The Chicago Bears haven’t seen a win with Jay Cutler at the quarterback position in over two months, but that isn’t stopping them from re-instating him as their starter, which means Josh McCown, doing a very good job in his place, is going back to the bench.
McCown played very well in the win over the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns, his third win as a starter for the Bears since taking over for the injured Cutler, who has missed the last four games and a few before that due to injuries picked up in the losses to the Washington Redskins and the Detroit Lions two weeks later.
Cutler might be slightly out of shape in terms of cardio, but Trestman has been looking forward to his return for some time now, even though the losses during McCown’s role as a starter had more to do with a faulty defense than McCown doing a bad job. The 11-year veteran has thrown only one interception this season, completing 66.8% of his passes, 13 of them for touchdowns. He has a passer rating of 109.8, much better than the 88.4 Cutler is posting so far.
This isn’t just an indicator about who Trestman feels is his best quarterback to help the Bears make the playoffs (currently at 7-6, not good enough for a spot in the NFC) which probably means winning the divisions, but also might be telling about the Bears still believing in Cutler’s chances to be their franchise quarterback for a few more years. Even if McCown does well in the three remaining games of the regular season (Cleveland, Philadelphia, Green Bay) he’s not going to be the first choice next season.
As far as Trestman is concerned, sacrificing the guy who is playing better football at the moment is worth it in order to find out if Cutler is good enough to be given another long term deal. Even if it means benching a guy who is on pace to set a few franchise records, the Bears still haven’t given up on a future with Cutler leading them.