The Bears have two quarterbacks who, if combined, might give you a decent NFL helmsman.
As it is, the respective flaws of starter Nick Foles and backup Mitch Trubisky make each of them lacking enough to see how an early 5-1 record could devolve into a 9-7 or — dare we say it? — 8-8 final mark. With no playoff berth.
The Bears’ anemic offensive line and their lack of a truly great running back, receiver or tight end makes either quarterback the equivalent of a clay pigeon at a shotgun party.
So be it.
No quarterback is guaranteed the Dolphins’ offensive line of the early 1970s, the one that allowed a not-so-great Bob Griese to keep his uniform clean, win two Super Bowls and get voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Nor can they count on having Emmitt Smith in the backfield, Jerry Rice as a receiver or, oh, Mike Ditka at tight end.
As the saying goes, ‘‘Dance with the one who brung you.’’
And general manager Ryan Pace brung this group — for better and mostly worse.
So why don’t the Bears recognize their quarterback weaknesses and use Foles and Trubisky in the same game?
By that, I don’t mean replacing one exclusively with the other. I mean substituting each in various situations, depending on down, distance, score, time and feel.
Drew Brees is a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback still playing well at 41. Yet the Saints yank him at key moments for 30-year-old Taysom Hill, who can do things Brees can’t, such as run and catch.
Maybe you watched Hill run out of the wildcat formation in the Saints’ 26-23 victory Sunday against the Bears. The guy is a 6-2, 221-pound load with terrific athletic skills.
Yes, he’s a quarterback. As a senior at Brigham Young in 2016, he completed 222 of 372 passes for 2,323 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a pro, however, he only has thrown 16 passes, none for touchdowns.
Yet he has rushed 83 times for a 5.3-yard average, 32 first downs and four touchdowns. Plus, he has caught 27 passes for 17 first downs and seven touchdowns.
You think that doesn’t screw up defenses when he suddenly appears? The defense has to change its brain waves entirely because, remember, he could pass.
The point is, Foles alone is not going to get you to the promised land. He’s not agile, fast or extremely gifted as a passer. He’s OK — barely.
Yet Trubisky, cemented on the bench, has what Foles lacks and is almost a Hill clone. He’s 6-2 and 215 pounds, and he’s swift and athletic.
He can run. I’m guessing he can catch. And, if needed, he can throw the ball. Just because he might miss a receiver 30 yards downfield doesn’t mean he can’t toss it to somebody wide-open at the goal line or just past the first-down marker.
If there’s a problem, it’s that NFL offensive coordinators have a herd mentality. Whatever the trend is, that’s what you’ll see. That’s why most offenses look the same. A random variation here or there is about it. Indeed, switch the uniforms in most games, and you wouldn’t know which teams are playing.
‘‘Some people think these offenses are exactly the same,’’ Bears coach and play-caller Matt Nagy said. ‘‘And that couldn’t be further from the truth.’’
He was speaking specifically of Andy Reid’s scheme with the Chiefs and the Bears’ current scheme because Nagy once worked under Reid. But the parallel might be with all 32 teams in the league. And Nagy is wrong.
Nobody is saying there’s something obvious, wildly innovative and game-changing out there, such as the T-formation or the run-and-shoot. But the Saints prove the wildcat formation isn’t a dead concept.
And if a coach is a ‘‘genius,’’ as so many X’s-and-O’s guys are called with amazing regularity by their football brethren, why can’t anybody come up with something really, really new? I mean, if Thomas Edison were a football-coach type of ‘‘genius,’’ he still would be trying to figure out how to plug in his lamp.
The Bears have two not-very-complete quarterbacks — both good troopers, willing help each other — who could be molded into something approximating one man with a couple of dimensions.
What’s the downside to the multi-use experiment? I don’t know, maybe the Bears would lose some games.
Like that’s not going to happen anyway?