- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett reiterated the team’s confidence in Josh McCown's ability to successfully fill in for Jay Cutler on Monday night against the Green Bay Packers, and compared the quarterbacks to cereal.
In relaying that both Cutler and McCown are capable of moving the offense efficiently, Bennett said, “It’s just like eating Cheerios and having Corn Flakes. They’re pretty much the same.”
“They both get the job done,” he added. “You’ve got to add sugar to both though.”
Bennett explained the sugar “and the flavor of the offense” is the supporting cast of weapons, which include the tight end, receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and running back Matt Forte. Bears coach Marc Trestman made it clear Monday the team doesn’t plan to scale back the playbook or become more reliant on specific players to compensate for the loss of Cutler because of his faith in the McCown’s experience as a starter, not to mention his performance in a little more than a half of action on Oct. 20 at Washington.
Besides, Trestman wouldn’t any more of McCown than he does of Cutler.
“We don’t expect anybody to put the weight of our football team on their shoulders,” Trestman said. “We’ve got plenty of guys to do that. We don’t ask Jay to do it. We’re not going to ask Josh to carry the weight of the offense on his shoulders. We’ve got good players at skill-level positions and Jay said it: we’ve got a line that is evolving and getting better, and we feel confident we should be able to go out and move the football. We think we can do that with Josh. We think we’ve got the players to do it.”
Obviously, Forte would be a sensible choice to take on a more hefty workload with Cutler out of commission for Monday night’s game, but he echoed Trestman’s sentiments that the coaching staff isn’t asking any of the players to do more than usual.
“No extra load; none at all,” Forte said. “Everybody on offense has a load on their shoulders to continue to try to get better because we haven’t played to our ability, and we’ve lost a couple games. There’s no extra load put on us. We do have to step up.”
McCown included, and the Bears don’t plan on scaling back the playbook for the backup quarterback, who has proven more than capable of handling the full breadth of Trestman’s system. With virtually no prep time going into the game at Washington, McCown entered the game during Chicago’s third possession of the first half, and finished with a passer rating of 119.6, in addition to completing 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
“When we talk about putting our offense together, putting the game plan together, we’re not saying we have to minimize this or that because Josh doesn’t have that skill set, or we can do more because Josh has that skill set,” Trestman said. “We think we have a guy that can function as he did a week ago in the framework of the offense that we have.”
As for Bennett, the hope for the Cheerios or Cornflakes -- the tight end didn’t identify which quarterback was which brand of cereal -- is "they don’t get soggy.” Similar to the way Bennett conducts business with Cutler, he’s already campaigning to become what he called McCown’s “BFF” (best friend forever) in a bid for more passes thrown his way.
“I was joking with the guys because I was like, ‘Hey Josh, want to go to dinner this week?’ I was like, ‘Cutty’s not my BFF for a couple of weeks. So I’m going to make friends and Josh is my new BFF,’” Bennett said, laughing. “I’ll invite him to the house, see if he wants to play some video games, hang out, things like that. I’ve got a new BFF for a couple weeks.”