Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Chicago Bears Are Right to Go With Jay Cutler


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.

Tags: Chicago Bears Featured Jay Cutler Josh McCown Marc Trestman NFL Popular

  • Nick

    I can’t say I agree or disagree. I would say I was favoring McCown. For no other reason than his protection of the ball. The stats are telling on the quality of pass D he has had to face though. But I think that has been the key. Jay just seems to have a way of giving the ball away, and in many cases at terrible spots on the field. I don’t question Cutlers talent.But Trestman made a point to work with him on keeping the ball “up” in the pocket. He’s been stripped several times because he refuses to change his ways. I hope Trestman is making the right move. If they win he’ll be lauded, lose he’ll be massacred in social media. In the end though, next year is my bigger concern. And with the state of the defense, I don’t see giving Cutler big money the smart move, and the franchise tag will hamper the Bears as well. Emery has a tough off season ahead.

    • Erik Lambert

      Perfectly reasonable feelings, Nick. The fact is Cutler is in double “prove it” mode over these next three games. Three wins gives the team a legitimate shot at the division title. Any losses where Cutler can be considered responsible and, yes, Trestman will be second-guessed. Ultimately this Trestman-Cutler situation may turn out like Emery and Lovie Smith. They created some early fireworks but eventually fell apart. The way I see it Cutler gets his extension only if he makes the playoffs, similar to how it played out with Smith. They are not franchise tagging him. The coaching staff and talent on offense is at a point where it can successfully absorb a rookie into the fold and grow into something special.

    • Erik Lambert

      Perfectly reasonable feelings, Nick. The fact is Cutler is in double “prove it” mode over these next three games. Three wins gives the team a legitimate shot at the division title. Any losses where Cutler can be considered responsible and, yes, Trestman will be second-guessed. Ultimately this Trestman-Cutler situation may turn out like Emery and Lovie Smith. They created some early fireworks but eventually fell apart. The way I see it Cutler gets his extension only if he makes the playoffs, similar to how it played out with Smith. They are not franchise tagging him. The coaching staff and talent on offense is at a point where it can successfully absorb a rookie into the fold and grow into something special.

  • Sammy Z

    Don’t get me wrong, I like McCown too and I love what he’s done when called upon but the way this defense is playing, the Bears will not make the Playoffs unless they take some risks and aim high. McCown has done an admirable job but the fact is that even though he turns the ball over more, the Bears just score more points when Cutler is under center. And since the D isn’t going to stop anyone, we need those points.

    • Erik Lambert

      Who knows. Perhaps the threat of Cutler throwing picks is the motivation the D needs to play better.

    • Erik Lambert

      Who knows. Perhaps the threat of Cutler throwing picks is the motivation the D needs to play better.