An occasional and major problem when a team has two starter-grade quarterbacks is that locker rooms can divide into camps supporting one or the other, or that the one not starting becomes a fractious malcontent. The San Francisco 49ers went through it with Joe Montana and Steve Young but still won Super Bowls. Buffalo Bills splintered between Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson, reached the 1998-99 Wild Card games, lost both and faded for the following decade.
[RELATED -- Debate over: Cutler to start for Bears]
That has not happened in the Bears locker room. The reasons are simple:
Organizations take their personality from the top and coach Marc Trestman reiterated that the return-to-Cutler decision was made weeks ago, leaving little room for nitpicking at it.
Besides, “we know we’ve got two guys we can win with and we can with either,” said nickelback Isaiah Frey.
[WATCH -- Cutler: There is no debate]
And if McCown were upset at going from NFC offensive player of the week to the bench, a rift would be possible. But there was no sign of any hard feelings at the decision.
“I've said all along my role as a backup quarterback on this team: When Jay is healthy, he plays,” McCown said. “So it's no surprise. I knew he was getting close so I'm glad he's healthy.”
McCown has his vocal supporters in the Chicago fanbase and believers in the locker room, but “there is not a debate in this building,” Cutler said, “so that is kind of where my concern lies.”
If McCown doesn’t have a problem with the decision, why would anyone else in the locker room?
Indeed, that there is anything to debate is viewed as its own positive.
“I’m so glad that there is a situation, that we’re in the situation that we are in,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “Because that means we have two good quarterbacks. And that’s much better than having everybody begging for Jay to come back because our backup quarterback didn’t play well. So we’re fortunate to have two good ones at quarterback. And it bodes well for the future.”
And as for the present: “I don’t care; I’m not the coach,” tight end Martellus Bennett said, then clarified his own personal mission statement: “I just specialize in being awesome.”