Bears' Charles Tillman: 'Guys still have faith' in Jay Cutler despite benching
Cutler, who signed a $126 million contract before this season, was benched this week in favor of Jimmy Clausen. He has completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 3,640 yards, 28 touchdowns and a league-leading 18 interceptions.
Tillman referenced the support he received from teammates earlier in his career amid a rough season as evidence the Bears have confidence in Cutler.
"I think guys still have faith," the 12th-year pro said of his former starting quarterback. "I mean ultimately, we all have good seasons, we all have bad seasons. I've had bad seasons. I think 2005 I had a pretty bad season and my teammates they stuck with me. But ultimately they gave me their respect and I think as a teammate that's kind of what we still have to do is still give him our respect. I know it probably didn't turn out the way he wanted, but he's still a teammate."
Since joining the Bears in 2009, Cutler has only led the team to the playoffs once, in 2009 when they lost in the NFC Championship Game. He also led the league in interceptions in 2009, when he threw 26. He has averaged 16 interceptions during his six seasons in Chicago.
Clausen will get his first start since his rookie season with the Panthers in 2010. He has played in three games this season for Chicago, completing three of nine passes for 42 yards.
- Paul Palladino