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posted: 11/12/2013 5:35 AM

Trestman made the wrong call on Cutler

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  • Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman looks out at his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Chicago. The Lions won 21-19.

      Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman looks out at his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Chicago. The Lions won 21-19.

By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

As I have watched the Chicago Bears this season, I thought they had as good an opportunity to make the playoffs as the Detroit Lions or the Green Bay Packers.

Well that belief hit a bump in the road on Sunday.

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Now, I must admit I like head coach Marc Trestman and I think he has potential to succeed down the road with the talent here.

I also felt the Bears had finally acquired a guy who calls a darn good game, doesn't panic and isn't afraid to make the gutsy call. But what separates a head coach from an offensive coordinator is a thing called judgment. By playing Jay Cutler for almost the whole game, Trestman answered a lingering question I had been wondering about since he was hired: what took so long for him to become a head coach in the NFL?

Well, we all found out the answer when he made that misguided judgment call in the second half against the Lions to play a quarterback that was, at best, operating at 60 percent.

Cutler had an injured hand, a strained groin and a rolled ankle, the latter which happened in the second quarter.

Coach T's decision risked the season and possibly Cutler's career down the line because he didn't bring in McCown soon enough. "Big Game" Josh had a two-game winning streak and Trestman should have started him instead of Cutler, who could have used the rest to prepare for the Baltimore Ravens.

At the very least Trestman should have pulled Cutler earlier and replaced him with McCown.

Unfortunately, there is a second part to the problem. Cutler came up to Trestman and asked how he looked out there, and the glorified offensive coordinator said OK.

When Trestman finally pulled Cutler, McCown came in with a little over 2 minutes left and scored a touchdown. Trestman acted more like Cutler's agent than a guy who had the team's best interest at heart.

I don't think it's just the fans wondering about this. If you are a Bears' player, you know you let one slip away by not playing the best option at quarterback that day. It was painfully obvious to almost everyone.

You live and die with the decisions you make on a weekly basis in the National Football League, and I have to hope that Trestman learned from this experience.

But if so many of us could see there was a problem, why didn't he?

The honeymoon is over. Smarten up, Marc.

Program notes:

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• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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