Cutler says he wasn't criticizing fans

Updated: August 9, 2009, 2:09 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Saturday that comments about the Denver Broncos that he made during a recent radio interview were aimed at Denver's training camp, not its fans.

Cutler, traded by the Broncos to the Bears in the spring, sought Saturday to clarify comments he made in an interview earlier in the week, when he had given Chicago a nine and Denver a six on a scale of one to 10.

"Denver's got great fans," Cutler said following the Bears' workout at Soldier Field before a crowd of 27,793 fans. "I wasn't saying anything about their fans."

Instead, Cutler said he was comparing the two team's training camps.

"I was saying stuff about our camp at Bourbonnais [Ill.] and just how expansive it is and how much money and effort and energy they put into it down there," Cutler said. "We get 11,000 fans on a Saturday. If it wasn't for the fans coming out like that, we wouldn't have to have such a big camp.

"Every NFL team has great fans. That's why the NFL and football is the No. 1 sport in this country, because the fans are great everywhere we go."

Cutler said he heard that Denver fans booed former Chicago quarterback Kyle Orton during a Broncos scrimmage.

"It's a tough situation," Cutler said. "With [former coach] Mike [Shanahan] gone, new coaches, they've got pretty much a whole new roster out there. It's hard for the fans. They're coming along, but it's early. It's early in camp.

"If they win some games, anywhere you go if you win some games, then they'll get on your side."

On the field, Cutler estimated that about 90 percent to 95 percent of Chicago's offense has played in practice. But he said the Bears but haven't spent much time working on rollout or misdirection passes that he has often been effective at in the past.

"This defense we're going against with the Bears, they kind of prevent that," he said. "So we're not getting as much work as we like to.

"But it's definitely going to be part of our package."

Cutler's biggest concern is locating good targets. Wide receiver Brandon Rideau has excelled the first nine days of practice and got to work with the first team Saturday ahead of Earl Bennett in some drills.

"We've got to find some guys we can trust other than Earl and Devin [Hester] and the tight ends," Cutler said. "We're getting there. I'm real happy with the receiving group right now."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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