Jay Cutler admired by Chicago peers

Updated: January 13, 2011, 7:37 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose knows something about living under the spotlight placed on athletes in Chicago, but Rose admits the scrutiny he endures pales in comparison to what Jay Cutler experiences as the quarterback of the Chicago Bears.

Patrick Kane I've talked to Cutler a bunch of times and seen him out a few times. He's definitely not [aloof] with everyone. It just seems like he's the quarterback of the Bears and people are probably going to approach you all the time. He seems to be a really nice guy.

-- Patrick Kane

"It's totally different," the 22-year-old Rose told ESPNChicago.com. "In Chicago, it's tough, man, especially for a quarterback.

"You can be the best quarterback, and Chicago fans are tough on quarterbacks. And for the Bulls, it's not [just] one position where [fans] just look at it super hard."

Cutler's demeanor has been intensely analyzed since he arrived from the Denver Broncos in a trade prior to last season. He's been described as aloof, moody and cocky. Cutler said he doesn't care about his public image.

And it hasn't affected his performance this season. Cutler, 27, led the Bears to an 11-5 record and will be under center Sunday when the Bears host the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC divisional playoff game.

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, 22, knows what it's like to be in the spotlight, for reasons good and bad. He helped the Hawks win the Stanley Cup last season, and he also had a highly publicized arrest after a scuffle with a cabbie in Buffalo.

"I've talked to Cutler a bunch of times and seen him out a few times," Kane said. "He's definitely not [aloof] with everyone.

"It just seems like he's the quarterback of the Bears and people are probably going to approach you all the time. He seems to be a really nice guy."

Kane said he understands the responsibilities of celebrity.

"I think anytime you're out to dinner or with some of the guys, you just want to be yourself," he said. "I think you learn you want to be as genuine as possible with people because it seems to go a long way in this world.

"There has to be a happy medium, for sure. You can't be out there shaking everyone's hand, but people that come up and say, 'Hi,' you want to be as nice as you can, because not only do you represent yourself but you represent your organization as well."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. ESPNChicago.com Blackhawks reporter Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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