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Hanie Comes to Cutler's Defense

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Hanie Comes to Cutler's Defense

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been skewered by fans, media, and his fellow NFL players for coming out of yesterday's 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the second half with a knee injury.

Reports today are that Cutler did, in fact, tear a ligament in his left knee. More specifically, Cutler has torn the medial collateral ligament, though the grade has not yet been determined.

Confirmations that he was injured has shifted the focus to Cutler's body language on the sidelines during the broadcast. With Cutler already possessing a reputation for not being a "rah-rah", cheerleader type, it's a fairly easy target.

According to third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie, who nearly became a folk-hero on Sunday, it's also inaccurate.

"He helped me out numerous times throughout the game," Hanie said on Monday's "Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "When I went in, first of all he came and talked to me and said, 'Hey, trust yourself, trust your reads, use your feet if you have to; don't be afraid to do that. Trust the o-line and you'll be fine.' That calmed me down a little bit.

"Then after we went down and scored, I had the adrenaline going a little bit after that touchdown and it was the same thing. Right when I got to the sidelines he was the first one to say 'Great job, now you've just got to go get another one. Make sure you stay calm and composed in there.' So he helped me. He did that numerous times throughout the game. I guess people didn't see that on TV but it definitely happened."

For more from Hanie, including his thoughts on Cutler's toughness and leadership, click here.

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