Jay Cutler gave his Chicago Bears teammates a courageous performance on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, playing through a groin injury that was still healing and an ankle injury he suffered in the second quarter. Prior to spraining his ankle, Cutler was on the money. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The second half was an entirely different story.
Cutler threw for 102 yards and an interception in quarters three and four. He obviously wasn’t the same player, and he was replaced with backup Josh McCown with just over two minutes remaining. On Monday, head coach Marc Trestman admitted he should have made the move sooner.
“I sit back and look back, and maybe not second guess,” Trestman told WBBM 780, via ESPNChicago.com. “But I went through the tape closely this morning and watched Jay’s performance. I thought he did well into the fourth quarter. But at the end of the day, if we had to do it all over again, maybe it would be one series before the two-minute drill.”
Despite the fact that Cutler looked lost, Trestman left the decision of staying in the game or coming out in his hands. Being the competitor that he is, Cutler tried to gut it out. Once McCown replaced him and led a touchdown drive, it became obvious that the switch happened too late.
Cutler said he took himself out.
“I felt really restricted in the pocket with what I was able to do,” he explained. “[The ball] wasn’t getting out as quick. Some of my throws didn’t have as much hum as I wanted. I knew Josh was ready to go, and I just didn’t want to get to the point where I was hurting us more than I was helping us.”
What’s the old saying? Nobody likes a Monday morning quarterback? Trestman may end up regretting the way he coached, but he did what most coaches would have done with a quarterback who wanted to stay in. It backfired. Welcome to the NFL.