Josh McCown understands role is to help Jay Cutler keep job


It had all the makings of becoming a full-bore controversy.

But other than Jay Cutler saying there’s no debate about who the starting quarterback is, the biggest help toward that end might be coming from the backup.

It’s not that Josh McCown hasn’t played well, he has. But the veteran human being has said from the start that he understood his place with the Bears, and that has kept some of the flap to a minimum.

“You want guys on your team that want to be on the field,” McCown said, via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “But also, you want guys on your team that know their roles and understand that. And so for me, I understand my role on this team. It’s the backup quarterback. So, that being said, if Jay is healthy, he’s ready to go. I’ll support him and help him as much as I can.”

That help extended to spending Wednesday night at Cutler’s house, helping him go over the game plan for Sunday’s game against the Browns, getting him ready to take the job back which McCown had performed so admirably in.

“He’s been probably Jay’s biggest support in this process,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “No doubt.”

“I don’t look at it as trying to take a leadership role,” McCown said. “I just look at it as trying to serve my team. If all 53 guys approach this as trying to serve your team, good things will come out of it. For me, that’s it.”

Good things have come out of McCown already. The Bears have flopped magnificently without Cutler in the past, but McCown was able to help them win three of the five games the starter missed (with a 109.8 passer rating and 13 touchdowns). But the humility and team-first attitude he’s showing while losing his job might be the thing that helps the Bears the most.

24 responses to “Josh McCown understands role is to help Jay Cutler keep job

  1. This is a big mistake by the Bears, IMO.

    They should keep the status quo and bring Cutler in when and if McCown falters.

    They have nothing to win this way and lots to lose.

  2. Not a big Bears fan, but just became a fan of McCown as a man and true teammate. He showed what Brian Piccolo showed in the 60’s when he helped Gale Sayers get healthy again. The team is more important than self. The good of the many outweigh the good of the one.

  3. Whenever I hear about this guy I always remember the Warner Football Life and he’s playing on the Cards standing next to Warner saying how he wants to play like him and Warner just turns and looks at him and says “Yup.”

  4. Jay Cutler is single-handedly ruining this franchise. It appears 28 years without a victory of major significance will continue in Chicago.

  5. I really hope somehow they can keep McCown next year (as a backup, that is).

    Seems like a genuinely good person to have around a locker room.

  6. The more McCown speaks, the more I like him. I really hope we can find a way to keep him, Cutler, and rebuild the defense next year. It doesn’t really matter who the starting QB is if the defense doesn’t start to play better.

  7. Maybe he was raised to take the high road or he believes all of this (or both) but anyway you look at it, McCown comes across as someone you want on your team, someone you want to root for and someone you would want to know and do business with.

    Cutler, on the other hand…

  8. “It’s not that Josh McCown hasn’t played well, he has.”

    REALLY well. Not nick-foles-well maybe, but certainly jay-cutler-well, which is the relevant comparison here.

  9. As a Browns fan, I applaud Josh for stepping into the background again so graciously. I consider it great timing.

    But seriously, I’ve been watching Josh the past few weeks and it’s hard not to cheer for him. Maybe he’ll be the next Rich Gannon. The poise he has shown and the throws he is making are impressive. Now he is demonstrating his maturity.

  10. McCown didn’t lose his job, he DID his job. It’s refreshing to see the “team first” attitude from an NFL player in these days of “Hey look at me” after every single play….does a tackle after an 8 yard gain need to be celebrated with a dance? Or a 1st Down catch getting the arm pointing celebration when your team is down 14pts? McCown came in, did the job he was hired to do and that’s the end of it. Cutler was playing some of his best ball until the injuries came along. He undoubtedly has more talent but McCown is a backup QB and the media needs to stop trying to stir up a controversy, from the sounds of it the team knows who the starter is….

  11. “But the humility and team-first attitude he’s showing while losing his job might be the thing that helps the Bears the most.”

    What? The Bears replaced their backup QB? I did not know McCown lost his job as Cutler’s backup? So now if Cutler goes down, we have to rely on Jordan Palmer?

