A raging debate sweeping the NFL nation is whether the Chicago Bears are doing the right thing by putting Jay Cutler back in charge of the offense. Yes, they are. Here is why.
Marc Trestman showing faith and loyalty in Cutler
To get the point out of the way, it best be said early. There is no question Jay Cutler is the most talented quarterback on the roster. George “Papa Bear” Halas always followed the motto that the best players play. The Bears offense has way more potential when Cutler is on the field. However, the reasons go beyond that. Chicago knows they have a contract dispute looming with the 30-year old after the season. Both sides have agreed to hold off talks until that time in order to maintain focus on the field. The problem is the Bears can’t evaluate Cutler properly if he stays on the sideline. If he truly is the future of this team moving forward, he has to play. On top of that is the situation with Marc Trestman. The head coach said from the very beginning that Cutler was the starter for the Bears. Period. End of discussion. He never left any room for doubt. Sticking with McCown now would be an enormous breach of trust, something that Trestman himself has passionately spoken against on more than one occasion. By making it clear to Jay that he is the guy, he is showing loyalty and faith that he believes the quarterback can get the team where it wants to go. Such a showing can often create a connection that leads to great things.
Josh McCown success came against some bad NFL defenses
That leaves the situation regarding Josh McCown. Has the 34-year old backup played well in his seven appearances? There is no question about it. He has over 1,800 passing yards, 14 totals touchdowns and just two turnovers. More importantly he’s 3-2 as a starter. However, fans cannot let his numbers cloud the issue. In the euphoria of seeing a quarterback throw for over 300 yards a game for the first time, well, ever it’s easy to forget who McCown was doing it against. Some of his best performances came against teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. Those three opponents have the 30th, 27th, and 32nd ranked pass defenses in football. In other words, they’re all horrible. That’s not counting the 21st ranked Green Bay Packers or 22nd ranked St. Louis Rams. The point is McCown is doing what any moderately talented quarterback would do given the strong offense built around him: picking apart bad defenses and playing modestly well against good ones. Remember, the Baltimore Ravens and their 14th ranked pass defense held him to just 216 yards and a touchdown.
Is Jay Cutler more aggressive, or reckless, than Josh McCown. Yes. Is he also more talented and capable of big plays. Also yes. The Chicago Bears understand they’re taking a risk, but it’s one that often separates good teams from great teams.