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Trestman makes it official: Jay Cutler to start this week

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

Don’t tell Brian Urlacher, but the Bears aren’t listening to him.

Bears coach Marc Trestman made it official Thursday, telling reporters that quarterback Jay Cutler would, in fact, start this week.

When asked about the risk of sitting a hot quarterback (backup Josh McCown), Trestman acted as if it wasn’t a decision at all.

“This decision was made a long time ago,” Trestman said, via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t look at it like that.”

As efficiently as McCown has played in his absence (13 touchdowns, one interception, a 109.8 rating this year), Cutler’s clearly the more talented quarterback of the pair. And he’s also the one they’re going to have to make an expensive decision on this offseason.

So even if it’s just to take one last look at him to decide whether to allow him to go to the market, or to sign him to a long-term deal or franchise him, the Bears are going to put him back in there.

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43 Responses to “Trestman makes it official: Jay Cutler to start this week”
  1. deepseabreeze says: Dec 12, 2013 2:11 PM

    might be a bad move. i’d have kept going with the hot hand.

  2. redfield11 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:15 PM

    I’m sure that’s encouraging to backups. No matter how well you do if you’re not the big name you aren’t starting.

  3. zam0854 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:15 PM

    Feed Alshon and Brandon

  4. shorttracknews says: Dec 12, 2013 2:16 PM

    NFC Offensive Player of the Week, benched 2 days later. When’s the last time that has happened??

  5. hodous says: Dec 12, 2013 2:17 PM

    Josh McCown has been the epitome of a class act. Regardless if you are a Cutler hater or a supporter you have to get that out of the way immediately.

    This is really the only move for the Bears. If Cutler comes back blows the opportunity they have less flack over releasing him for greener pastures… if he drives them into the playoffs (even deep in the playoffs) there isn’t a question of re-signing him. If he gets injured again durability issues will ensue and this will lower his value, minimizing his trade cap hit.

    This is the right move regardless of how the media will spin it, no matter what happens.

  6. jazsrt says: Dec 12, 2013 2:17 PM

    Smartest decision for the long term sustainability of the franchise.

    Have to see what Cutler can do now that he’s healed up.

    Besides, it’s the defense that blows, not the QB. (for once.)

  7. bwagner80 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:21 PM

    Smart move. They need to see what they have with Cutler to make a decision going forward. If they lose and he struggles the next 3 games, so be it. At least they’ll have a better idea on how to move forward in the off season. They weren’t/aren’t going to make noise in the playoffs with that defense anyways.

  8. jsharris54 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:25 PM

    McCown has been great, but there is a reason he was out of the NFL before this season. What you’re seeing in his stats is a good offensive system with great skill players around him as options. Add in some pretty bad defenses that he’s played, and voila. Anybody thinking they should let Cutler, by far the best quarterback to play for the franchise in the last sixty seasons, walk for a 34 year old journeyman QB needs to find a new hobby.

  9. beertech says: Dec 12, 2013 2:25 PM

    They should shut Cutler down for the year to make sure he’s healthy for training camp….

    -M. Shanahan

  10. cutlersmangina says: Dec 12, 2013 2:26 PM

    He’ll be hurt by halftime and pouting on the sidelines again.
    McCown will come in and win the game.
    Cutler wears a different uniform next year for sure. Probably the Cardinals or Jets.

  11. bigd9484 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:27 PM

    Is Cutler really “clearly” more talented? Career 60% passer who struggles to maintain a 2:1 TD:Int ratio. Rex Grossman was talented at one time too. McCown was given a chance on some bad ARI and OAK teams, and he is demonstrating given a chance in a competent system, he can be better than was thought of him. I think this is a big mistake, and it will cost CHI it’s slim chance at winning the division.

  12. redfield11 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:27 PM

    I mean how often does a player with Player of the Week and then get benched

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 12, 2013 2:28 PM

    Well he’s sticking to his philosophy, and that is there is 1 guy who is better than the rest and that guy is the starting QB. This doesn’t surprise me one bit, but I’m glad it surprises Urlacher because surely he will have interesting comments about this.

  14. scottychicago says: Dec 12, 2013 2:33 PM

    McCown has 1 pick but has had several dropped or brought back so the 1 interception is misleading. I like it as a Bear fan. Prove you are the franchise qb by going 3-0 and getting into the playoffs (with a Lions loss) and show you deserve a big contract. Smart Bears fans realize that this is the best plan. Also, McCown is the hot hand, but can’t we all agree that Cutler would’ve done pretty well against the #32 defense in the league too?

