Earlier this year, the Chicago Bears underwent a huge change as an organization. As many of you remember, Lovie Smith was fired after a nine year tenure with the team and general manager Phil Emery brought in Marc Trestman to take his place. The number one aspect of Emery’s decision was based on whether the new coach could work well with quarterback Jay Cutler and get him to the level they knew he could reach.
With Trestman in charge, Cutler quickly took to learning yet another playbook — and when I say quickly, that’s an understatement. Trestman was notorious early in camp for lauding the quarterback’s intelligence when it came to learning such a complex offense in a very short amount of time.
As the Bears began the season, Cutler got off to his best start as a Bear, minus one hiccup against the Detroit Lions. Up until the game he was originally hurt in week seven, Cutler didn’t post a rating lower than 90.8 except for in week four against Detroit. Again, the 8-year veteran was off to a fantastic start.
With Josh McCown taking over after having seen Cutler tear a groin muscle and later sprain his ankle, many have wondered whether or not Cutler’s future in Chicago is close to being over. Cutler entered the season on the final year of his contract, and will become a free agent in 2014. McCown played extraordinarily well in Cutler’s absence, but alas, all good things must come to an end.
Cutler is slated to start this week agains the Cleveland Browns. Being cleared to return is one thing. Being picked to start immediately following that clearing is another.
Trestman clearly has faith in this guy, and justifiably so. He picked up a brand new, complex and multi-dimensional offense in next to no time and executed it extremely well from the get-go. At 30 years old, Cutler easily has another five good years left in him at a minimum, simply because, if need be, he can be a pure passing quarterback.
With Trestman going with Cutler this weekend, the quarterback controversy may still be as alive as it ever was this season, but Cutler’s future shouldn’t be under the microscope any longer. Emery hired Trestman to do one thing, and one thing only right away. Remember what that was?
Don’t get caught up in the “McCown is the hot hand” junk. Sure, he’s the hot hand. But, he’s not the franchise quarterback. He’s not who the organization is built around. He’s not the reason Emery cleaned house this past offseason, and McCown surely doesn’t have a long future ahead with the Bears.
Let’s be real here for a second. This is a completely different debate, but the “McCown vs. Cutler” talk isn’t even relevant in respect to the Bears winning games. That defense couldn’t stop Betty White up the middle right now — period. Whether it’s Cutler or McCown, this offense is built to put up points, and it will do so regardless.
If you’re fooled into thinking that McCown should be the Bears’ starter, you better take a step back and look at the big picture. The way I see it is the way the organization sees it as a whole: Cutler is their guy, and with him coming back and starting the way he is, the Bears all but guaranteed to bring him back next year.