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Friday, December 26, 2014

Is playing Cutler the last week the right choice?

Prior to the week 16 game versus the Detroit Lions, it was announced Jay Cutler would be benched for the remainder of the season.  After the concussion suffered by backup Jimmy Clausen, the team announced the return of Jay Cutler as the starter.  Was this the right choice?

I guess the answer depends. It depends on what your ultimate goal is.  If you want to put your team in the best possible chance to close out the season with a win, you play Smokin Jay.  He is physically the most talented QB on the roster.  He has also received about 90% of the practice reps for the whole season.  Not to mention, he shredded the Vikings D for 330 yards and 3 TDs in week 11.

But if you want to think more long term, the right answer is starting 6th round pick rookie David Fales as QB.  Let's weigh the pros and cons here.
-Talent-wise, he was fairly highly regarded coming out of college.  His height is what dropped him down the boards.
-If you're Phil Emery and you want to save your job, you show you can develop a QB.
-If you're Marc Trestman, if you ever want to work in the NFL again, you show that it was Jay's fault for the offensive implosion.
-If you're ownership and Fales plays well, you have some options with trading Jay in the off season.
-If you win the game, you hurt your draft position.  It sounds like a defeatist attitude to have, but being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and with a much more shallow draft than last season, position counts this season.

Although it's not often that a 6th rounder steps up and performs well as a starting NFL QB, but it has happened.  More likely, we'll see an over-matched and bewildered youngster.  But this team is about to turn to a new leadership direction.  I think whoever is hired as new management would love to see what they have in David Fales...because everyone, good or bad, knows what they have with Jay.