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Tillman: Bears players still have faith in Jay Cutler

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Jay Cutler's benching has led to a new round of blustering surrounding the Chicago Bears and their quarterback.

Speaking on NFL Network's NFL AM on Thursday, veteran corner Charles Tillman defended Cutler's leadership in the locker room.

"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."

Cutler's poor play this season led to a self-inflicted brouhaha last week when offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer criticized the quarterback to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, leading to a firestorm of controversy.

Tillman said "stuff happens" during disappointing years, but said he forgave Kromer for his comments.

"I think we haven't played to our expectations this year and I don't have a problem with what he said, good or bad and he knew he made a mistake and ultimately that mistake was going out of family talking to media," Tillman said.

It's interesting to hear Tillman continue the trend of Bears defending Kromer in "he messed up, but we forgive him" responses. Few have backed Cutler in a similar fashion.

Tillman declined to comment on whether Marc Trestman or others should be brought back next year, but said that all Bears players should be auditioning for jobs.

"This is when you find out what you have and it's not just about Trestman being here or not, it's about the 52 or 53 guys putting out good films out there, because there are 32 teams out there," he said. "You want to put game film for those teams, whether he's here or not that's not the point. It's putting on good games on that resume. That's has nothing to do with the coaches, that's on the players."

Trestman, it turns out, didn't want to see any more film on Cutler.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Jay Cutler's benching and what it means for his future with the Bears. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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