NBC cousin Mike Florio out at “ProFootballTalk Live!”checked in this morning to chat Bears QBs, with Mike not just wanting to see whether Jay Cutler or Josh McCown will start on Sunday at Cleveland – my firm expectation is that Cutler will – but also to raise an interesting couple of questions.
One in particular concerns the mindset of the locker room, and whether the switch from McCown, the reigning NFC offensive player of the week, to Cutler, coming back from a month layoff after his high-ankle sprain in the Detroit game, was going to split the room.
Not that I or anyone else has been able to discern. Some of that may be the “team-first” dictum and demeanor of coach Marc Trestman, but as much has to do with the belief that the Bears can win with either.
[THE RUNDOWN: Who should the Bears start at QB?]
I mentioned a past item for CSNChicago.com, when Cutler was being reinserted as the starter after McCown’s win at Green Bay, that some were forgetting how well Cutler was playing before the groin injury in Washington.
As Mke noted, that does speak well to the system and the players assembled around the quarterback position – if McCown can do well with the system, there is no reason to suspect that Cutler can’t do as well. He was.
As an aside here, the Bears were 4-2 in games Cutler started and finished before the groin injury. They are 3-2 in McCown start-finishes, and 0-2 in the games when Cutler was injured in-game and McCown finished, albeit very, very well.
As much as it appears certain that Cutler will be the Bears’ starting quarterback for 2014, Mike wondered if either Cutler or McCown would in fact be the Bears’ starting quarterback in five years. That’s a good one.
It certainly won’t be McCown, who turns 35 next July 4. Even with his low mileage, it's a stretch to think he'd still be starting at 40. And whether Cutler wants to play football that much longer, he’d have to answer that. This already is his eighth NFL season.
Still a lot to play out this Sunday in Cleveland. And Mike was right to posit that Trestman will be in for a torrent of second-guessing if Cutler struggles against Cleveland, which is entirely possible given his layoff plus the quality of the Browns defense.