For just the second time in his career Matt Forte will be taking handoffs from someone other than Jay Cutler. Injury replacements aside, the Chicago Bears offense was led by Cutler and Forte for the last seven seasons. That will change in 2016, though, as Forte is now the starter for the New York Jets.
Cutler has endured plenty of criticism from the Chicago and national media, and some of it is warranted. Most of it, however, he doesn't deserve to hear. And because of that, Forte feels bad for him.
"I feel bad for him because the cameras are constantly on him," Forte told Pro Football Weekly. "They show his body language, and I mean, if you look on the sideline and something goes bad, everybody's body language is that way. He's the quarterback. He's the one in the spotlight."
Forte isn't wrong. The cameras and attention are always on Cutler. He's not the greatest vocal leader and often shows poor body language when things aren't going his way, but that's his personality. That's how he plays quarterback. While some players like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady get passes for their actions when troubles arise, Cutler does not.
"In the media, that's the thing to pick on," Forte said, referring to Cutler's body language. "That's the thing that sells papers, so that's what they're gonna pick on. That's what they're gonna write about no matter what he says. I've seen him grow from when he came in, it was my second year, all the way till now. He has kids, family, married -- all that stuff, so he's grown a lot. And, his personality has changed a lot over the years."
There isn't much Cutler can do to change the public's perception of him. All he can do is win and play at a high level. The former of which is less on him than it is on the entire team, but most fans don't see it that way. Wins and losses fall on the quarterback's shoulders, and that's the way it is.