  15. sowcrates says: Dec 12, 2013 2:35 PM

    The justification for using Cutler is to ask yourself: Why is Josh McCown ‘red hot’? The answer is not that he’s suddenly a more talented passer than he was on 6 other NFL teams or as a H.S. football coach as recently as 2011. He’s making good decisions with Trestman’s good plays and with the Bears’ spectacular weapons (Jeffery, Marshall, Bennett, & Forte).

    Good decisions were worth only 20 points against a miserable Vikings defense, 21 against the Rams on their way to 42 points, as well as 2-near picks in the Cowboys game this past Monday.

    You can’t possibly ask more out of Josh McCown, he’s been great, the best possible football he can perform. And THAT is the problem. To think the Bears could win a playoff game, much less get there, they need more than McCown’s best possible football, they need Cutler’s. Cutler was looking great this year, but I don’t think anybody believes it lives fully up to his potential; that’s been the knock against him all along. But you have to risk that he can.

    Jay Cutler is Chicago’s best chance of winning meaningful football games this year. A feel-good 9-7 using the 34 year-old McCown means you didn’t risk trying to play your best

  16. footballchic777 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:37 PM

    I bet Alex Smith would have liked to have had the coach have HIS back like that! He even had the hot hand before he was concussed, and a couple of weeks later…..even healed….he was a backup! Mccown…get on the sideline, but be at the ready! Cutler won’t be healthy long!

  17. hines86for6 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:38 PM

    Jay Cutler will find something to mope about in this situation.

  18. spdy34 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:38 PM

    As a Bear fan I love me some McCown but I also saw some INTs dropped by defenders (see the frozen Dallas defenders) and a 3-2 record so the McCown love is a bit exaggerated. Also if the goal is a super bowl (and it should be for every team) then you have to go with the guy with the higher ceiling.

  19. richiebburg says: Dec 12, 2013 2:39 PM

    Right move. Cutler is better. I could have carved up Dallas last week for 240 and 2

  20. beardownfromcali says: Dec 12, 2013 2:40 PM

    How loud will the Boos be when Jay throws his first pick? Thankfully they’re on the road.

    New drinking game, anytime you hear “Journeyman”, SHOT!

    “There’s a reason he was out for a few years…” Haven’t you people heard of second chances? Training? Newer system, with Wideouts and an OL? Geez, Rex and Neckbeard would be jealous.

    Jay is our Quarterback…

  21. zerole00 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:49 PM

    You know, this isn’t a bad call by the Bears. At the moment, McCown’s stats can be used as trade bait or leverage against offering Cutler a smaller contract. It’s unlikely that he’d preform much better than his current stats, so if they continue to play him they won’t have much to gain (other than making a stronger case of the previous points), but if he plays bad that could undo both points completely.

  22. minimal89 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:49 PM

    Jay is the best QB in Bears history.(We have probably the worst offensive heritage in the league).

    The main reason fans are pining for someone else is because Jay isn’t a very likeable guy.

    Josh has performed well as a backup but let’s be real:

    He’s not our long term answer at QB and the Bears NEED to figure out if the Cutler/Trestman thing can work before they do a deal.

  23. wjarvis says: Dec 12, 2013 2:50 PM

    sowcrates, those are pretty much my thoughts exactly. Although, I’d add the caveat that that the key to the Bears having any chance of winning a playoff game, has more to do with Briggs, Tillman and our D-line coming back/making an impact to get our defense at least closer to the league average. The bears are going to give up a lot of points against any of the playoff teams, so they’d need Cutler to have his best stretch of games as a bear and the defense to make some stops.

  24. smokingconch says: Dec 12, 2013 2:51 PM

    I’d ease up on the McCown love here. Any one of us could come in off the street and win Player of the Week against Dallas’s defense. Especially throwing to Marshall and Jeffery with Forte in the backfield.

  25. minimal89 says: Dec 12, 2013 2:53 PM

    I think Trestman and Emery realize they’re not a championship contender with this atrocious run defense. Josh was always the backup plan. They want to know if Jay is their long term answer.

  26. wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 12, 2013 2:54 PM

    Why is this basic concept so difficult for Bears fans to understand? You have one guy who is your starter. If that guy goes down, you start your backup. The backup’s job is to win games. You don’t make him the starter because he does his job. And, it’s not so you can “see what you’ve got” in Cutler. He’s your freaking starter. You should already know what you’ve got. You should be glad Toulouse isn’t as dumb as the fanbase.

