Judging by the lengths Bears general manager Ryan Pace went to keep his interest in quarterback Mitch Trubisky under wraps before the draft, it’s clear he thinks furtiveness is next to godliness. I don’t want to say the guy is secretive, but if you asked him about the Bears’ chances in 2017, he’d say, ‘‘Bears? I’m not familiar with that term.’’
For his sanity and for the long-term well-being of Trubisky, his first-round pick, Pace also might want to start practicing Soviet-era censorship.
The Bears tweeted a cool video of Trubisky throwing a football through a hanging car tire last weekend. The video, shot by @paniniamerica, is all over the Internet now. Any way of purging that? Lesser accomplishments have led NFL fans to scream for a rookie to start at quarterback. Like walking upright. Or breathing.
There’s going to be some sort of public push to get Trubisky on the field in 2017, especially if Mike Glennon struggles. The nicest thing you can say about Glennon is that circumstances during his career have led to a lot of sideline time. The worst thing you can say is, ‘‘Who?’’
And that’s the problem. Most everyone in Chicago now knows who Trubisky is, and the only thing more enticing than a backup first-round rookie quarterback to a football fan is . . . well, besides beer, I can’t think of anything.
The wise thing to do is to let Trubisky learn as a participant in practice and as a bystander on Sundays. There is very little benefit to having him play in what figures to be another bad Bears season. If he does play, there’s a chance he’ll end up a hollow, babbling shell of a human being.
The Bears should repeat their intention not to play him this season at every turn — at organized team activities, which started Monday, at training camp and throughout the season. ‘‘He’s not playing’’ should be coach John Fox’s daily mantra to reporters, along with ‘‘It is what it is’’ and ‘‘I don’t know anything about a shin injury.’’
Even though the Bears showed tremendous confidence in Trubisky by taking him with the second overall pick, it’s important to remember there are still plenty of questions about his ability to be a good quarter- back. Even if the Bears saw a bigger and better future for him than most other teams did, everything about this situation says the kid should spend a season developing. One season as a college starter? There is no downside to letting him be a student for a year in the pros.
WGN-TV ran video Sunday of Trubisky being interviewed at the same NFL Players Association rookie event that featured his highlight car-tire throw. He was asked about what he brings as a player, and suffice it to say there’s not a big enough table to hold all the things he says he can do on a football field. Arm strength. Accuracy. Playmaking ability. Leadership. He’s got it all, he says.
Hey, Mitch: Shhhhhhhhh.
The Bears love Trubisky’s confidence. It’s one of the many things that drew them to him. But if they’re trying to tamp down talk of him seeing the field in 2017, they probably should tell him to draw the line at saying he can cure cancer.
Trubisky’s enthusiasm is understandable. He’s 22, he’s excited about the future and he never has experienced this kind of attention before. He probably is saying the same things he said in predraft interviews with NFL teams, who like to hear boldness and belief from young quarterbacks.
But if I were Pace and Fox, I’d tell him to stress publicly that he has a lot to learn.
The Bears have to remain strong here. They’ll need to resist every urge to play Trubisky, and they’re going to have to ignore the people outside Halas Hall who will beg for him to put on a helmet and start barking out signals. If Glennon gets hurt, they’re going to have to be strong enough to put Mark Sanchez in the lineup.
I know: Mark Sanchez!
Even if Trubisky completes pass after pass in practice, Bears coaches should take the longer view. If feelings persist that Trubisky is good enough to be a starter in his rookie season, Pace should call for an intervention.
The kid needs a redshirt year. Give him a season to learn and develop. And take down any hanging tires at Halas Hall.
Follow me on Twitter @MorrisseyCST.