Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Stranger, Cutler Is The Starter Again

Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Stranger, Cutler Is The Starter Again
Linebacker Christian Jones (59) and Jay Cutler walk off the field following a 20-14 loss. (Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Bears leaders Robbie Gould and Brandon Marshall had much to say about some hot topics Monday following Sunday’s 20-14 loss to Detroit.

Jimmy Clausen, who started his first game since Jan. 2011 failed to earn a win despite a solid performance.

He’s now 1-10 as an NFL starting quarterback, but it was announced on Monday that he will be out for Sunday’s season finale against Minnesota due to a concussion.

That means Jay Cutler will start on Sunday just four days after getting benched by his head coach Marc Trestman.

Clausen’s concussion symptoms came on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah. He got up from the tough hit and immediately yelled in Ansah’s face.

He seemed fine in his post-game press conference, but the concussion stems from delayed symptoms. When Trestman informed Cutler of his decision to start him on Monday, Cutler replied by saying: “I’ll be ready to go.”

“Jay is clearly our best option,” Trestman said on Monday. “David (Fales) hasn’t had the opportunities during the season.”

Fales will serve as Cutler’s backup in Minnesota, while Clausen will be out as he ponders his future with the team.

He showed that he is a No. 2 quarterback in this league, but not much more. He completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a 77 passer rating.

Clausen averaged only 4.6 yards per completion and threw a game-ending interception on the game’s final drive on a fourth-and-10 play to lose the game.

The first touchdown came in the second quarter. Following a muffed punt by the Lions that the Bears recovered on their 11-yard-line, Matt Forte caught a score just one play later.

The second touchdown was in the third quarter after a Lions field goal and the Bears benefited from a roughing the kicker penalty on fourth-and-23. Three plays later Alshon Jeffery caught a 20-yard touchdown pass on a jump ball to put the Bears ahead by four.

But the Lions added 10 fourth quarter points and the Bears dropped their fourth straight.

Don’t forget the Bears had three plays from the Lions one-yard line early in the second quarter but the turned the ball over downs. This was after a Clausen incompletion on second down, a Forte run for no gain on third and a Clausen incompletion to lineman Eben Britton on fourth.

To say Clausen was drastically better than Cutler is a joke. The gameplan was scaled back for the backup and it was very conservative at that.

Gould Stands Up For Cutler

“You could bench the whole team,” Gould said on The Speigel and Mannelly Show on WSCR-AM 670 Monday . “It’s not like anybody has really played fantastic or great. I mean, we’re 5-10 now. So … Jay is not the problem. Jay is not the issue. It’s just unfortunate. This is, honestly, it’s not the Bear way. I mean, this whole season is not the Bear way. Pointing fingers, things getting out of the locker room — that’s not the Chicago Bear way.”

Gould also said he doesn’t believe Cutler should take the entire blame because he doesn’t deserve it.

I think Gould hit it right on the head when he said this is not the “Chicago Bear way.” The way he is talking makes you believe Trestman and his entire coaching staff is as good as gone.

Gould is a leader on this team and he clearly has the respect of Cutler, who is also a leader, but has been viewed as the largest problem on this 5-10 Bears team.

Marshall Voices His Opinion

Brandon Marshall took to the airwaves Monday on ESPN 1000 to say that he wants to “play his whole career with Coach Trestman.”

While that hope seems very unrealistic right now Marshall had a lot more to talk about in terms of Cutler and the Dominic Raiola stomp of Ego Ferguson’s ankle on Sunday.

“We’re not friends, we’re brothers,” Marshall said of Cutler. “You know why I say brothers? Because brothers fight.”

When asked if he would demand a trade if Cutler is traded this off-season, Marshall responded by saying “hell no.”

The NFL reviewed the stomp by Raiola on Monday and suspended the veteran center for the Week 17 NFC North showdown with the Packers. Ferguson was upset by the play, but handled his postgame interview like a pro much more than Raiola whose been in the league for 14 seasons.

“None of that matters,” Ferguson said. “We all saw the play. You can’t take back what happened with that play. That’s the end of that.”

Marshall called Raiola a dirty player. He went on to say he’s a “worse human being and has no respect for himself.”

“I’m just warming up, just standing there,” Marshall said about what Raiola talked to him about during Sunday’s pre-game. “He’s like, ‘Go take your medicine. You freaking weirdo, you freaking crazy guy.’”

The Lions are a dirty team we’ve seen that first hand over the last few years, but regardless that type of action should not be tolerated in the NFL.

Final Thoughts

The Bears need more leaders inside their locker room. A good coaching staff can do wonders for this team moving forward as they look to make changes for the better.

Clausen is a backup quarterback and nothing more that was evident Sunday. Now Trestman is going back to the guy he benched and the guy Aaron Kromer criticized behind his back just two weeks ago.

Cutler has nothing to lose on Sunday, but Trestman’s fate is likely already decided as well as possibly Phil Emery’s, the man who hired him two years ago.

Just when you thought this strange and disappointing season couldn’t get any weirder it just did. Jay Cutler is the Bears quarterback in the Week 17 season finale in Minnesota.

This Bears circus isn’t over just yet and with “Black Monday” coming up soon it likely won’t end anytime soon.


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