Bears Fans Should be Skeptical of McCown's Performance

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Dec 18, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie (12) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. The Seahawks won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

In 2011, Hanie appeared in 6 games for the Bears, starting 4 games in Cutler’s place.  He went 51 of 102 for 613 yards with 3 TD’s and 9 INT’s.  The Bears went 0-4 with very winnable games to derail another season.  In fact, that season brought Josh McCown to the Bears where he was pressed into action the last two games of the season as the overmatched Hanie was benched.

Hanie benefited from the element of surprise against the Packers in the NFC CG.  They didn’t know what to expect from him and hadn’t prepared for him.  His plucky performance gave the Bears false hope.  I’m not saying that McCown is just like Caleb Hanie, because the comparisons are few and the differences are clear, but like Hanie, McCown benefited from the element of surprise.  A lot of Redskins admitted that they didn’t even know who the Bears backup was.

McCown is an experienced vet who’s been around the block a few times, so he’s a solid choice for game manager.  He has a chance to keep the Bears offense afloat, regardless of how long it takes Cutler to hurry back from his torn groin, but he’s not going to replace Jay Cutler.  He’ll be the first one to tell you that.

As you’re reading this, the Green Bay Packers are studying tape of McCown not only from last week’s Redskins game but McCown’s 2011 performance against them and putting together a game plan specific to stopping him.  They’ll look for trends, weaknesses, strengths and scheme to shut him down.  He doesn’t get the element of surprise.

“But Boomer, the Bears offense is better in 2013 than is was in 2011.  We have Marc Trestman, real weapons and an improved offensive line,” you’re thinking to yourself.  Yes, those points are all true, but is McCown, a journeyman career backup who was coaching high school football when the Bears called in 2011, good enough to take advantage of those possible benefits when teams have had time to prepare for him?  Is Marc Trestman’s offense ‘Cutler-proof,’ that is, not relying on Cutler to run effectively?  Those are the questions we’re going to answer a week from Monday.  I’m not doubting McCown can get the job done, but I’m also not ready to see Cutler in a Cardinals jersey in 2014 either.

What do you think?  Do you think McCown can guide the Bears to a couple of wins while Cutler is out?  Do you think he’ll come back down to Earth with Green Bay and Detroit preparing for him the next couple of weeks?



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Tags: Caleb Hanie Chicago Bears Feature Jay Cutler Josh McCown

  • Sammy Z

    I think I need to tell you the same thing I keep telling my wife, “Calm down as we don’t have all the facts yet. Wait till we get more information and make a decision then.”

    Cutler’s going to be down for a few games. It’s irresponsible to stir controversy by reporting unsubstantiated claims……but in today’s climate, that’s called journalism.

    • BearGogglesOn

      Which of my claims is unsubstantiated? I’ve been glued to the radio listening to all the Cutler haters come crawling out of the woodwork to say “we don’t need Cutler; look what McCown did.” The whole point of this post was to temper that with a little dose of reality.

      You’re right, we don’t have all the facts yet, but we have a few trends from which we can make some educated guesses.

      • Sammy Z

        Don’t get me wrong, fundamentally I tend to agree with you but I’ve learned from experience that making rash choices rarely leads to a successful outcome.

        …..I’m just saying.

  • ManGod

    Jay Cutler is the QB in Chicago, Emery and Testman have designed the offense that fits Cutler’s abilities and went out and got the pieces to make him successful at a high price. They gambled with Tucker (far from even being close to a good decision from my point of view…ie Jacksonville record speaks volumes to my way of thinking) and left the eggs broken on defense. Letting Urlacher walk this season was a huge mistake…in effect they ripped the heart and soul from this defense. Yes, they will address the defense in the upcoming draft and off season, but it may be to little to late for this season. McCowan will win in this defense, to many weapons at his disposal and the OL is to much improved for him not to. Trestman will tweak this offense and adjust it to cater to the QB and use a very heavy dose of Forte to assist his QB. I simply wish he could light a fire under the DC…all I am seeing is a mouthful of rhetoric and bs from Tucker. To much talent on the defense for it to be as awful as it has been against the run and TE across the middle and on the edge…which is mostly a result of the DC play calling…and not making the necessary adjustments in mid game to address the issue. Tucker did not change the D because he has nothing better to (even on this D’s worst day) to replace it with. Damn shame Lovie was to proud to accept the DC job….Lovie’s magic on D and Trestman’s genius with O…Super Bowl Bears would not have been a dream but a reality.

    • BearGogglesOn

      Over all, I agree with your comments about Tucker. I have to disagree with Urlacher. His leadership is certainly missed, but he couldn’t play any more. You saw teams running circles around him.

      While you say there is too much talent on defense, the problem is all the talent is old. Tillman and Briggs can’t stay healthy. That’s the problem with old players, those nagging little injuries they could bounce back from they suddenly can’t recover. Julius Peppers is either hurt or washed up. No pass rush makes everyone a lot more vulnerable. The safeties, who looked serviceable to above average last season, have been suddenly exposed.

  • Quinn

    I actually like Cutler but he has not been able to win in Green Bay so I’m not feeling like McCown will be able to. I’ll be more than happy to be proven wrong though! =)

    • BearGogglesOn

      McCown played well a couple of seasons ago when he was called into action at Green Bay on Christmas day. Now he has better weapons and a better offensive line. The problem? Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy might put up 1000 yards combined against this defense.