Exactly one year after Mike Glennon insisted that “this is my year” and “this is my team,” Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky addressed reporters at the same spot at Halas Hall and made no such pronouncements Wednesday. He didn’t have to.
We know this is his year. And we know this is his team.
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“I’m very comfortable,’’ Trubisky said after the Bears’ fifth OTA practice. ‘‘I love the position I’m in and the leadership role I have, to know the guys are looking at me. I come out every day and bring the energy and make sure I’m taking care of my business so that everyone else’s job is easier around them, too.
“That’s what I’m trying to do, and I love the responsibility. I’m very excited for the continuous opportunities to move forward and move this team.”
The anniversary of Glennon’s “this is my year” news conference and Trubisky’s first media availability since the OTA portion of the offseason program began last week served as a mini-watershed moment that illustrated just how far the Bears have come in the last year — even though they’ve proved nothing on the field since going 5-11 last year.
Despite all the best intentions — with everybody on board, everybody saying the right things and everybody working in concert in the quarterback room — the Bears’ quarterback situation couldn’t have been much more awkward, starting with Glennon getting blindsided at the team’s draft party at Soldier Field when general manager Ryan Pace selected Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick.
Almost from the first training-camp practice in pads in Bourbonnais, Trubisky looked like the team’s best quarterback. But he was stuck with third-team reps while Glennon looked like an unproven quarterback learning the ropes in an average-at-best NFL offense.
At no point did Glennon look like the starting quarterback, but the Bears persisted. And the preseason campaign to paint Glennon as a great leader in lieu of any substantive evidence emerged as more and more of a red flag.
Glennon was a nice guy and a great teammate but ultimately not a starting quarterback and not a leader who would elevate the play of those around him. He lasted four starts.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, and you can see a much more realistic and workable quarterback situation.
Trubisky has plenty to prove after going 4-8 with a 77.5 passer rating in 12 starts in his rookie season. But he has room for significant growth rooted in two simple truths: This is his year, and he is the leader of this team.
From defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to cornerback Prince Amukamara to guard Kyle Long and newcomers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, the belief in Trubisky among his teammates and coaches is palpable. Though we don’t know him well, Trubisky appears humble enough to know he has a lot to learn but edgy enough to expect and command his teammates to Do . . . Their . . . Job — without losing their respect. And that respect in turn makes Trubisky stronger.
“I feel like it’s growing and growing every day, and nothing gives me more confidence than when my teammates believe in me — the offensive guys and the defensive guys, as well,” Trubisky said. “When you have teammates that believe in you and know you can get the job done, that gives you a lot of confidence to be yourself and lead the way you know how.”
There’s still a long, long way to go in the process. But against the backdrop of the Glennon-Trubisky experience, the Bears are in better shape today. Who knows where they’re headed, but there’s no doubt that Trubisky will lead them there.