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Urlacher: McCown should start even if Cutler is healthy


Jay Cutler was the Bears’ starting quarterback for Brian Urlacher’s last four seasons in Chicago. Now Urlacher thinks Cutler should lose his starting job.

Urlacher said on FOX Football Daily that Josh McCown has proven that he’s the best quarterback on the Bears, and McCown should remain the starter regardless of Cutler’s health. Urlacher also said that if he were still on the Bears, he wouldn’t want to see the coaches go back to Cutler when McCown is playing well.

“It’s going to be awfully hard to take Josh out of there right now the way he’s playing,” Urlacher said. “In my opinion, he should be the guy, he should be the starting quarterback of the Bears, even if Jay Cutler is healthy. You can’t take a guy who’s this hot out of the football game. If I was on that team, I would have a hard time with them taking him out.”

Urlacher also suggested that the Bears may be overstating the seriousness of Cutler’s injury to avoid having to make a tough call about their starting quarterback.

“I think Jay might be healthy right now,” Urlacher said.

Whether he’s healthy now or not, Cutler is expected to be healthy enough to play before the end of the season. When that time comes, the Bears have a difficult decision. But Urlacher doesn’t sound like he thinks the decision should be particularly difficult: The Bears’ best quarterback is McCown.

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51 Responses to “Urlacher: McCown should start even if Cutler is healthy”
  1. cmstrick says: Dec 11, 2013 12:25 PM

    It makes no sense to play Cutler now. McCown has the offense clicking and Cutler is a free agent next year.

    If the Bears find out McCown is good enough to be their every-week starter, then they won’t have to pay Cutler the king’s ransom that his agent is going to ask for.

  2. patsfan1820 says: Dec 11, 2013 12:27 PM

    He’s right.

  3. bucrightoff says: Dec 11, 2013 12:27 PM

    You gotta keep riding McCown. If he falters you can go back to Cutler. If Cutler comes back and plays poorly or not very well, it just opens up an even bigger controversy.

  4. lawyermalloy says: Dec 11, 2013 12:28 PM

    Another irrelevant country heard from!

  5. pooflingingmonkey says: Dec 11, 2013 12:28 PM

    He’s right, but then again he’s coming off as a bitter ex-Bear every time he speaks.

    Some players don’t know how to retire gracefully.

  6. thepftpoet says: Dec 11, 2013 12:29 PM

    Urlacher would have been considered the best LB of all time of he would have joined the Vikings during the offseason

    He would have won at least 2 superbowls.

  7. Aqua Teen Hunger Force says: Dec 11, 2013 12:29 PM

    Go with the hot hand.

  8. grabgrabgrab says: Dec 11, 2013 12:30 PM

    Not to fret Brian, I’m pretty certain Mr. Cutler won’t be given the green light clearance from doctosrs to play anytime soon…

  9. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Dec 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    Waaaambulance en route for this small man who’s obviously not over getting cut.

  10. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    Uh oh.

    This will have Jay pouting.

  11. bennyb82 says: Dec 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    He has a point. Maybe Cutler should start practicing with the DB’s?

  12. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 11, 2013 12:35 PM

    No question about it. McCown looks really good. Definitely better than Cutler.
    As a Lions fan I say play Cutler though.

  13. coachkilla6 says: Dec 11, 2013 12:35 PM

    One washed up ex-bear talking about a washed up current bear. Priceless. And 28 years without a victory of major significance continues.

  14. hyzers says: Dec 11, 2013 12:35 PM

    But if they don’t keep Cutler out, how are Bears fans supposed to keep whining about injuries keeping them from the Super Bowl!?

  15. TheDPR says: Dec 11, 2013 12:36 PM

    Is it possible for an ex-Bear of this generation to NOT be bitter? They’ve been horribly run for a pretty long time.

  16. sbaltimore says: Dec 11, 2013 12:36 PM

    Whether he’s right or not, Urlacher needs to STHU.

  17. jimmysee says: Dec 11, 2013 12:36 PM

    Another country heard from!

  18. Go-Hawks! says: Dec 11, 2013 12:39 PM

    Jay Cutler is better than Blaine Gabbert, but not better than Josh McCown.

  19. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Dec 11, 2013 12:40 PM

    The problem with Mccown is that theres little game tape on him. A lot of qbs can come in and do decent for 4-5 games. Once d-cord’s get 5-6 games on tape. It’s a different story. The bears are surely heading into a bad situation with this. I would start mccown the rest of the year and see if he starts to falter. An honestly, I wouldn’t sign cutler to a contract worth 18 mil a year. He’s a little older and has been hit a ton of times. I just don’t see it being worth it.

