The Chicago Bears' offensive line has received its share of criticism in recent years. Much of it is deserved.
Jay Cutler has tried to toe the company line while discussing the unit's woes, but when you've been sacked 110 times in three seasons, holding your tongue is a challenge. The quarterback said last month the line was "definitely going to be a concern," one that could temper the addition of wideouts Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery.
"The people in the Bears building are sometimes a little bit sensitive," Cutler told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM on Friday. "You always want to be pro-Bears and compliment your teammates and stuff but ... over a three-year career here (the offensive line is) definitely at the forefront of my mind every year. Until we get those front five hammered down, we're still kind of up in the air offensively -- even though we've got some really, really talented guys on the outside."
Cutler was sacked 52 times in 2010, more than any quarterback in the league. Chicago's line surrendered another 49 sacks last season. Much was expected of rookie Gabe Carimi, but he played only two games at right tackle before an injured knee cap ended his season. The unit's best lineman is center Roberto Garza, who took Cutler's criticism in stride.
"I talked to Garza about it and asked if anyone was offended. He said no. He agreed with me," Cutler said. "(I) didn't throw anyone under the bus, didn't name anybody specifically and say that they are a weak link. I just said until we get that front five we'll see what happens."
The Bears have failed to fix the problem and some have questioned the team's urgency on this front. The left tackle situation is a mess and there's little talent or depth at guard. We've spent a lot of time talking about the skill players the Bears acquired this offseason, but it starts with the line. Cutler -- regularly hassled by angry enemies in opposing jerseys -- has been telling the Bears this for a long time.