Marc Trestman has been a breath of fresh air for the Chicago Bears. And the head coach's candor on his quarterback's health is equally refreshing.
Trestman determined, after watching the tape of Sunday's 21-19 Bears loss to the Detroit Lions, that he should have pulled injured starting quarterback Jay Cutler sooner than he did, according to ESPN Chicago via WBBM Radio.
Returning early from a groin injury three weeks before, Cutler also suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter that progressively worsened through the game and adversely affected his performance, especially after halftime.
Trestman pulled Cutler on the final drive of the game with backup Josh McCown, who led the Bears downfield for a touchdown, but the two-point conversion run came up short. The coach regrets not making a switch earlier.
"I went through the tape closely [Monday] morning and watched Jay's performance, and I thought he did well into the fourth quarter," Trestman told the Bears' flagship radio station. "But at the end of the day, if we had to do it all over again, maybe it would be one series before the two-minute drill [that Cutler comes out]."
Trestman praised Cutler's work in the game, including what appeared to be a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery that was overturned with 9:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. But that didn't change Trestman's change of heart the day after.
"I thought Jay made a terrific throw to Alshon in the corner of the end zone as well and made the play that he needed to make," Trestman said. "But maybe [I should have pulled Cutler] after that series.
"But looking back, at the end of the day, we scored two touchdowns in one drive and came up with nothing. We didn't have enough there, and we had [another] opportunity to score in the red zone and we had a drop. We had a fourth down on a drive that was already a 10-play drive and we just didn't make the plays when we needed to offensively. We just didn't get it done, and everybody took a turn."
Trestman gave no indication whether Cutler would be healthy enough to play in Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens.
"Really don't know," Trestman said. "We'll know more [later in the week]. We'll see how he wakes up and what kind of swelling he has in that ankle. We'll just have to see. We'll be optimistic, but the doctors and trainers will tell us what he has to do get himself well."
But credit Trestman for admitting his mistake and owning up to it when, frankly, he didn't have to. That can be rare in this league, especially when it comes to injuries and quarterbacks.
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