Bears QB Controversy: McCown Deserving or Product of the System?

So I think I’m a little late to join the party on this whole “Cutler or McCown” debate, but what is that old saying? Better late than never? Well for what it’s worth, here’s my three cents…

I believe that I am one of the few Jay Cutler fans out there. Everybody knocks him for his so-called lack of leadership and his smug look nearly every time he’s shown on camera. But when it comes down to it, Jay has been a winner in Chicago and has made even greater strides this year. If I liked Cutty before this season, you bet that I like him even better this year. Coming in, all the talk was about his improved leadership and how he was actually enjoying playing football again. Guess what? The numbers showed.

When Jay went down, every Bears fan nearly gave up hope on the season. We all said, our defense sucks and now this puts us under. But, then came a noble stead named Josh McCown, who lead the Bears to a 3-2 record when he was the starter. The other two games that he played in (Washington and Detroit), he came in as relief for Jay and lost both. Neither were his fault, but nor were they necessarily Jay’s either. All of the stats are great and all, but when it comes down to it there is just one thing that Josh McCown can be credited for: hope.


The Bears organization has suffered through so many miserable quarterbacks in their years and now the dilemma is that they have too many good QBs. For all of you Bears fans out there, would you ever have thought that this was going to be an issue? Our Pro Bowl caliber QB goes down with an injury and you want to replace him with a 34-year-old backup who may or may not be related to Cade McNown? (In my perfect world, their names would be the same and this would be true). That is why this debate is so difficult. It is because Josh has given Bears fans hope when they thought they had none.

But when it all boils down, there is one thing that Bears fans should be looking at: Josh McCown is a product of the system… a really, really good system that Bears fans have not seen, well, ever.

As much as I want to give in and say that Josh McCown deserves to be the starter over Jay Cutler, I want to remind all of you that while Josh’s leadership is undeniable, it is the system that has given him the opportunity to succeed. You can say that the team has a different feel, or excitement, when Josh is behind center. You can say that its more fun to root for a guy who looks like he gives a shit. You can say that the Bears have had great success with Josh at quarterback and that he deserves to be starting for the team. But, is anybody saying that it is because of Marc Trestman’s system that Josh has had so much success?

This offense is designed so that whoever is behind center has a chance to succeed, whether it’s Jay, Josh or the Easter Bunny. Trestman developed a great scheme and Phil Emery brought in the talent to fill the needs. With the evolution of the beast they now call Alshon Jeffrey, Bears fans have everything that was on their Christmas list for the last 15 years!

-Pro Bowl Quarterback

-Plausible (and improving) offensive line

-Three dominant receiving threats including a threat down the middle

-Pro Bowl Running Back

Look at that list and tell me that you have not dreamed of this offense on the field for years and years. No, the Bears aren’t a powerhouse of an offense like the Broncos or Saints, but they finally have a system and the talent to be productive. Whether it were Josh McCown or Jason Campbell, I believe that any backup quarterback (or QB in general) would have success in this system.

I'm the man with the ball. I'm the one who throws it faster than f**k

I’m the man with the ball. I’m the one who throws it faster than f**k

So no Josh McCown should not start over Jay Cutler if they are both perfectly healthy. Cutty is your franchise quarterback and was having an outstanding season before the injury. As much as you’d like to ride the hot hand, you have to go back to your big guns and try and continue the same success on offense.

Undoubtably, every play Jay makes today will be under a microscope. Every mistake will be magnified and every possession will be critiqued. But with this system of Marc Trestman’s, Jay will flourish.

Today, we have to thank Josh McCown for putting our team in a position for success going forward. He has been excellent and a lot of fun to watch. I can go to bed easy knowing that if something happens to #6, big Josh is ready to step in again.

Go Bears!


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