Marc Trestman: Cutler is 'our quarterback' when he's healthy

The Bears have a good problem on their hands right now. Their backup quarterback has morphed into a starting-quality player as Josh McCown keeps defying the odds.

But the Bears aren't interested in dipping their toes in controversy. Everyone's repeating the same message: if Jay Cutler is healthy, he's the starting quarterback.

"There's no change in the plan," Marc Trestman said Monday night after the Bears throttled the Cowboys 45-28. "When Jay is ready to play, he'll be playing."

McCown's been the best of anyone about harping that tune throughout the process of stepping in and out-playing Cutler. Despite repeated impressive performances -- the latest a four-touchdown, 364-yard game on Monday night -- McCown's maintained he's "the backup."

"The team knows who the starting quarterback is, and like I said before, I know my job as the backup," McCown said. "I want to play efficient football, winning football and keep us in contention while the starter is not healthy. As long as Jay is healthy and ready to go I don't think there's any question. I just want to do my part so we'll see what happens moving forward."

Star wideout Brandon Marshall was clear too, not flinching on Monday when asked what the Bears would do as their quarterback.

"Jay's our guy," Marshall said.

Marshall's got ties with Cutler going back a long way but he also believes Cutler can do things other quarterbacks can't.

"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," Marshall said. "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."

The big question for Cutler is can he get healthy. For all we know he might not be able to get back on the field in the next three weeks. If he can't and McCown manages to lead the Bears into the playoffs then you've got a real controversy brewing.

For now, the company line remains pretty standard.

"When [Cutler] is good to go and can have a full week of practice, he'll be our quarterback," Trestman said.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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