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Marc Trestman: Jay Cutler is Chicago Bears' No. 1 QB

After another sterling performance in Monday night's victory, Josh McCown left Chicago Bears fans wondering if Jay Cutler will ever start another game in the Windy City.

Coach Marc Trestman did his best to quell any talk of a quarterback controversy, however, assuring reporters after the game that McCown will remain the backup when Cutler is cleared for action.

"There's no change in the plan," Trestman said. "We will see where Jay is this week. He'll have to be released by the doctors. When Jay says he is ready to play, he'll be playing."

McCown's seven consecutive games with a passer rating over 90.0 has allowed Chicago's coaches and its medical staff the luxury of waiting until Cutler's ankle is close to full health.

"We're taking this very methodically," Trestman added. "The doctors understand that. And when (Cutler is) good to go and can have a full week of practice, he'll be our quarterback."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday the Bears are "hopeful" they will have Cutler back in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns.

Although McCown has played better in the past two months than Cutler has during any stretch of his eight-year career, the latter retains the support of his No. 1 receiver.

"Jay's our guy. Jay's our guy," wide receiver Brandon Marshall said on "ESPN Monday Night Football Postgame." "Before the injury, he was playing his best ball ever ... Yes, Josh is doing well. You have to give him credit -- he's playing lights out -- one of the best quarterbacks playing right now.

"But Jay Cutler, he's a special guy. There are some things he can do that other quarterbacks can't. That's the physical part. But I put Jay Cutler in any room in the NFL, and he's the smartest guy in the room. So he brings a lot to the table."

It's a good bet that McCown has support from some corners of the locker room, but he has consistently echoed the sentiments of Trestman and Marshall that the starting job is Cutler's.

Both quarterbacks have played at a high level with a cache of skill-position talent in Trestman's system. If the Bears stumble over the final three games, it likely will be the fault of the 28th-ranked defense -- not the second-ranked offense.

*The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped all the Week 14 games. *

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