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Trestman commits to Cutler, with a caveat

Trestman Getty Images

With Josh McCown playing well in the absence of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, the question becomes whether coach Marc Trestman will ride the hot hand or switch back to the guy with the stronger arm.

After Monday night’s 45-point outburst against the Cowboys, Trestman nevertheless has recommitted to Cutler.

Sort of.

There’s no change in the plan,” Trestman said after McCown’s five-touchdown outburst, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.  “We’ll see where Jay is this week.  He’ll have to be released by the doctors.  When Jay is ready to play, he’ll be playing.”

Question:  When will Cutler be released by doctors who are bought and paid for by the Bears?  Answer:  If you don’t know, read the question again.  Slowly.

Even if/when Cutler is technically cleared to play, he’ll still have to be able to prepare to play.

“When [Cutler] is good to go and can have a full week of practice, he’ll be our quarterback,” Trestman said.

Those if’s and but’s hinge on whether McCown continues to play like he did last night.  He’s 3-2 as a starter this year, with a pair of Monday night wins against playoff contenders.  McCown also beat the Ravens, another playoff contender.  And he did what he needed to do to help the Bears win in overtime against the Vikings.

So, yeah, Cutler is still the starting quarterback.  But there’s no reason for McCown to stop playing quarterback.

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60 Responses to “Trestman commits to Cutler, with a caveat”
  1. wannabear says: Dec 10, 2013 8:37 AM

    In Josh We Trust!!!!!

  2. eagleswin says: Dec 10, 2013 8:38 AM

    Cutler needs one of the receivers to have a Terrell Owens “He’s my QB!” moment.

  3. teamobijuan says: Dec 10, 2013 8:44 AM

    Never seen a starting QB lose his job after injury before… oh wait, yeah I have.

  4. gmsingh123 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:00 AM

    As Hawk Harrelson would say, Trestman is sitting in the catbird seat. When Jay looks up to speed in practice, go ahead and put him in the game. In the meantime, you’re not exactly suffering with McCown in there. Just ask Alshon Jeffery.

  5. torethatbridgeout says: Dec 10, 2013 9:01 AM

    There’s every reason for McCown to stop playing quarterback! He’s Josh McCown, for crying out loud!
    Don’t get me wrong…it’s a great story and he’s scalding hot right now. But be careful – a correction HAS to be coming. He’s never had this kind of sustained success. The more he plays, the more likely it is that he reverts to form.

  6. mantastic54 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:04 AM

    I’m not ready to run Cutler out of town yet. McCown has been outstanding but I’m not ready to put him in canton yet. dallas has one if the worst defenses of all time and the Bears put up 20 points vs a bad Minnesota defense last week.

  7. fordmandalay says: Dec 10, 2013 9:06 AM

    This reminds me of how the Browns were ready to hail Brian Hoyer as their new QB Chosen One after he had one decent game. News flash to teams and fans; putting your teams fate in the hands of aging, career second or third stringers rarely works out well.

  8. Gordon says: Dec 10, 2013 9:09 AM

    Just look at the stats & you’ll know who should be starting. McCown doesn’t turn the ball over like Jay does, & he’s been throwing TD’s.

    Jay gets happy feet when there’s pressure in the pocket. Josh doesn’t.

    Seems to be pretty simple answer. Go with the hot hand.

  9. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: Dec 10, 2013 9:09 AM

    Cutler has to remain their starter for the rest of this year. His play isn’t near poor enough to warrant a benching so the way it would look to NFL players would really hurt them come free agency and in re-signing players long term. Yes, players understand it’s a business but that doesn’t mean that it’s void of ethics.

    And to be fair to Jay, he could of threw like that against Dallas too.

  10. 2ruefan says: Dec 10, 2013 9:13 AM

    Ummm… CUTLER beat the Vikings in the first meeting, and McCown did what he could to LOSE to the Vikings in overtime a week ago…

  11. bmorepositive123 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:17 AM

    McCown beat hapless Packers team and the Cowboys defense is on track to give up the most yards in NFL history. Yes he’s been good, but put things in perspective…

  12. polegojim says: Dec 10, 2013 9:21 AM

    Reason #1 Cutler should be the back up – inconsistent. Like the box of chocolates… you never know what you’re going to get… 3 TDs or 3 INTs… plus I just don’t like the arrogance.

    I can root for the Bears again with McCown as QB.

  13. determineflksmakeit says: Dec 10, 2013 9:21 AM

    Classic photo…Jay’s thoughts: “Oh, I will be fine by Wednesday.”

  14. mataug says: Dec 10, 2013 9:21 AM

    Have you noticed how both QBs have flourished in Trestman’s system ?

