Bears have quarterback storm brewing
Have we reached Bears quarterback fatigue yet?
Doubtful because, as we all know, the Bears’ starting quarterback is THE MOST IMPORTANT HUMAN ON EARTH at any given moment.
When the Bears traded up to No. 2 in the NFL draft and picked young quarterback Mitch Trubisky, it semi-blew every Bears fan’s mind.
After just signing apparent starter Mike Glennon and apparent backup Mark Sanchez? What was general manager Ryan Pace thinking?
Could the Bears put together a team of nothing but quarterbacks, setting them free at every position, like monkeys climbing over the controls of a spaceship?
Pace defended his reasoning in an interview with ESPN Radio: ‘‘You’re never going to be great in this league if you don’t have this position right.’’
Fair enough. If loading up on quarterbacks is how you find your eventual star, then well-done.
But the Bears gave up a ton to get Trubisky, who has started all of 13 college games. And they let a bunch of solid defenders pass by later, as Pace picked offensive players from colleges so far off the beaten path that they remind one of serial Bates Motels on a backwater highway.
So what we’ve got is a delicate quarterback situation involving conflicting egos, talent, experience, desires, patience, emotions and rivalries.
Indeed, does it matter that Glennon is from North Carolina State and Trubisky is from North Carolina? Do those two schools hate each other? Do the Tar Heels get along with the Wolfpack?
What will coach John Fox do when Glennon throws a pick, fumbles or gets clocked, and the Soldier Field crowd chants, ‘‘Tru-BIS-ky! Tru-BIS-ky!’’?
No player likes having uncertainty hang over his shoulder, nor does any player want to go into a game and be overwhelmed because he’s too fresh and unprepared.
A quick story here: When I was a lad, my father took me to my first Bears game at Wrigley Field. I think it was 1964, and I know the Bears were playing the Cowboys because Hall of Famer-to-be Tommy McDonald wore no facemask, and that fascinated me.
Bill Wade was the Bears’ starting quarterback, and he was inept. Shortly into the game, the crowd began chanting, ‘‘We want Rudy! We want Rudy!’’ That was for backup Rudy Bukich, who was in his second stint with the Bears.
Of course, I didn’t know that. So I asked my dad what was going on, what all the noise was about.
‘‘The fans want the other quarterback, Rudy Bukich,’’ he said.
That’s when I learned the most popular player in a tough situation is always the quarterback who’s not playing.
The Bears lost 24-10, and I think Bukich came in and was no better than Wade.
A repeat of that 5-9 season isn’t what the current Bears need, especially if it is 5-11.
So what I see brewing here is a commingling of forces as before a tornado — pressure systems colliding, wind swirling in what might be called the Cutler vacuum.
You see, for eight seasons, fans have had the vacant-eyed Jay Cutler to loathe and blame for almost anything that wasn’t laid at the feet of the fumbling McCaskeys.
Then Cutler finally was sent packing, and everyone rejoiced. But now the storm is brewing because there is nobody specific left to hate.
It’s like mobster Tony Montana in ‘‘Scarface,’’ drunkenly telling horrified diners: ‘‘You need people like me so you can . . . say, ‘That’s the bad guy!’ ’’
Who will be the bad guy for the Bears in 2017 if they spiral downward? Glennon? Trubisky? Pace? Fox?
According to analysis by the website FiveThirtyEight, there were no quarterbacks in this draft — including my favorite, Deshaun Watson — worthy of being considered franchise-savers.
As website author Benjamin Morris noted, ESPN scouts gave Trubisky, Watson and Patrick Mahomes grades of 89, 88 and 85, respectively. In the last eight years, six quarterbacks with grades lower than 90 have been selected in the first round.
‘‘[And] it isn’t pretty,’’ Morris wrote. ‘‘Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, Brandon Weeden, Tim Tebow and Teddy Bridgewater did not play in 2016 (whether on account of poor play or injury), while E.J. Manuel had 131 yards passing (for the season) as a backup in Buffalo.’’
This quarterback thing might work out for the Bears, but methinks somebody’s going to get booed lustily.
Clear your throats, folks.
Follow me on Twitter @ricktelander.