Unlike Brian Urlacher, Bears glad to have Jay Cutler back
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter December 12, 2013 10:22PM
Guard Kyle Long heard a familiar voice during the Bears’ walk-through Wednesday.
“You turn around and hear the play-call, and it’s [Jay Cutler’s] voice,” Long said Thursday after Cutler was deemed fit to return from his left high-ankle sprain. “You’re like, ‘Oh, hey, good to see ya, 6.’ It’s great to have him back.”
Former Bear Brian Urlacher had a dissenting opinion. He’d start Josh McCown over Cutler.
Those still wearing Bears jerseys, however, seemed to agree with coach Marc Trestman’s decision to return Cutler to the first string.
Or, at least, they’re saying the right things.
“He’s the starting quarterback from Day 1, you know?” returner Devin Hester said. “So put him back in when he’s ready.”
Tight end Martellus Bennett said everybody knows what Cutler can do.
“It’s just showing them that he’s back where he needs to be,” Bennett said. “He has nothing to prove to us, you know?”
The Bears had a smooth transition back to Cutler in practice, wide receiver Earl Bennett said.
“Guys rallied behind Josh when Jay went down,” he said. “Guys will make the transition. We’re professionals. That’s what we’re here for. It’s good.”
Hester said Trestman doesn’t have to address the starting switch with the team.
“We know,” Hester said. ‘‘That’s our starting quarterback. If he wasn’t hurt, then nobody would be talking about Josh.”
But McCown threw for at least 348 yards in his last three games.
“He comes in every day, works hard, prepares like a starter, helps Jay out whenever he needs help and vice versa,” offensive tackle Jordan Mills said. “The whole time Jay was out hurt, he was right there in [Josh’s] ear.”
The Bears were quick to praise McCown’s effort. He’s 3-2 as the starter.
“We’re in a great position,” linebacker Khaseem Greene said, “where we’ve got two great quarterbacks.”
Whether the Bears are starting the right one is a debate that figures to rage beyond Sunday.
Martellus Bennett said “there’s no such thing as a good problem,” but the Bears appear to have one.
Or, depending on the performance against the Browns, a full-blown controversy.
“I’m so glad that there is a situation, that we’re in the situation that we’re in,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “Because that means we have two good quarterbacks. And that’s much better than having everybody begging for Jay to come back because our backup quarterback didn’t play well.”