NFL Wire News

Bears’ Gould criticizes decision to bench Cutler


Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould, who will sit out the final game of the season because of a nagging right quadriceps injury, criticized the decision to bench quarterback Jay Cutler.

“To be honest with you, I feel really bad for Jay,” Gould said Monday on 670 The Score in Chicago. “When you’re having a tough season like this, he’s not the guy to be the scapegoat or the guy to blame. There’s a lot of guys you could put that blame on. Unfortunately, I don’t know if necessarily he’s a guy that should take the entire blame because he doesn’t deserve it.”

Gould said his injury will sideline him for the road game against the Minnesota Vikings. Jay Feely will take over as the starter for the fourth consecutive game.

Gould questioned coach Marc Trestman’s decision to start Jimmy Clausen and sit Cutler in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, who won 20-14.

“I honestly don’t even know what the message is … to be honest with you,” Gould said in the radio interview. “I just think it’s been a long season. I think he thought maybe he thought this was going to provide a spark to the team. That’s what he told us. I wish Jay was out there playing.”

The Bears are 5-10 in Trestman’s second season. Cutler was leading the NFL with 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers in the first year of a seven-year contract he signed in the offseason when Trestman turned to Clausen, who hadn’t started a game since 2010.

“You could bench the whole team,” Gould said. “It’s not like anybody has really played fantastic or great. I mean, we’re 5-10 now. So … Jay is not the problem. Jay is not the issue. It’s just unfortunate. This is, honestly, it’s not the Bear way. I mean, this whole season is not the Bear way. Pointing fingers, things getting out of the locker room — that’s not the Chicago Bear way.

“I think, for me, being around the organization for, now, 10 years, seeing guys like Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, who most likely have walked through the tunnel for the last time, it’s tough because we weren’t taught this way under Lovie (Smith, former head coach). We weren’t taught to do these sort of things and we always stayed together as close-knit as we possibly could. You don’t have to like everyone. You don’t need to like everyone. But you have to respect them and show up to work and go to work every day for those people. So I think it’s very difficult because, honestly, this isn’t the Chicago Bear way.”

Trestman said Monday morning on Newsradio 780 that he plans to talk to Clausen before naming a starter for Sunday’s finale.

Clausen completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, against the Lions.

“We’ll talk about it today,” Trestman said. “I thought he had a good performance. He needed some help. He didn’t get it — had a few drops along the way, had a couple missed assignments up front in the running game, where we could’ve had a little bit more yardage. But I thought he handled himself (well), for two practices and having not played (much) for four years. It was certainly a good performance.”

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