Trust goes both ways for Trestman, McCown
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter November 11, 2013 10:04PM
Updated: December 13, 2013 6:27AM
As regrettable as Jay Cutler’s latest injury is, there was notably less angst than usual about Cutler’s eventual return after the bad news broke at Halas Hall on Monday.
Confidence in backup Josh McCown — inside the building and out — is an at all-time high after McCown’s third consecutive standout performance in relief of Cutler on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Coach Marc Trestman acknowledged Monday that McCown would start Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field.
‘‘It’s safe to say [Cutler’s injury] is week-to-week,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘It certainly won’t be this week [that he returns].’’
McCown relieved Cutler with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter Sunday and drove the Bears 74 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown that fell a two-point conversion short of tying the game. McCown was 6-for-9 for 62 yards and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall for a 123.4 passer rating.
In three games in place of Cutler, McCown has a 103.2 rating — he’s 42-for-70 for 538 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. McCown’s career passer rating in his first 11 NFL seasons was 71.2.
‘‘It’s timing — the stage of life I’m in, the coaches I’m working with and the players I’m playing around,’’ the 33-year-old McCown told co-hosts Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle on the ‘‘Silvy & Waddle Show’’ on WMVP-AM (1000). ‘‘It’s given me an opportunity to play in a system where if you’re prepared and you play within it, there’s plays to be made.’’
‘‘This system and the coaches have done a heck of a job preparing us. Every week we go into these games feeling like we have a great plan and know what we’re going to do with the football.
‘‘It’s a credit to [quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh] and Marc [Trestman]. They’ve done as good a job as [any coaching staff] I’ve been with.’’
McCown does not have Cutler’s vaunted arm strength, but he is efficient in Trestman’s offense. McCown averaged 6.3 yards per attempt coming into this season. He is averaging 7.7 yards per attempt in 2013. Cutler is at 7.2, his career average.
‘‘You saw Josh play [in a 27-20 victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field],’’ Trestman said. ‘‘He played effectively. He took care of the football. He was very efficient. We hope to get the same out of him [against the Ravens].’’