  20. richiebburg says: Dec 11, 2013 12:41 PM

    Everyone keeps saying keep McCown. The guy is 35 years old. Keep him for what? A year or two at best? Is he suddenly Peyton F Manning and will dominate the NFL in his late thirties.. Look at the teams he has done well against.. All terrible teams. He isn’t shredding the Seahawks up for 300 and 4. I mean for petes sake he lost last week to the Vikings. When Cutler comes back he should play.

  21. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 11, 2013 12:52 PM

    Josh McCown – 2013 Opponents:
    27th ranked PASS Defense – Washington (3-10)
    21st ranked PASS Defense – Green Bay (6-6)
    25th ranked PASS Defense – Detroit (7-6)
    14th ranked PASS Defense – Baltimore (7-6)
    22nd ranked PASS Defense – St. Louis (5-8)
    30th ranked PASS Defense – Minnesota (3-8-1)
    32th ranked PASS Defense – Dallas (7-6)

    Great teams to play to appear like a genius.

    Unfortunately… Chicago is 3-4 with Josh McCown against these mediocre and terrible teams.

    That said…. 13 td – 1 int (2 fumbles) is hard to ignore.

  22. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 11, 2013 12:55 PM


    I have to agree. This guy thinks his best play ever is a play that when I reviewed I saw him making big mistakes due to lack of intelligence and awareness. I’m not interested in any technical football analysis or opinions from Brian Urlacher. Especially when breaking down QBs of all positions! Are you kidding me??

    Next time don’t vouch for how great a football play is if you don’t know how to break down the film. He lost all credibility to be an analyst as a professional or amateur.

  23. lennydpocketqb says: Dec 11, 2013 12:56 PM

    This is a silly argument. McCown is doing what is expected of him. Keep the ship afloat. Go with Jay.

  24. moondog7 says: Dec 11, 2013 12:57 PM

    Whoever starts this week will not throw for 300 yards and have 4 tds. They are actually playing a legit defense this week at the Browns. If Cutler comes back this week he is being set up for failure against a tough team in the Cleveland. If McCown struggles then everyone will be ok with going back to Jay. I think the choice this week is obvious letting McCown start. If he by some chance he lights up Joe Haden and the browns D on the road then you have something to discuss.

    Everyday on the Radio in Chicago its a discussion to resign cutler for the 100 Mil contract or not. It sounds like he will be franchised tagged before getting the big deal from the bears. He has potential but hes 30 and that potential should have turned into a top 5 or top 10 qb by now. Can he stay healthy a whole season is the other big debate. He seems to be injured as much as Mike Vick these days.

  25. jpb12 says: Dec 11, 2013 12:58 PM

    McCown will lose this week and Jay gets back on his pedestal.

  26. kenny2neworleans says: Dec 11, 2013 1:00 PM

    He’s just bitter because cutler was the only bear that didn’t call him when he “retired” (didn’t get signed back). Bitter, just like mcnabb!

  27. elliottcovert says: Dec 11, 2013 1:01 PM

    McCown hasn’t faced any stellar pass defenses, but his productivity is still great enough that if I was the Bears GM, I would pursue a strategy of letting Cutler walk in free agency, drafting a QB in rounds 2-3 in April, and rolling with McCown.

    Cutler will cost a lot of money (probably more than he’s worth) and Chicago needs every penny to patch up the holes elsewhere on their roster.

    For that matter, I’d give Julius Peppers the axe too. He’s been a great player for a long time, and he’s done some great things with the Bears, but his skills are sharply declining he costs a lot of money.

  28. beardinals says: Dec 11, 2013 1:02 PM

    I’m not a Cutler fan, so letting him go sounds pretty good to me. Especially for the pay he’ll wnat.

    Always wondering if THIS will be a 4 INT game gets tiresome.

    McCown can hold down the fort for a year or two with the help of his receiving corps until the Bears can draft the real long-term answer.

  29. davikes says: Dec 11, 2013 1:09 PM

    And Urlacher tries to get revenge on the Bears front office.

  30. dmastacc says: Dec 11, 2013 1:17 PM

    Yes, you have to give it to McCown, he has played great. But, I really believe its the system and the offensive line that are making him look better than he is.

    He is a career backup, lets not forget that. He has a loaded offense with tons of talent and Cutler was just starting to jell with them as well.

    What I really want to know is when is Lance Briggs going to be back???? If I have to watch one more linebacker run into a hole where the running back has already vacated or nowhere to be found im gonna puke!

  31. purpleguy says: Dec 11, 2013 1:17 PM

    All I can say is this: my crappy team beat the McCown-led Bears and lost to the Cutler-led Bears.

  32. Go-Hawks! says: Dec 11, 2013 1:20 PM

    The Bears would do well to find younger talent at the QB position, but I would definitely let McCown finish the year out.

