Brandon Marshall Comments on Jay Cutler vs. Josh McCown QB Controversy

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2013

AP Images - Nam Y. Huh

The Chicago Bears' quarterback controversy may be hitting a boiling point after wide receiver Brandon Marshall acknowledged the decision to start Jay Cutler over Josh McCown wasn't considered a no-brainer among his teammates.

Speaking to Fox Sports' Jay Mohr (via's Chris Wesseling), the veteran wideout said:

I'm gonna be honest with you, there is a little chatter. There's a human-element side of things in the sporting world.

You have a QB like Josh McCown playing so hot, not only playing great ball for the Bears, but he's one of the hotter QBs in the NFL. He was up there with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, those few weeks he was leading us. So naturally there's going to be a little chatter.

While replacing the injured Cutler earlier in the season, McCown threw for 1,809 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception. He was also completing 66.8 percent of his passes. Nobody could have foreseen McCown doing so well, and it created some problems when Cutler returned back to full health.

Dec 15, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) celebrates with quarterback Josh McCown (12) after defeating the Cleveland Browns 38-31 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bears head coach Marc Trestman opted for Cutler in Chicago's Week 15 game against the Cleveland Browns. The eight-year veteran went 22-of-31 for 265 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. It was a good performance, but arguably not up to the standards McCown had previously set.   

Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports thought Trestman was vindicated for his decision to select Cutler:

Had he benched Cutler mid-game Sunday, that would have been it. No more ping-ponging. Too late in the season for that, not with the playoffs hanging in the balance.

But Trestman stuck with Cutler and was rewarded. Not with perfect play, but effective play, in the Bears' 38-31 win that was a lot closer because of the Bears' sloppiness on defense and a late score to Josh Gordon.

Although this isn't an Earth-shattering reveal from Marshall considering McCown's numbers, the timing couldn't be any worse. The Bears will want to remain a united front as they try to hold onto the NFC North lead and get into the postseason. The last thing they want right now is any hint of dissension in the ranks.

With as well as Cutler played against the Browns, it's unlikely Trestman will reverse course and name McCown the starting quarterback ahead of Chicago's Week 16 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Cutler will continue to be his guy.  

However, this is an unnecessary distraction for the Bears, and it will be interesting to see how the situation evolves and whether this spills over to the team's on-field performance.