We have five weeks (perhaps less) to determine whether this year's defensive sins cost the Bears a spot at the playoffs in Marc Trestman's rookie year as head coach.

General manager Phil Emery, to this point, has not been afraid to make hard decisions (see Smith, Lovie...and Urlacher, Brian last off-season). There seems to be no question that his decision-making on the defensive side this offseason will be as crucial as the Trestman hire and his decisions offensively this past spring. So how does he prevent his most important hire (Trestman) from becoming a repeat of Smith's fate, who was fired for the exact opposite reason? Emery's fate could also be judged in that aftermath.

If this Bears offense continues to completely roll to the finish line, but the team fails to make the playoffs because of defensive deficiencies, Emery has to wear part of that. But his trust in squeezing another year or two of amazing health from some veteran, Pro Bowl-caliber defenders -- and have it backfiring -- could have a significant effect in how he proceeds with the most important position on the team.

Jay Cutler has done absolutely nothing wrong in performing under Trestman, "buying in" and earning a big payday, be it through a long-term contract or franchise tag. Trestman, Emery and company have praised Cutler for what he's done (Emery going so far as to call Cutler a "franchise-type" quarterback).

They may not change their stance and verbiage from that. But let's keep in mind they may also come to the decision that, if McCown continues executing from here until Cutler takes over again, they might not need a "franchise-type" quarterback to eat up $15-20 million of their salary cap if a major overhaul of the defense is needed to make this team a consistent NFC North factor and Super Bowl contender.