When Ryan Pace released Jay Cutler this offseason, the Bears decided to chart a new direction for their franchise and it was the right decision. Cutler was still a quality quarterback, but it was time for a change. It was time for Pace to put his stamp on the franchise.
That Cutler decision led to one of the most eventful, talked about off-seasons in the NFL. Pace brought in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon on a 3 year/$45 million contract, which is essentially a 1-year deal because only $18 million of that is guaranteed.
For some, that seemed to indicate that Pace was done addressing the QB position. For others, the Glennon signing was seen as merely a bridge to someone else.
Then a few months later, Pace shocked the NFL World with his trade-up and selection of Mitchell Trubisky with the #2 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Glennon was never the long term answer. He was a bridge and a cushion to protect the franchise investment that Pace had been planning for all along.
There were some whispers in OTA’s that Trubisky was improving significantly every day and Glennon was struggling. Despite the Bears brass’ conviction that Glennon was the starter, that seemed more like lip service to relieve pressure from Trubisky and follow through on their promise to let Glennon try to win the job.
But as Training Camp wore on, it was apparent that despite Trubisky outperforming Glennon in practice and preseason games, Glennon was going to be given every opportunity to win the starting job and that is exactly what happened.
Glennon’s scripted touchdown drive against Tennessee in the 3rd preseason game all but cemented his position as the starter, which is an interesting scenario for John Fox.
Fox is on the hot seat this season and needs a big year to keep his job. Before camp, Glennon was thought to be the safe, obvious choice. The quarterback that Fox could lean on because of his leadership and experience, but those variables changed quickly after Glennon’s poor performances and Trubisky’s flashes.
There is an argument that Trubisky isn’t ready to play. That he needs more time to learn and go through weeks of game planning before he’s thrown into the fire. That’s he needs to get more comfortable with pre-snap reads and diagnosing defenses.
But from what we’ve seen of both players, wouldn’t Trubisky give Fox the best chance to win? A young player who will make mistakes, but has a bigger ceiling and brings more dynamics to the offense?
It was telling to see Trubisky named as the #2 quarterback for the season opener against Atlanta, and that suggests Trubisky is more ready than let on. Glennon has a short leash and the Bears coaching staff are ready to play Trubisky if Glennon’s play is poor or an injury occurs.
This raises a big question. If Trubisky outplayed Glennon in the preseason and they are comfortable enough to have Trubisky as the #2 quarterback on Sunday, why not just name him the starter?
Are the Bears more concerned about keeping their promise to Glennon or winning games and competing? Trubisky will get his shot this season, but there is an intriguing plot line here.
Did they handle the quarterback situation correctly? Because the best player isn’t starting on Sunday and if Glennon doesn’t perform, Trubisky’s time will come much sooner than later.