Devin Hester says Jay Cutler was the worst leader Hester has ever been around

Chris Cwik
·3-min read

Former Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester respects Jay Cutler’s ability on the football field, but not his leadership. Hester ripped Cutler as a leader, calling him “the worst” during an interview with Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion.

Hester brought up Cutler after being asked why Hester wasn’t used more as a wide receiver when he was with the Bears. He blamed Cutler for that, saying Cutler would get close to one or two players and separate himself from everyone else. Hester said that quality made Cutler the worst leader Hester has been around.

The relevant portion of the interview begins around the 1:02 mark:

Hester’s full answer read:

“My third year, that’s when I redid a new contract and became the No. 1 receiver. That’s the same year we brought in Jay Cutler. He’s not really a sociable guy. He’s not a talker, you know what I mean? He picks one or two guys and he just leeches on them and separates himself from everybody.

“As a quarterback, like, I’d tell him to his face today that, to me, my years in the NFL — I played 11 years. He’s the best quarterback when it comes to accuracy, power, knowledge of the game. The best quarterback, hands down, I ever played with. Now, when it comes to leadership, the worst.

“He don’t know how to communicate. He don’t know how to get his teammates involved. For me to be, like, at that time, one of the No. 1 or No 2. receivers, like, you are supposed to have my back regardless.”

Hester agrees when Tesfatsion says it sounds like Cutler and Hester didn’t have the best relationship.

Quarterback Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears celebrates his six-yard touchdown run with Devin Hester.
Jay Cutler and Devin Hester weren't close away from the field. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Not the first time Jay Cutler has come under fire for his leadership

While former teammates often praise Cutler’s ability and intelligence on the field, few of them will go to bat for Cutler as a leader. Hester is the latest in a long line of Cutler’s former receivers to criticize the quarterback’s ability to rally his teammates.

Tight end Martellus Bennett questioned Cutler’s leadership ability in a 2015 interview with Chicago Magazine. Bennett asked, “Why does everyone always assume the quarterback is the leader” during that interview. Bennett also didn’t give a straight answer when asked if he would want Cutler as a boss, which Bennett identified as a trait of a good leader.

Even Brandon Marshall, who Hester identified as one of the few players who was close to Cutler, ripped Cutler’s leadership abilities. Marshall took things a step further, calling Cutler “bad” during an 2019 appearance on ESPN.

“Now I can talk real, Jay Cutler was bad,” Marshall said. “He can make every thrown, he’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever been around. But it comes down to this heart right here, and leadership. Galvanizing the team.”

Marshall and Cutler were incredibly productive together with the Denver Broncos and Bears. Marshall’s only All-Pro appearance came in his first season in Chicago.

Given how often former teammates come out and trash Cutler’s leadership, we’re going to start taking wagers on who will be next. You might be tempted to put some money on Johnny Knox or Devin Aromashodu, but we think Rashied Davis is a real sleeper here.

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