  15. kastout11 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:34 AM

    I know Cutler is the starter and you shouldn’t lose your job due to an injury, but how can you sit McCown on the bench right now. He is probably the hottest qb in the league right now, and they are competing for a playoff spot, and they lose the tiebreaker to the Lions. I would not replace McCown with a rusty Cutler, when there is no room for error. They need to win out and hope for help to make the playoffs.

  16. bearzfan says: Dec 10, 2013 9:36 AM

    In other news, the Packers blow without Aaron Rodgers. As a Bear fan, I can’t tell you how great it is to see GB struggle with their backup QB while Bears explode offensively on a national stage. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Packers beat the Bears for the division in the last game of the year since the Lions will implode and Schwartz will burst into flames complaining about something…

  17. lightcleric says: Dec 10, 2013 9:41 AM

    The Bears are fortunate to one of the VERY few teams with a competent backup in a league where a lot of teams don’t have a competent starter. They already saw what happened when Cutler tried to rush back and I think they’re just taking full advantage of that luxury.

    If McCown were, say, 24 years old instead of 34 then things might be interesting. But I don’t think Cutler is looking over his shoulder.

  18. jbeagles23 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:42 AM

    I’m saying this now. Cutler starts in two weeks against Philly. They get down big. Mccown comes in and puts up points but still lose and bears fans blame the lost season on this decision

  19. arrowtoyourknee says: Dec 10, 2013 9:45 AM

    Josh McCown beat the vikings in overtime..? I’m almost positive the outcome was different that game…

  20. eaglesfan036 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:45 AM

    Tough decision, but a good one to be in. McCown has been playing well but Cutler has the pedigree.

  21. summitmech says: Dec 10, 2013 9:58 AM

    “And he did what he needed to do to help the Bears win in overtime against the Vikings.”

    If he did that then why did the Bears LOSE in overtime?

  22. eagles022 says: Dec 10, 2013 10:03 AM

    I don’t know how you can commit to Cutler when McCown is playing like this

  23. denverdude7 says: Dec 10, 2013 10:08 AM

    The Cutler whine-in begins in 5,4,3,2,1…

  24. 2ruefan says: Dec 10, 2013 10:18 AM

    How can you commit to Cutler?

    I think we all know the age old answers:
    1) The $$ you are paying him
    2) The principle of ” you can’t lose your job to injury”
    3) McCown despite how well he is playing has long been a backup for a reason. Inconsistency. People don’t trust guys who have been in the league for years and have never been able to hold a starting job. Just the way it is.

  25. tennesseeoilers says: Dec 10, 2013 10:19 AM

    Is this Drew Beldsoe and Tom Brady all over again? Or, rather, Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson?

  26. itsfootballbaby says: Dec 10, 2013 10:22 AM

    Does it matter? If Cutler plays he’ll be hurt by halftime and McCown will be in. Done deal.

  27. grizzlott says: Dec 10, 2013 10:26 AM

    @summitmech

    “And he did what he needed to do to help the Bears win in overtime against the Vikings.”

    If he did that then why did the Bears LOSE in overtime?
    ————————————————–

    I can’t believe I have to explain this, but Josh McCown did his part, pulled his weight in that game. The coach, defense, and special teams did not.

  28. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 10, 2013 10:38 AM

    Newsflash: The Bears scored 45 point against literally the worst defense I’ve ever seen.
    Pretty weird how that part doesn’t even get mentioned.

  29. dino2997 says: Dec 10, 2013 10:39 AM

    I realize it was on the MNF stage but put it in perspective. The Cowboys defense REALLY is that bad. McCown just led the Bears to defeat the last two weeks against two last place teams with backup QB’s playing most if not all of the game. Let’s not get carried away, but that simply wouldn’t have happened with Cutler.

  30. wishingtonredslur says: Dec 10, 2013 10:42 AM

    Hoyer played pretty well and then got obliterated and injured. The Browns won games with Hoyer so tapping him for the Browns’ record after Hoyer got injured doesn’t make a ton of sense.

  31. greenisgold1265 says: Dec 10, 2013 10:45 AM

    Please start Cutler.

    signed,
    every Packer fan alive

  32. purpleguy says: Dec 10, 2013 10:47 AM

    I don’t know why Bears fans are so excited about McCown — he lost to my crappy team a week ago.

  33. iowahbr says: Dec 10, 2013 10:52 AM

    For those from the land of short memories. Trestman kicks a 46 yarder on 2nd down in OT and now these pearls about Cutler. Enough said.

  34. beedubyatoo says: Dec 10, 2013 10:53 AM

    Get back on the field soon, Jay.

    Packers’ fan.

