The Chicago Bears still showed that the offense needed some work, even though they pulled off a win in the second game of the preseason. Quarterback Jay Cutler was once again sacked more than once in the game, and the Bears still need to learn to protect their QB. However, if Cutler is injured in any way, the Bears are screwed offensively.
The first backup quarterback Josh McCown is half way decent when he’s on. It’s just that he’s got a lot of cob webs to dust off. In 2011, he completed 35 out of 55 attempted passes, for 414 yards. In 2012: nothing.
Previous to playing with the Bears, he only started in 32 games from 2002 to 2009. When he’s been on the field, he’s shown potential. But he doesn’t have the experience to handle extreme pressure, especially in a high-intensity games. They need as much strength on the offense as possible, so if the time comes in the regular season that the Bears need a No. 2 to act like No. 1, do they have that guy on the roster?
At least a decent backup quarterback will put the pressure on Cutler to perform in the last year of his contract. He will play better if he knows the Bears have an alternative. Currently they do not, so Cutler holds all the cards.
I would say something about third stringer Matt Blanchard, but after suffering a broken knuckle, he’s not even on the radar.
That brings me to another point. The Bears are going into their next game with only two quarterbacks. Head coach Marc Trestman knows what a disadvantage this is, and has already made talks about signing someone to replace Blanchard as there’s no word as to when he’ll be able to return.
In order to stay safe, Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer really need to almost count on Cutler being injured, and be ready for it. McCown can use this preseason to take advantage of the reps that he gets, and to continue working and learning to be ready to step up.
I’m afraid that the Bears are putting too much faith into Cutler, though. If they want to keep Cutler the full season — pre, regular and (fingers crossed) post — they need to work on keeping him safe. But just in case they aren’t able to, they need to have a QB that is able to take over and still perform to the same capability.