as a subsequent MRI. Those folks determined the guy was too injured to play at any sort of level that could help his team win. Naysayers say that Cutler was just having an awful game and wanted to be out of it.
I disagree.
For all of Jay Cutler's faults, physical toughness has never been one of them. Sure, the guy melts down when things start to go south. Sure, he's surly in public and not good with the media. He has given the appearance of being a whiner on the field. But all that has to do with his mental state of being, his mental toughness. And even with all that, he's never been accused of giving up and having no heart, just that he makes really stupid decisions when the pressure's getting to him and his back is up against the wall.
If he wanted to cop out of games, he would have done so before this; instead, the strong-armed thrower has stayed in and continued to throw pick after pick in lost causes. 
So, while I do agree that Cutler has many faults as a quarterback, physical toughness isn't one of them.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com