Bears Bench Jay Cutler For Jimmy Clausen
A year ago the Chicago Bears got more productive play out of their backup quarterback. Heading into week 16, they’ll be hoping for a similar result.
Per reports, the Bears have benched starting quarterback Jay Cutler in favor of backup Jimmy Clausen. Head coach Marc Trestman suggested that the team could no longer stick with Cutler and his poor play merely based on a hefty contract the team signed him to this past off-season.
With rumors swirling about Trestman’s future, this could either be a move that comes off as “too little, too late”, or it could be the power play the Chicago front office wanted to see out of Trestman all along.
While Clausen doesn’t get most analysts excited, it’s arguably a move long in the making, as Cutler has displayed horrid decision-making through Chicago’s 5-9 run in 2014.
Cutler was able to put up a career high 28 passing touchdowns in just 14 starts this year thanks to Trestman’s offensive system, but he was also responsible for 24 total turnovers (six fumbles) which played a huge hand in Chicago’s nine losses.
There’s no guarantee Clausen will fare better at home against a stout Detroit Lions defense, but Bears players reportedly think their backup quarterback will “tear it up”.
This isn’t just about week 16 or the final two games to end the year, however. This drastic move could be saying several things. It could be about seeing what Clausen, a former second round draft pick, has in him. It could be about protecting Cutler, Chicago’s supposed franchise quarterback, for next season. Or it could be the early signs of a team that is ready to cut ties with an often-injured turnover machine that has just one playoff win on his resume.
While this is a strong move (and probably the correct one) by the Bears, it’s unlikely to lead to a win against a very good Lions team this week. Clausen has never fared well in the league before, while he still isn’t backed by a strong defense. How he fares could stir up some controversy about his and Cutler’s future heading into the off-season, however.
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