Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is having a much easier time with the media after orchestrating winning touchdown drives the last two weeks, including Sunday in a 25-19 road win over the Seattle Seahawks.
To many Bears fans, Cutler's four-interception debut in Green Bay on Sept. 13 seems like a distant memory. Not to Cutler.
"It was definitely only a couple of weeks ago," Cutler said Monday on the "Waddle & Silvy" show on ESPN 1000. "I remember it well.
"It left a bad taste in my mouth, to go out there in the first game like that and perform like that. It was embarrassing. That's not the way I play. Some of it was bad breaks, some of it was my fault. It's been good for us to be able to rebound the last two weeks."
All aspects of Cutler's persona were dissected by the media after that loss to the Packers, including his facial expressions and attitude toward teammates.
"[The media reported] I talk too much on the field; I yell at people; I don't talk enough; I sit there and look bored," Cutler said. "With all the media outlets and they're opinionated these days ... and they have to say something different. They have to sell papers and sell their show. You get a lot of different stuff these days.
"It doesn't surprise me. Chicago is a huge, huge market with great fans. But winning takes care of everything. As long as you're winning ballgames, I think you're going to be OK."
When asked if he'd rather have surgery without anaesthesia or do a 20-minute press conference, Cutler joked: "What kind of surgery are we talking about?"
Cutler's confident approach has been widely documented, but he credited a support group he talked to after the Packers loss.
"I talk to a lot of people," he said. "Me and [offensive coordinator Ron Turner] talked a few times. I talked to my dad; talked to my quarterbacks coach [Jimmy Kiser] from Vanderbilt; talked to my old quarterbacks coach in Denver [Jeremy Bates] who's now at USC. And a lot of people reached out to me. I've been lucky to have had a lot of great coaches throughout my career and was lucky enough to be pretty successful.
"I knew it would be a minor hurdle. Never imagined throwing four picks in the opener like that, but it happens. Nothing we can do about it. Go back and watch the film and try to correct what we can correct and go out there and play ball."
Cutler praised the emergence of his receivers and said it's only a matter of time before the Bears' running game gets on track.
"I don't think it's a failure to run the ball at all," he said. "We saw a great defense against the run with the Steelers. We saw a lot of eight men in the box against Seattle, and Green Bay did a lot of different things.
"In the three weeks ... the run just hasn't been there. We've had to find other ways to win, which is fine. The last two weeks we made the plays we had to make. When the run gets going, it's going to come. ... I know everyone is getting a little frustrated with that. I think Matt [Forte] is a little frustrated, because he hasn't been able to pop that big one yet. But it's going to come. He's been doing everything we've asked him to do out there. It's all going to come in time."
All four teams in the NFC North were victorious Sunday, including the Detroit Lions, who visit the Bears Sunday afternoon.
"This is an important game for us," Cutler said. "We have to get this one. It's right before a bye week, and there's nothing worse than going into a bye week after a loss. You've got that extra week to think about it.
"We have to get this one. It's a home game. We have to win these at home."