Noise reaches all-time loud for Cutler, Bears
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Like it or not, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will be around for a while because coach Marc Trestman decided early on that Cutler is a player with whom he can win.
There have probably been discussions as wacky and polarizing as the Jay Cutler conversation of the last few weeks.
It's just not easy to think of one at the moment -- while swimming in emails, tweets, texts, calls and posts of one form or another.
Perspective is hard to find on most days for most people on most subjects, let alone injecting the passion of Bears fans into the position of quarterback.
There is probably nothing that matches it on the Chicago sports scene.
If you think back five seasons, the adoration for Cutler was stunning, sight unseen, since most people had never seen him before he arrived in Chicago.
He was given a hero's welcome and title of savior, when mostly what he'd done in Denver was throw it skyward for Brandon Marshall, have difficulty getting along with teammates, and develop an inflated opinion of his ability while amassing a career win-loss record of 17-20.
Cutler was so insulted that Josh McDaniels would consider finding another QB upon his arrival in Denver that Cutler threw an infantile fit. Rather than accept the challenge of proving McDaniels wrong, Cutler forced a trade out of town.
Since he got here, Cutler has done little to improve his mechanics, image as a teammate and demeanor, or really anything about his personality or his game -- until Marc Trestman got here.
There have been times this season that Cutler has looked the part, both on the field and in the locker room, and Trestman decided early on that Cutler is a player with whom he can win.
The odd part is so many of the original Cutler cheerleaders have abandoned the anointed and chosen instead a career backup who was out of the league two years ago, will be 35 in July and isn't even sure he wants to keep playing pro football while his kids are home and growing up fast.
Cutler is easy to dislike, and he's not been an elite quarterback for long stretches, even though he has elite skills. But this isn't about emotion. This is about winning, and Trestman knows quarterbacks better than just about anyone in the game, and certainly better than anyone who's worked for the local football team.
The real question is whether Trestman and Phil Emery believe that re-signing Cutler gets them to a Super Bowl faster than if they start over with a player from the draft or someone they can find in free agency.
A year from now, once they've begun to fix the defense through the draft and free agency, will they be closer to the NFC title with Cutler in his second year in this -- yet another -- new offense, with the same coaches and weapons, or with a different QB that Trestman will have to teach from anew?
Obviously, Trestman has chosen Cutler over the alternative. It's not because Trestman thinks Cutler is John Elway. It's because he knows Cutler has the physical ability and the football IQ to make it work.
It doesn't mean he thinks Cutler's perfect or that he's a wonderful human being. Trestman was brought here to build an offense, determine if Cutler was good enough, and get the Bears to the Super Bowl with a 21st-century scheme.
It's possible Emery will disagree with his coach, and the Bears may ultimately go a different direction, but, considering the speed with which the Bears have flipped their franchise from defense-oriented to offense-first, that would be a bit of a surprise.
Trestman has nearly a year invested in Cutler, and his knowledge of him isn't going to change over the next four quarters, or maybe eight.
While some have staked the futures of Cutler, Trestman, the Bears and Western civilization to this final game of the 2013 season, it isn't likely to change anything about Trestman's opinion of his quarterback.
He knows what he knows, and a loss this week, or a win this week and a loss next week -- or even 2 more victories -- probably only determines how much money Cutler is going to receive.
Trestman has his guy, and unless Phil Emery says different, Cutler's going to continue to be Trestman's guy.
The Green Bay game may change minds or cement opinions in the minds of fans and media, but the Bears can't afford to be that impractical or shortsighted.
The plan is bigger than that. The plan is to win it all.
•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.
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