Jay Cutler has been benched by Bears coach Marc Trestman in favor of backup QB Jimmy Claussen. It comes on the heels of another disappointing blowout at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. A team with one of the lowest ranked defenses in the league.
While I don’t disagree with the move, I am stunned by the timing and the fact it took this long. Jay Cutler is not the sole reason for the Bears 5-9 record, he certainly played his part. Waiting until week 16 is more than a little questionable. There is also the fact that they put David Fales on the 53 man roster last week. I am all for playing some younger guys and seeing what they can do, but at week 16, what is to gain?
Moves should have been made after they went to New England and laid an egg. They were on a bye week and had division opponent Green bay waiting for them. They went up north and got blasted. Too little. Too late.
I am all for seeing if a different QB can make the offense run like it was intended. One of the things that excited me about Trestman is that it was an offense that seemingly any QB could come in and run it. Josh McCown kind of set the precedent for that. The combination of McCown and Cutler combined for 4,400 yards and 32 TDs in 2013. The one big difference was the turnovers. McCown had a 13-1 TD to INT ratio. Jay was 19-12. McCown also had a 100% passer rating compared to an 89% for Cutler. Now, that doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but in the NFL where games are won and lost by a few plays, that’s a huge difference.
The other thing it does is, it keeps your defense off the field, which allows a mediocre defense to be a pretty good defense. I’m one of the few people that actually thinks the defense was pretty good at times this year. They were put in a lot of bad situations, mostly from the offense turning the ball over. This wasn’t all on Jay either, but he contributed to more than his fair share.
Even if Claussen has a decent game vs a tough Detroit team, it still doesn’t change the fact that Trestman did nothing until week 16. Didn’t fire Aaron Kromer after that debacle, and basically wasted the 2014 season. Too little. Too late.