It’s no secret that Jay Cutler was a hard teammate to get along with. Several former Chicago Bears have come out and said as much. He was either a guy you liked or a guy you hated. There was no middle ground with him. In hindsight, that’s probably not the best thing when he is the quarterback of the team. Having a divided locker room around the supposed leader.
Passing years have established the people who weren’t the biggest fans of Cutler. Most of the defensive mainstays like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs were among them. Offensive linemen also didn’t care for him much either. One name that often gets forgotten among that group is Devin Hester. The former Bears return man and wide receiver was tasked with helping Cutler get off the ground in Chicago 10 years ago.
Earl Bennett in his latest #StoryTimeWithEarl segment explained that their relationship started poorly and was permanently poisoned after that. Cutler’s inability to control his frustration and criticize his teammates rubbed Hester the wrong way and apparently led to frequent clashes during that first season.
Jay Cutler crashing of a Hester BBQ illustrated the tension
Bennett helped provide a picture of the situation during a barbeque at Hester’s house that year. Something teammates frequently looked forward to. Things were going great until, to the shock of everybody, Cutler showed up with soon-to-be wife Kristin Cavallari. He did it unannounced too, which made the situation even more awkward. People were afraid though because they knew how deep Hester’s feelings towards his QB went.
“Everyone was cordial, and the BBQ was entertaining. Then, the BBQ turned weird. Things got silent. There were whispers around the grill. I overheard one guy say, “Yo Jay here.” What??? I couldn’t believe it. Walking down the steps toward us is the veneers-bracing smiling Cutler with his then-fiancée.
The BBQ did not turn weird just because Jay showed up to a teammate gathering. This was “HESTER’S BBQ!” No one expected to see Jay. Usually, he would text and ask me if I were attending a team function, but no text this time. I was shocked to see him show up at the party.
Jay and Hester’s relationship was no secret. They did not get along. Why? Simple, Jay did not feel Devin was worthy of being a top receiver. A few missed assignments by Devin, and Cutler’s demeanor of “What the fuck is that guy doing?” created tension from the beginning and their relationship never mended.
The chatter in the organization that Cutler wanted a number one receiver quickly made its way to the receiver room where Devin was supposedly our top receiver. Cutler never trusted Devin on the field as a receiver. Devin never liked Cutler. There were times during the 2009 season where they had verbal spats on the sideline. They were not a match made in heaven.”
Jay Cutler never seemed to grasp that it wasn’t Hester’s decision to be called the top guy at receiver. That fell on Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. The veteran playmaker was doing the best he could. He obviously wasn’t what the quarterback was used to with Brandon Marshall in Denver. Cutler holding that against him is a reminder of the person he was.
The two did go on to make some big plays in the future, it was obvious their connection was never overly strong.