PHOENIX - Bears head coach John Fox thought enough of Antrel Rolle's ability to sign him to a three-year, $11.25-million contract earlier this month. But what Fox really likes about Rolle is what the Giants really liked about the 32-year-old safety: his leadership skills.
"Leadership is important," Fox said. "There's kind of a 10-80-10 percentage on a football team. There are 10 percent of the guys that are doing it right all the time. The key is to get a big majority of that 80 to see it done right so they can climb up to the 10. We think he's in that 10. He has the ability. He's done that before. I've seen him even at the Pro Bowl show leadership."
Fox probably hopes some of Rolle's leadership skills rub off on quarterback Jay Cutler, who heads into the season as the No. 1 quarterback. But Fox knows from Cutler's well-chronicled issues with coaches and teammates that the quarterback will have to be on his best behavior.
"I'm going to watch [Cutler] on the field, look at all the practice tape," Fox said. "Obviously, we're judged by how we perform on Sundays. We're a production-based business. I haven't had one of those experiences [with Cutler] yet, so I can tell you those things will occur and like every position, how you practice usually is how you play and perform and we'll evaluate at every position as we move forward."
Fox said he'll take a wait-and-see approach with Cutler.
"When you come in with all your players in a new organization, you hear all kinds of stuff," said Fox, who signed with the Bears after parting ways with the Broncos following the 2014 season. "You just file it and you give a guy the benefit of the doubt and let them earn that [trust] with me personally."