  27. bear4life34 says: Dec 12, 2013 3:03 PM

    I’m die hard and people just need to understand that this is the best option for the team now. This is no alex smith kapernick situation. McCown is not the answer to the future and chicago loves jay fans and players alike. This is a new system in place and trestman the quaterback whisperer is obviously doing a number on both guys. Jay played the first true games of the season when everything was still being put into place that’s why his numbers were not as good as they could of been. And lets be honest everyone us bears fans arent to thrilled for playoffs anyways… we’ve been to the SB relying on one side of our team before and it did not go well. This time its our offense that’s looking to be the top in football, but our current defense will get shreddes by any top QB and pretty much ANY startong rb. All I can say is watch out for DA BEARS next season… only have a new D to revive in the draft.

  28. raiderlyfe510 says: Dec 12, 2013 3:03 PM

    Only the people in that Bears locker room can determine if it’s the right or wrong decision.

  29. purpleguy says: Dec 12, 2013 3:06 PM

    Why the heck is everyone saying “we need to see what we have in Cutler”? This isn’t written as trashing Cutler’s ability, but come on, if the Bears and Bears fans don’t know what they have in Cutler by now, they’ll never know.

  30. gergie1957 says: Dec 12, 2013 3:12 PM

    They may be saving Josh McCown for spring training. Trestman is a fox in sheeps clothing, Brilliant.

  31. greatgallopingghost says: Dec 12, 2013 3:15 PM

    1) I hope this isn’t premature in an effort to squelch all the QB “controversy” talk flooding the media.

    2) I hope Cutler has observed how McCown made use of all of the weapons available; not keying on Marshall for every passing play. It was what made Josh successful.

    3) I hope the Bears have made it abundantly clear to McCown just how much he pulled through for them. As a fan I know I’m aware of that fact.

    That being said, Cutler is the right choice to make even though I was one of those folks that said “Let Josh run with this…”

    Bear Down!

    And hopefully after Sunday we can say with conviction “What has Brown LOST for you lately?”

  32. vgferenzi says: Dec 12, 2013 3:21 PM

    I’m hearing a ton of complaining about Cutler starting. I like McCown, but let’s stay grounded.

    He faced the 32, 30, 25, 22, and 14 ranked passing defenses.

    He is 2-3 in 5 starts including an overtime victory.

    Cutler had his receivers drop quite a few early on, including some that ended up in the hands of defenders; McCown has had the defenders drop quite a few.

    The fact is that our defense is decimated by injury and bad. To beat good teams late in the year and hopefully the playoffs we will have to put up point fast and play from ahead against good defenses. McCown can’t do that. Maybe Jay can’t either, but Jay gives the best chance now and closure on the contract situation if he can’t.

  33. deweyaxewound says: Dec 12, 2013 3:26 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Dec 12, 2013 3:06 PM
    Why the heck is everyone saying “we need to see what we have in Cutler”? This isn’t written as trashing Cutler’s ability, but come on, if the Bears and Bears fans don’t know what they have in Cutler by now, they’ll never know.

    ____________________________

    To be fair, he’s never had the chance to play with an o-line that actually protects, with a full bevy of legit WR weapons, a healthy RB, and within an intelligently-designed, productive system that plays to the strengths of its personnel. The guy has had a new OC for every year he’s been on the Bears, and NONE of what I just listed.

    Yes, we need to see what he can do with all the pieces (FINALLY) in place around him!

    If he lights it up – full speed ahead. If not – all the Jay-haters will have been proven right, and the Bears will know they need to go in another direction.

    Either way, the Bears get a conclusive answer about the future!

  34. rootgamble says: Dec 12, 2013 3:28 PM

    To everyone asking when the last time a player of the week was benched next game, allow me to direct your attention to Matt Flynn.

  35. grizzlypete says: Dec 12, 2013 3:29 PM

    Cutler is Rex Grossman with a rifle arm. At times he plays like the best QB in Bears history, at other times he plays like Turn-over Rex. I do not see how coach Trestman can bench the super hot hand.

