Mike Ditka: Jay Cutler needs work

Updated: October 5, 2010, 11:02 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka said he would have gone ballistic if he had been on the sideline Sunday night when the Bears lost 17-3 to the New York Giants.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked nine times, and Ditka said part of the problem was the time it took Cutler to release the ball.

"I don't think anybody was open downfield, because they had seven in coverage, but the quarterback has to get the ball out of his hands, too," Ditka said Monday on "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio. "He looked like he was not even aware of the pressure around him.

"That's all part of football, the quarterback has to have that little clock in his head that says 'I have to get rid of the football.' Jay Cutler didn't have it yesterday, that's for sure. "

Former NFL MVP Kurt Warner played in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system and agrees with Ditka.

"[The Bears] are going to keep the pedal down, they're going to continue to take chances but so much of it as a quarterback is just making quick decisions, understanding what's going on up front and that you can't sit back and just wait for the big play every time," Warner said Monday on "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio. "Sometimes you've just got to say it's not there initially, let's just get the ball out of my hands and let somebody else do something with it."

At some point, the Bears diagnosed Cutler as being concussed, and he didn't return in the second half.

"It's an individual thing," said Ditka, who's an ESPN analyst. "They got beat individually. It's not like the Giants had a great scheme to come after them. They came after them with four guys almost every time and beat them."

Ditka said he noticed Lovie Smith's demeanor during the game, and Ditka said he would have reacted differently.

"Lovie is a low-key guy," Ditka said. "I couldn't believe ... I would have went [psycho] yesterday. I would have been ballistic. I watched him and he had complete control and composure. I guess that's good, but you have to call somebody out. The line coach or somebody had to call these guys over.

"Football to me is a game of pride. You get what you tolerate. If you tolerate the other guy beating you, that's what you're going to get. I look at it that way. This is me and you, one-on-one. Forget the other guys. I'm going to win my battle, and if we have enough guys winning those individual battles, we'll win this football game. And that's the way you have to approach it."