After he lead the Bears to a 27-20 victory Monday night over the Green Bay Packers, albeit an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers, Josh McCown leaves the Bears with a big question, what to do with Jay Cutler who will be a free-agent at the end of the season? In a little less than two games, McCown has completed 36 of his 61 pass attempts, throwing for 476 yards and three touchdowns, and more importantly, no interceptions. And these are not dink-and-dunk type passes. Averaging 13 yards per pass, Bears head coach Marc Tressman has not had to alter the Bears offense one bit for Josh McCown. And while they didn’t win the game against Washington in week 7, the game where Jay Cutler was injured in the second quarter, it was not the fault of the offense. It was more on a defense who couldn’t stop the Redskins at all, and especially, when the game was on the line, on their final drive and the Bears lost 45-41.
So that brings us to the question, with the emergence of Josh McCown at quarterback, should the Bears resign Jay Cutler to a long-term contract in the offseason? I have always defended Jay Cutler. Saying just when he finally gets a good coordinator in Mike Martz, and they ironed out their differences and were able to work together effectively for a little over one season, he gets injured at the end of 2011. And last year Lovie got rid of Martz. So Cutler has never really had a chance, with a good offensive coordinator in place, or he’s healthy, to show what he can do. We’ve been teased enough, with flashes here and there, to know what he is capable of. I will admit, this question didn’t cross my mind, until I saw this tweet last night by @RealSkipBayless “As big a fan as I am of Cutler’s, have to believe some Bears fans wondering if Trestman should stick with McCown.” I replied, no. But later, as I watched the highlights of the game, and McCown’s performance, I really got to thinking about it.
The Bears could use the money they would save by not resigning Cutler, on some of the good defensive free-agents that are gonna be available. In particular, Seattle’s Strong Safety Kam Chancellor. Currently our last line of defense is Chris Conte. Who has gotten boiled over so many times, each time a running back is bearing down on him, it looks like his life is flashing before his eyes. And I would like to think, that with the $15million/per the Bears would save by not resigning Cutler, they could also sign another impact defensive player, maybe a defensive lineman or another safety. I have dubbed Major Wright, major wrong. My friends on Facebook can attest to this! To win a Superbowl, all you need is a sturdy offense (like the one the Bears had Monday night), and a good defense. It’s still a sore spot for many a Bears fan, knowing that the Bears, with it’s great defense, probably could have won that Superbowl in 2007, if Lovie had just stuck with Kyle Orton as our quarterback.
What will be the convincing factor for me, is Josh McCown’s performance this Sunday against Detroit. If he does good, and the Bears win, well then that will cinch it for me, that he is our future. Sorry Jay, sometimes things just don’t work out. I hope no hard feeling. The problem will lie in, how will the coaching staff handle it when Jay Cutler is fully healthy and ready to play. Will they pull a “Jim Harbaugh” and just bench Jay and go with Josh McCown so long as the getting is good? Or will they hand the reigns back over to Jay when he is healthy. All this will be a mute point if McCown lays an egg this Sunday against Detroit, who has a much fiercer pass rush than Green Bay. But if he does good, Marc Tressman has a tough decision to make. Winning in sports is not easy. Sometimes you have to make tough personnel decisions. Chicago fans are familiar with this trade, Charles Oakley for Bill Cartwright, and the three championships that it brought. Anyway, I can’t wait until Sunday. All I want is for the Bears to win, and if our defense can get better, while our offense remains sturdy, so be it.
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