  35. malek773 says: Dec 10, 2013 10:53 AM

    McCown has been great since replacing Cutler. His greatness has only lead us to a 3-2 record. Yea our defense has played like crap, but our offense hasn’t always done what it should either. Losing to the vikings is huge. Forget how many points we put up against a sorry Cowboys team, McCown’s offense has scored no more than 23pts the past 4 weeks. Only putting up 20 on the vikings. Getting blown out by the Rams and only scoring 21pts, 7 on defense.. Games we should of won. Then if you watch last night game there were 3 easy INTs that dallas either dropped or lost because of a stupid penalty. McCown is a great backup, but thats it. He’s not leading you to a superbowl and He’s not your franchise QB. Maybe if you had a healthy Bears Defense that was as dominant as we’ve seen in the past, then yea McCown might be able to get us there.

    Cutler was playing well this season. He was catching a rythm with his WRs. Getting more comfortable with the offense. I think the odds of us beating the Rams and Vikings would of been more likely with Cutler playing. Cutler should start when he’s ready. He’s the better QB.

  36. starderup says: Dec 10, 2013 10:58 AM

    Every time I see someone use Chris Collingsworthless’ phrase “happy feet” I wonder if the correct thing for a QB to do when pressured is to stand there like a statue.
    It is one of those catch phrases that people use when they want to sound knowledgable about football, and I know that person has not a clue about the game except what he hears from Chris and Joe Buck (meaning, nothing).

  37. granadafan says: Dec 10, 2013 11:03 AM

    If McCown is this hot, then give him another shot. However, it’s clear he’s not the long term answer. There’s a reason he’s been a career backup, and a nice one he’s enjoyed. He doesn’t have elite athletic ability, arm, or consistency to be a starter.

    Many posters/ fans get too caught up in the moment to think long term instead of thinking logically. They’re the same type of fans who thought that Tim Tebow was the greatest thing since sliced bread just because the Broncos defense won some games.

  38. bradymancrush10 says: Dec 10, 2013 11:06 AM

    Funny, they said similar things about Brady when he replaced Bledsoe, lack of arm strength. Too slow of foot, too slow to read the play…
    How did that turn out for the Patriots?

  39. fwippel says: Dec 10, 2013 11:09 AM

    Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh caveats in the morning!

  40. cursedvikings1998 says: Dec 10, 2013 11:12 AM

    How do you know Marc Trestman is stupid?

    1. On 2nd down, he sends out a kicker to try a 47-yard field goal. (The kicker has had no sleep in 24 hours due to the birth of his child).

    2. He commits to a turnover machine of a quarterback versus a quarterback with a turnover ratio of 10 to 1.

    That is all.

  41. doug1grohlin says: Dec 10, 2013 11:17 AM

    I’m grateful to Josh that he’s done what he has. Cutler is a better option, and the best the Bears have. He was looking good in the early part of the last Lions game(which he came back too soon) until he was injured again. The Bears are at 7-6, I believe if Jay was starting, they’d be at 9-4 right now.

  42. wnstonchill says: Dec 10, 2013 11:28 AM

    This is a “handle with care” situation for Trestman and the Bears brass. No doubt that McCown has been stellar. Also no doubt that McCown is a journeyman and 35 years old. The Bears would love to be able to not have to commit 16-20 million to one player who happens to be your franchise QB.
    What needs to be considered is Trestman’s system. Is it good enough that you don’t need a superstar QB to run it? For the Bears, you would hope that’s the case and save alot of cap space to build the defense up and stick with McCown. On the other hand, it’s only Cutler’s first year in the Trestman system and he’s made huge strides forward this season. Would hanging on to Cutler make this system even that much more potent? What to do…………????

  43. philtration says: Dec 10, 2013 11:28 AM

    bradymancrush10 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 11:06 AM
    Funny, they said similar things about Brady when he replaced Bledsoe, lack of arm strength. Too slow of foot, too slow to read the play…
    How did that turn out for the Patriots?
    ===================================
    Wait….. did you actually just compare 35 year old journeyman Josh McCown to Tom Brady?
    Get a grip.

    By the way… The Bears had lost three straight before last night including games to the Rams and Vikings so spare me about how Josh McCown is an elite QB.
    If Cutler did not get hurt or if he were not brought back too soon then the Bears are at least 9-4 and probably 10-3 and running away with the division right now.

  44. GenXJay says: Dec 10, 2013 11:30 AM

    I have to spell this out to another packer backer.
    This time jrmbadger, cheese lover, is ill to comprehend that Josh McCown is by far Greater Than green bays premiere diva, #12, qb ShAaron Rodgers.

  45. rodh32340 says: Dec 10, 2013 11:57 AM

    Its more like Earl Morrall and Bob Griese.

  46. eatitfanboy says: Dec 10, 2013 12:01 PM

    Let’s apply the brakes to the Josh McCown freight train just a little here.