    I thought McCown played plenty good to keep his job as a BACK-UP QB!

  12. McCown is great guy and teammate who did his job which is to be the backup QB and is the best the bears have ever had the position but that is all he is. to say the bears should dump Cutler because he has played well is insane. consider what Cutler had to work with before this year and then look at his record. they could not win without him because of the lack of talent around him. this year he finally gets to play for a coach who knows offense is part of the game and gets a NFL offensive line and weapons to use. he got injured but was playing well before that. McCown stepped into a great system and situation and did his job but is 34 and not a long term solution for them. unless a loser team backs up a brinks truck I do not think Cutler wants to start over again and learn yet another offense and will sign a cap friendly 2-3 year deal and stay with the bears. but if they do something and let him walk then have fun watching the team suck while a new QB learns the system and the defense gets rebuilt.

  13. Bears fans, don’t be blinded by McCown’s success over the last few weeks. This guy is a career less-than-mediocre player, and 3 good games does NOT wipe that out. He’s a backup, and that’s exactly where he belongs.

    Trestman is doing the right thing, Cutler has proven he can take your team to the promised land. He’s a gunslinger who takes risks but there’s not a GM out there who would take McCown over Cutler, all things being equal.

  14. Have any of you Bears fans ever seen Cutler put 7 games together like McCown has?

    Just wondering.


  15. “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a metaphor commonly used in the United States that refers to a person or group holding an unquestioned belief, argument, or philosophy without critical examination. If the Bears were 10 and 3 or 9 and 4 going into this weekend I could see all the room for argument on Josh vs. Jay but the Bears are so far removed from a Super Bowl quality team that drinking the kool-aid is all I can think of to describe Bear fan concerns in either direction.

    As for those who think that Trestman/Emery need to see where Cutler is now to determine how to handle a new contract, franchise tag, or let him go issue, all I can say is that Trestman/Emery need a new video coordinator if they are still out on that choice right now.

  16. ringheadcrusher says:
    Dec 13, 2013 10:20 AM

    “…Trestman is doing the right thing, Cutler has proven he can take your team to the promised land. He’s a gunslinger who takes risks but there’s not a GM out there who would take McCown over Cutler, all things being equal.”


    I believe every Denver Bronco fan would disagree with you about Cutler.

  17. JM is saying the right things to get a starting gig – and the pay that goes with it – next season. He can carry a team until it can draft & develop a franchise QB. At 34 he can’t wait any longer for a fat long-term contract & if the Bears won’t pay him…

  18. “I believe every Denver Bronco fan would disagree with you about Cutler.”

    They need to get over it already.

  19. It’s a dodgy decision to put Cutler back in. He is a veteran, but McCown is being a doormat in this situation. He may be trying not to ruffle any feathers. Anyways, it is NOT his job to help Cutler keep his job. He is an NFL quarterback and his job is to be productive no matter the situation he is in. The more productive, the better. No person comes into the NFL dreaming to be a backup quarterback. I’m saddened to see this player who is showing extreme promise AND producing at a great level, get put to the sideline like this. If I could chose, id let him finish out the regular season, and if he continues to produce at this level and makes it to the playoffs, the management will look good for keeping him in, and if he fails to produce at the end of the season, you can always put cutler back in. It also gives cutler more time to recuperate. Just my opinion.

  20. I agree with the above 100%. Trestman made it sound like a no brainer to put Cutler back in, but the possibility of going to the playoffs weighs completely on this. And the thing that really irks me is the Chicago sports media doesn’t seem to get it: the numbers seem to indicate that McCown is a better fit for Trestman’s offensive scheme because he is. He never seems to hold on to the ball to long, whereas Jay does this a majority of the time. Cutler has one big advantage: he’s better in the red zone, although if you look at the games he’s played this year almost all of them had defensive scoring to help the Bears win. If the Bears defense was horrendously bad this year Josh probably would have won ever game he started. And the worst of it all is that some people seem to think that it is important to see Cutler play again to evaluate him for next year. What, Vince Lombardi was full of crap?

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