Josh McCown: Cutler’s QB Whisperer
By John Vassar
What a difference a year makes. Last season, when Marc Trestman was hired, everyone was encouraged for he was proclaimed as the QB whisperer. His past was littered with success in handling quarterbacks to successful seasons. It was generally accepted, that finally Jay Cutler would have a coach that could “fix” him and an offense that would play to his strengths. To some degree that happened, even though Jay’s w-l was not great (thanks to the defense on a couple of occasions), his over all play was better than the Lovie years.
We also got to witness the solid play of his backup, Josh McCown. Coming off the bench and led the Bears to a 3-2 record and statistically was outstanding. Many credited Trestman for unlocking the malaise of the Bears quarterback situation. It also, unwittingly, created a quarterback controversy with the fans and to a degree within the Bears. The anti-Cutler fan base used McCown’s effort as a lightening rod to replace Cutler. Coupled with the fact to retain McCown would be costly to the Bears and that Josh had hinted he wanted an opportunity to start.
Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
During the offseason, the Bears organization made it clear that Cutler was their man and signed Jay to a long term lucrative contract. Josh in turn, found his opportunity to start and secure his family financial future by signing a two year deal with Tampa Bay. On the surface, it seemed like a good deal for both players. Jay would be set as the Bears franchise QB, and McCown would get his day in the sun at 35, maybe his last chance.
Sadly, that has not worked out for either player. Cutler has struggled this season, almost like a reprise of his Lovie years. He seems skittish in the pocket, is getting sacked almost at a Martzian clip, mechanics are off and most would say he has regressed. Josh likewise has struggled. He has been injured, his OC took a medical leave and decided not to return at all. Adding to that, Lovie Smith struggles with offensive concepts, Josh is in a tough place.