    He threw to horrible passes that should have been intercepted last night when the game was still in question.

    There is a reason he’s a 34 year old career backup.

  47. jazsrt says: Dec 10, 2013 12:01 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Dec 10, 2013 10:47 AM
    I don’t know why Bears fans are so excited about McCown — he lost to my crappy team a week ago.
    ________________________________

    the Bears defense and special teams lost to your crappy team, not the offense.

  48. jazsrt says: Dec 10, 2013 12:03 PM

    cursedvikings1998 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 11:12 AM
    How do you know Marc Trestman is stupid?

    1. On 2nd down, he sends out a kicker to try a 47-yard field goal. (The kicker has had no sleep in 24 hours due to the birth of his child).

    2. He commits to a turnover machine of a quarterback versus a quarterback with a turnover ratio of 10 to 1.

    That is all.
    ________________________________

    If that is how you grade stupidity, what is the excuse for Leslie Frasier?

    He must be the dumbest person to walk the planet.

  49. jackblackshairyback says: Dec 10, 2013 12:20 PM

    fordmandalay says:
    Dec 10, 2013 9:06 AM
    This reminds me of how the Browns were ready to hail Brian Hoyer as their new QB Chosen One after he had one decent game. News flash to teams and fans; putting your teams fate in the hands of aging, career second or third stringers rarely works out well.

    ——————————————

    I understand what you’re saying, but you’re a little bit off base. Hoyer had two good games, and then tore his ACL. He didn’t have a “correction”, or drop off in performance.

  50. iowahbr says: Dec 10, 2013 12:34 PM

    Not a feight train but rather the issues of:
    (1) the salary cap,
    (2) Culter’s total Bear history,
    (3) the number of Bear holes on defense, and
    (4) other Bear free agents coming up

    is Cutler worth 16 million or more per year long term.

  51. howiehandles says: Dec 10, 2013 12:42 PM

    The biggest difference between McCown and Cutler, besides their arm strength, is that McCown throws to everyone. The stat sheet doesn’t just read like this:

    targets

    Marshall 15
    Jeffries 5
    Forte 3
    Bennett 2
    Unicorn 1

    Amazing how much better the O looks when everyone has the opportunity to get the ball.

  52. jackurban2013 says: Dec 10, 2013 1:15 PM

    Unfortunately you have to go with Jay, just to see if this time watching from the sideline has woke him up to just how this offense is suppose to work, before you have any thought of giving him big time cash! Especially need to see what he does on December 29th against the Packers! Not worth much to us if he continues to show he can’t beat them!

  53. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Dec 10, 2013 1:32 PM

    Reading the quotes there are no ifs and buts. Your posts are terrible and always filled with your own agenda. Try reporting every once in awhile. The deafening silence of the Redskins. Please.

  54. dmface says: Dec 10, 2013 1:33 PM

    @hoiehandles – against the Cowboys defense everyone was open last night. He had no other choice but to spread it around because his first read was always open. How has he looked against other teams with good defenses. I would not use last nights games as a measuring stick. Cutler could have started injured and still won by a landslide. In fact, they should have let Cutler start just to shake off the rust.

  55. sbchampsagain says: Dec 10, 2013 1:33 PM

    Cutler might also be losing his contract renewel if McCown keeps playing like he is.

  56. thebirdofprey2 says: Dec 10, 2013 1:36 PM

    That was a spectacular show last night from Josh McCown. But watching there were probably 3 throws that should have been no doubt interceptions if Dallas secondary had any ball skills.

    Not saying Jay Cutler doesn’t throw an interception but I don’t see reason yet to commit to a QB when the other isn’t healthy yet.

  57. beardownfromcali says: Dec 10, 2013 2:09 PM

    Unicorn = Opposing Team. :)

    Start Cutler, if he’s throwing Picks or throwing into the ground, swap at Halftime. Don’t wait until the last 2mins to make that decision.

    Defense lost STL and Minny. Briggs is almost ready, there’s reason to be optimistic.

    If I have to hear “journeyman” one more time!

  58. backdapack4evr says: Dec 10, 2013 2:33 PM

    Is Rex Ryan giving them advice!!!

  59. kevinbnyc says: Dec 10, 2013 3:28 PM

    The coach literally says “When Cutler is healthy he’ll play.” Why are you trying to make a story out of this?

  60. larry1957 says: Dec 10, 2013 5:14 PM

    Josh McCown reminds me a lot like Brad Johnson. Plays a couple of great games, while the starter is on the bench. Then starter gets hurt at end of season. I hope Cutler is ready for the GB game. Maybe Rodgers will play. That game will determine whether Bears will sign him next year.

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