Bears coach John Fox was never going to announce a starting quarterback Friday, no matter how embarrassing the loss to the Packers was the night before. To do so would give a perceived edge to the Bears’ next opponent, the Vikings, or, in Fox’s mind, any other onlookers who might exploit a rare moment of coach candor.
So it was no surprise when Fox didn’t declare rookie Mitch Trubisky the starter, though it was telling that, for the first time, Fox didn’t declare Mike Glennon his choice, either.
“I’m not really trying to be clear,” Fox said. “Actually, probably, quite the opposite.”
It seems only a matter of time before the Bears turn, officially, to Trubisky, and the Bears have plenty of time — there’s an 11-day gap between Thursday’s 35-14 disaster and their Oct. 9 home game against the Vikings on “Monday Night Football.”
Bears players were given this weekend off.
“We’re looking at everything,” Fox said. “And we’re not in big rush to do anything about it. We don’t have a game until next Monday night.”
The Bears had hoped that Glennon, to whom they guaranteed $18.5 million in March, could start all season, allowing Trubisky to sit and learn. But Glennon has struggled mightily. He has completed 93 of 140 passes for 833 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions, failing to improve markedly since the start of training camp. After four starts, the Bears can no longer attribute his mistakes to rust.
Meanwhile, Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, has progressed faster than they expected. He was named the No. 2 starter entering the season, with veteran Mark Sanchez as the sage third-stringer. If Trubisky was deemed ready to be the backup, Fox was asked, is it any different than being prepared to start?
“Until that happens, you don’t really know,” Fox said. “I don’t think you know, and I don’t even know. Regardless, it’s who you draft, who you sign to a free-agent contract. I think that kind of tells what you think. Now, you still have got to execute.”
Per usual, Fox refused to blame one particular player for the team’s struggles. Glennon’s turnovers, he declared, were the result of 11 men on offense not doing their jobs well enough.
Tight end Zach Miller called Glennon “more than capable of leading our football team and getting wins,” but he said he understands the outcry for change.
“If we don’t turn it over early, we’re not sitting here talking about all the things that we’re doing with that position,” Miller said.
Fox claimed Glennon’s contract hasn’t played a role in his playing time, and he said he wasn’t worried his quarterback controversy would splinter the locker room. General manager Ryan Pace also has a say in when Trubisky plays — “We talk about personnel all the time,” Fox said — but Fox wouldn’t elaborate on how the two separate Trubisky’s readiness from Glennon’s struggles.
“You evaluate it as you can,” he said. “At the end of the day, you try to field the best team you have available that gives you the best chance to win. Unfortunately, after four games, we’re 1-3, and we’re going to have to adjust and change to keep that going. We’ve got to do more, do better.”
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