Quarterback Mike Glennon wasn’t thrilled that the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky.
Coach John Fox didn’t expect him to be. Fox knows all players are “not really excited” when their team drafts someone who plays their position — much less trades up to take one second overall.
“And you allow them that,” Fox said Saturday. “I think that’s something that you do, and you do talk that through. But they get over it. And then they start competing.
“It’s Mike’s team. He’s the starter. I think he feels really good about that at this point.”
Fox prides himself on running a drama-free ship. He constantly praised his team’s chemistry last season despite a 3-13 free fall.
His biggest responsibilities next season, then, will be to manage the relationship and reps of his current and soon-to-be starters.
The latter should be easy enough; the Bears pride themselves, he said, on distributing practice snaps more than many other teams do. That’s critical, given that Glennon hasn’t started a game since 2014 and Trubisky only started 13 college games.
The dynamic, though, will be more delicate.
The backup quarterback is the most popular player in every city — even more so if he’s a draftee. What happens when Glennon makes a mistake and fans chant for the No. 2 overall pick?
“I like a lot of things about Mike Glennon,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “But one of the things I really like is the inner confidence that he has. He’s a confident guy. He believes in himself, and he should because he’s a good player. I’m glad Mike’s here.
“Mike’s our starting quarterback, as I’ve stated. I think any quarterback just has to be able to brush off adversity and fight through, and that’s what Mike will do. I think we’ll handle that well.”
Fox praised Trubisky’s demeanor, leadership skills and physical tools, saying, “He upgrades us at quarterback.”
Until Thursday, Fox never had been the head coach of a team that drafted a quarterback in the first round. He said he has had friends manage a draftee considered the face of the franchise. Curiously, he named Jeff Fisher, who was fired midseason last year after the Rams drafted Jared Goff first.
“So is it going to be easy?” he said. “No, none of this stuff is easy. But we’ll find a way.”
Fox and his staff could join Fisher if the Bears don’t show marked improvement. Fox probably would have benefitted more from a player — or, given that the Bears traded four picks to move up for Trubisky, players — to start for his defense.
Fox tried to sell the Trubisky move as a good long-term proposition and, in the short term, a depth play. He cited the Texans and Chiefs, who traded up for first-round quarterbacks who might not be starters Week 1.
“We’re trying to build depth and build a better football team,” he said.
The Bears want Trubisky to watch and learn this year. In that sense, he’s not a depth piece at all.
Long-term, though, they hope he’s so much more.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.
Draft matters: Bears GM Ryan Pace won’t be deterred by criticism
Kyle Fuller on the bubble after Bears decline fifth-year option