Bears have a leader in Mike Glennon, but do they have a quarterback?
BOURBONNAIS — The Bears’ offense was out of sync in practice Monday at Olivet Nazarene when starting quarterback Mike Glennon took charge. He pulled the offensive players to the side and implored them to get their act together before practice resumed. It’s not like the offense suddenly became a well-oiled machine — Glennon had one snap go over his head and bobbled another. But he was satisfied with the response.
“I just felt like we weren’t off to a good start coming off an off day,” Glennon said. ‘‘Sometimes it takes a little while to get going, and I just thought it’d be a good idea to get everyone together and pick up that energy because we weren’t really good the first period. I thought we responded well.”
About all we know for sure about Glennon in his first training camp with the Bears is that he’s in charge. At first it seemed like an overcompensation to mute speculation surrounding the awkward dynamic of an unproven veteran in the same camp as the quarterback of the future, No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky. And it might turn out that it was.
But for now, before the Bears’ preseason opener Thursday against the Broncos at Soldier Field, all we have to go on is that Glennon is leading the way, and everybody is following.
Where to, we just don’t know. But this team believes in Glennon. His leadership has become the default response from almost anyone you talk to here, like Jay Cutler’s “cannon for an arm.”
“Just seeing a leader,” rookie tight end Adam Shaheen said after practice when asked about Glennon. “He’s a big-time leader. That’s what you want from a quarterback, and he has definitely shown that.”
“I think he stepped in and proved he can be a leader of our football team,” tight end Zach Miller said. “Make the correct decisions, make all the throws. He’s like 6-9 [6-7 actually], so he can see all the throws he needs to make. And he can move a little bit, too. He can get outside, throw outside of the pocket, so he’ll be good for us.”
Leadership often is innate, but it resonates best when the guy in charge has a résumé. You come in with a ring or two, or a history of playoff success, and getting teammates to follow should be pretty easy. But Glennon is 5-13 in 18 NFL starts. He hasn’t started a game since the middle of the 2014 season.
Miller, a quarterback at Nebraska-Omaha, said the team doesn’t look at it that way.
“That’s our quarterback, a lot of that [leadership] comes with that position,” Miller said. “It’s probably one of the highest natural-leadership positions in all of sports. And he does it well. It’s one of those things where he started to play and he takes over our football team, and it’s natural for him. He’s our guy now. He’s in those shoes. He’s filling them well, and we just have to roll with it.”
Glennon was miffed when Trubisky was drafted, but he appears over it now. He looks and sounds comfortable with the offense and confident in his position. It might be nice if the Bears had given Trubisky a chance to show he’s more prepared than they think. But establishing Glennon as the starting quarterback seems like a prudent move.
“When you’re the [starting] quarterback . . . guys have a different respect for it than when you’re the backup,” Glennon said. “So I knew that was going to be the case coming in, and I’m glad guys have responded well to me.”
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