What the Bears' much-maligned quarterback seemed to want to convey the most to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times was something his face and body language didn't after he exited with a knee injury: that he cared.
"To get to the point we were and the opportunity we had -- I'm frustrated just like everyone else," Cutler said. "I think I've been through a lot here in Chicago, and I would have loved to play."
But the TV images of Cutler's look of disinterest and general sense of being disconnected will linger. So, too, will the flood of criticism from fans, media and many current and former players questioning his toughness for not fighting through the pain and returning to action.
Perhaps it is unfair, given that Cutler was dealing with a Grade II medial collateral ligament tear in his left knee (which, interestingly, he says he hasn't yet tested since the title game). Nevertheless, it is likely to continue to be something he won't be able to live down any time soon and nothing he can say will change that.