Teammates and Bears fans felt their hearts sink when their starting quarterback goes down and can’t get up.
Under their breath are the words, “Get up Jay, get up!” A sigh of relief is heard as he gets up but his apparent inability to walk normally has now buried all hope for fans everywhere of a winning season.
That’s what happens when one puts all their hope on a quarterback.
Now Jay Cutler is out for four weeks, (despite the verbal prediction of his go-to receiver Brandon Marshall of a two-week return) and the hopes of a division title falls on the experience of their 11-year veteran Josh McCown.
Some sports “experts” claim that McCown has not worked enough with his receivers to develop a relationship to gain any confidence. That did not appear to be true against the Washington Redskins.
The game against the Redskins was not a blowout game. Though the Bears lost by 4 points, McCown was exceptional on the field throwing for 204-yds, completed 14 of 20, rushed for 33 yards, threw one touchdown and had NO INTERCEPTIONS.
How can anyone say he has no relationship with his receivers? The only reason the Bears lost against the Redskins fell solely on the defenses inability to stop the run. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was able to rush for 84 yards against the Bears' defense.
Josh McCown was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2002 and has played for the Lions, Raiders, Dolphins, Panthers, 49ers and had a stint in the UFL for the Hartford Colonials. He became a high school football coach and was granted one more chance to play in the NFL, this time for the Chicago Bears.
He has been around the league and was known for last quarter comebacks. The Bears have not had a promising backup quarterback for a very long time and with Cutler out for four weeks, the Bears need a leader in the pocket.
It will take rookie linebackers Khaseem Greene and Jon Bostic to step up and play like pros. That means no penalties and knowing how to read the opponents moves when the ball is snapped. The less time the defense is on the field, the more time is given to McCown to make plays and put points on the board. Look, no one thought that coach Marc Trestman was going to “fix” Cutler that fast.
The sports world had already predicted the Chicago Bears having a mediocre season at best because of the new offense. Well it seems that the Bears offense was able to synchronize and make plays when it counted. During the bye week, McCown will have an opportunity to really connect with his offense and be coached by the “quarterback whisperer” in Marc Trestman. Trestman is no fool. Not only did he fine tune Cutler, but he also worked with McCown to insure that in any emergency, McCown would be ready to play.
McCown will have to trust Trestman’s play calling and execute accordingly, scoping the field for available receivers and hitting his mark every time. Can McCown lead the Bears in the next four weeks to victories against the Green Bay Packers, the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens? Well, the way teams have been playing this season, anything can happen. All phases of the game will have to take place in order for McCown to succeed.
It starts with McCown trusting in his offensive line to protect him and give him time to hit his receivers. He needs to get rid of the ball out of bounds when rushed and not be caught holding the ball when sacked. If the Chicago Bears want to win the division it will have to be in the next three matchups and it will take a complete team effort to help McCown succeed.
What a tremendous opportunity for this former high school coach to show once and for all that he can be a winning quarterback.