  33. zerole00 says: Dec 11, 2013 1:28 PM

    I think the best option is to let McCown play it out and if he does well the Bears have 1) veteran trade bait and 2) leverage over Cutler’s next contract. McCown is not the answer long term though, he’s 35 and he doesn’t have Manning’s track record to even consider him a franchise QB this late in his career.

    The best scenario for the Bears is the above because like it or not, there’s not really a better option than Cutler at QB for them (in the long term). They should be shooting to lower his asking price (which again might still be hard given other teams are desperate for a quality QB).

  34. sb44champs says: Dec 11, 2013 1:37 PM

    Need a bigger sample size to make a reasonable determination especially since the last defense McCown went up against is the worst defense in the entire NFL..

  35. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 11, 2013 1:37 PM

    One Last Thing….

    SEE: Chicago BEFORE Jay Cutler

  36. jakej6 says: Dec 11, 2013 1:40 PM

    Did anyone watch the Dallas game? First the Dallas defense is god awful. Second, McCown should have had 3 INTs, but they were all dropped by terrible Dallas defenders.

    Its not even a question. Cutler should start. He gives the bears the best chance to win. McCown has benefited greatly from Trestman and the emergency of Jeffery. Cutler can do everything that McCown can do and more than what McCown can do.

    Why can’t Jay stay healthy? because he has been sacked a ridiculous amount of times since being in Chicago.

    Who said the bears will franchise him and who said that Jay wants 100Mil contract? 4 year, $50mil deal, that’s my guess. Jay wants to stay a bear. For the first time in Chicago he has the opportunity to play behind a solid (young) oline with two stud WR, a stud RB, and a stud TE. He even said that he was willing to take less to stay.

  37. qstorm73 says: Dec 11, 2013 1:51 PM

    The reality is Cutler only really want’s to throw to Brandon Marshall and that’s the reason he’s so inconsistent. He stands with the ball at his waist and waits for him to seem open matter how many guys are around him. Josh plays the entire field, which is the main reason Alshon Jeffery is having a breakout season.

  38. sactogary says: Dec 11, 2013 1:57 PM

    McCown has been a backup for most of his career, but this is the first time he’s had any playing time with a decent offensive unit. Maybe he’s just now getting a chance to show what he can do.

  39. trollaikman8 says: Dec 11, 2013 2:03 PM

    There’s no doubt Cutler believes that he’s elite and expects $100M.
    Just look at his smug face.

  40. ahs2 says: Dec 11, 2013 2:04 PM

    As a football fan, I say play the hot hand in McCown
    As a Lions fan, I say play Cutler…or better yet, Gould

  41. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 11, 2013 2:14 PM


    Then they should have just traded him this year if they didn’t want him for future years. Either way this is all Angelo and Trestman having no real plan nor idea on how to manage this team. Chicago should be in a better spot than they are right now, and those 2 guys royally screwed up on a number of things.

  42. barkymingo says: Dec 11, 2013 2:54 PM

    Isn’t this the same guy who was hurt that Cutler didn’t call him when he retired?? Just shut up Brian. We all know, you hate the media, fans and Cutler………

  43. ibleedgreenngold says: Dec 11, 2013 2:57 PM

    Packers fan here. Bring Jay back!

  44. mackcarrington says: Dec 11, 2013 3:06 PM

    In the current NFL, there aren’t enough quality starting QB’s for all 32 teams. The drop-off from starters to 2nd stingers is startlingly dramatic in terms of quality. Now when a quality backup QB emerges, the thought seems to be to immediately anoint him as a starter.

  45. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 11, 2013 3:17 PM

    So you’re gonna take out a quarterback on a hot streak to put one in who’s obviously going to be rusty.


  46. qstorm73 says: Dec 11, 2013 3:36 PM

    Cutler is the very definition of inconsistent!

  47. realfootballfan says: Dec 11, 2013 4:00 PM

    Urlacher strikes back. Should have made that call Jay. Now, Brian is going to grease your way with the fans out of town a year after he was pushed out.

  48. fdugrad says: Dec 11, 2013 8:11 PM

    Well, payback is a beeach ain’t it Jay?! On a more serious note, I do not think it is an unsound idea to stick with the hot hand. Jay could easily be rusty from the layoff, and playoffs are one and done. Regardless if it is a personal grudge, I agree with Brian.

  49. larryboodry says: Dec 11, 2013 8:41 PM

    I’d stick with McCown, but Urlacher needs to be quiet.

  50. blackngold4life says: Dec 11, 2013 9:46 PM

    Cutler to the Texans..or Maybe the Jets next season

  51. candrwells says: Dec 12, 2013 8:40 AM

    I suppose if they got rid of Jay, they could draft the QB of the future in this draft, and still be able to afford to shore up that swiss cheese defense.

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