Bears fans might believe that debate should have been waged, and that hot quarterback Josh McCown should have kept the job given a playoff spot is on the line. However, at least one Browns player believes Chicago made the correct call.
"No disrespect to (backup) Josh McCown, but Jay Cutler is a different monster, and we're definitely going to be prepared for him,'' Browns safety Tashaun Gipson said, per The Plain Dealer. "Anytime you're dealing with who I perceive is one of the more elite quarterbacks in this game -- Cutler, he's arguably a top-10 quarterback in this game -- I think that amplifies the situation.''
The decision is a pivotal one for both Cutler and Bears coach Marc Trestman. If the quarterback struggles -- as he did in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions when he came back from a groin injury -- the coach will take a lot of heat. Cutler's talents are superior to McCown's, but aside from a couple of stalled drives in Minnesota, there is little that McCown didn't do right as the starter.
Cleveland, for its part, expects Cutler to come out slinging the pigskin.
"Cutler's definitely going to put some balls up for us to make chances, so I'm definitely excited that Cutler's playing,'' said Gipson.