  36. ezwriter69 says: Dec 12, 2013 3:29 PM

    McCown isn’t just hot, he’s had the best four weeks of ANY QB in Bears HISTORY. No Bear QB ever had three straight 300 yard games, ever; McCown just did. Add in that Cutler hasn’t played for six weeks, and is certain to be a little gun-shy about his injuries… and…
    This will blow up in the Bears face… it’s why the Bears are the Bears, always pretenders, never serious contenders.
    Idiot move… and one that can lose the locker room for Trestman. Did Daniel Snyder secretly buy the Bears when no one was looking, because even he wouldn’t do something this stupid. Typical Bears. Follow some ancient code, rather than do the only logical thing.
    Losers.

  37. thehoodboss says: Dec 12, 2013 3:38 PM

    Why are we talking about the future beyond this season when we need to be worrying about Cleveland this Sunday. Right now we need wins not to see what we got in Cutler. We already know what we got with him and it isnt much. Time to either move on or offer him what hes proved hes worth.

  38. jm91rs says: Dec 12, 2013 3:43 PM

    I’d have stuck with McCown. They need to decide about next year, right now. If McCown could prove he’s this good all the time, he’s your new starter and you franchise Cutler and trade him next year for a 1st rounder. All of these teams with mega contracts on their QB’s are falling off a cliff right now (exception, drew brees, peyton manning, aaron rodgers, tom brady, but those are the 4 best in the league and Cutler isn’t close to them). Extending your QB and tying up 20% of your cap into one guy isn’t going to work in Chicago, free the cap space and build through the draft.

  39. thehoodboss says: Dec 12, 2013 4:05 PM

    To be fair, he’s never had the chance to play with an o-line that actually protects, with a full bevy of legit WR weapons, a healthy RB, and within an intelligently-designed, productive system that plays to the strengths of its personnel. The guy has had a new OC for every year he’s been on the Bears, and NONE of what I just listed.

    Yes, we need to see what he can do with all the pieces (FINALLY) in place around him!

    If he lights it up – full speed ahead. If not – all the Jay-haters will have been proven right, and the Bears will know they need to go in another direction.

    Either way, the Bears get a conclusive answer about the future!
    __________________________________

    Life isnt fair. The Chicago Bears have no reason to need to be fair to Cutler. There are countless players who “dont have the pieces around them” and when you have a player who is out playing you then you need to be benched. Regardless of if you are the better athlete or not. Weve seen what he can do with those pieces around him and thats underperform to this point vs mccown and for the remainder of this season thats all that matters. Cleveland is whats important and we need to win THIS game. A cold Cutler does not give us a shot at that. If he wins in Cleveland its highly unlikely he has enough chemistry with the team to win th next 3.

  40. iowahbr says: Dec 12, 2013 4:46 PM

    Radio Operator on the Titanic to Captain Trestman: “Icebergs reported ahead sir.” Captain Trestman to Engine room: “Increase speed to 22 knots so we clear the ice field faster.” Engine room to Captain Trestman: “Aye-aye captain.”

  41. iowahbr says: Dec 12, 2013 5:06 PM

    All of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and most of 2013 (62 games total). If Trestman does not already know what he has in Cutler he needs to hire a new video coordinator.

  42. iamhydrogen says: Dec 12, 2013 6:35 PM

    Right move completely. If McCown was a young 2nd or 3rd year developmental draft pick he’d have supplanted Cutler completely (ie. Kap> A.Smith). But as much as I love what Josh has done for us over the past few weeks he’s simply been doing the job he was hired for. The general public is incredibly misguided by the drama the media creates because its a complete rarity to see this scenario EVER come to fruition. If Jay jumps in and leads us to three straight, Detroit bombs one and we sneak into the wildcard, the bandwagon will start rolling the other way. This is all a direct reflection of Phil Emery hiring the best coach for the job: Marc Trestman, plain and simple. New system, new successes. Nothing to see here. BEAR DOWN.

  43. mellimac says: Dec 12, 2013 9:57 PM

    What will happen is Cutler will start and if he falters, which is a distinct possibility, then McCown will clean up. I agree to a point, that McCown has been good because Trestman has kept it simple, and has made sure everybody chips in. I hope Cutler has really absorbed what McCown did with the offense. Use all your players, keep it simple. Watching Jeffrey, Marshall, Bennett and the RBs carve Dallas was a sight. No reason Chicago shouldn’t win out with an average defense. Cutler is a bit of an enigma…a superstar one day and journeyman the next. If Trestman can make McCown a superstar, he should be able to help Cutler. BTW, McCown reminds me of Tebow, except he can pass the ball.

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