Bad debut won’t deter Mike Glennon, but Mitch Trubisky is coming

The cheers for backup quarterback Mark Sanchez said more than any play.

Mike Glennon — the Bears’ new starting quarterback who will make $16 million this season — was simply that bad in his Bears debut Thursday night against the Broncos.

Glennon’s woes began with the pick-six he threw on his second pass and concluded with his 0.0 passer rating after running the Bears’ offense for four possessions.

Repeat: Zero. Point. Zero.

Bears QB Mike Glennon in the preseason. (AP)

According to Pro Football Reference’s passer-rating calculator, Glennon literally could have attempted one throw and failed to complete it, and he would’ve had a better passer rating of 39.6.

That’s why fans applauded when Sanchez entered the game in the second quarter. Mr. Butt Fumble himself became more popular than Glennon.

“I’m definitely eager to get out to Arizona and play there [in the Bears’ second preseason game],” Glennon said after the Broncos’ 24-17 victory at Soldier Field. “Obviously, [it’s] not the start we wanted at all. I didn’t necessarily play well.”

At this point, we’re supposed to tell you to fear not. Success and failure in the preseason tend to be bad indicators when it comes to the regular season.

“It was one quarter of the first preseason game,” Glennon said. “It’s definitely fixable.”

To be fair, Glennon was expected to struggle. It was his first game in a new offense with new teammates. He deserves time to settle in, and the Bears, as an organization, still are comfortable giving it to him.

But Glennon wasn’t expected to be as bad as he was against the Broncos. His stat line — 2-for-8, 20 yards and an interception — was uninspiring but also unnerving.

When Broncos cornerback Chris Harris made his interception, Glennon had pressure to deal with, but he also had a wide-open Kendall Wright to consider for a potential first down. Instead, Glennon targeted tight end Zach Miller down the field and overthrew him.

“The ball just got away from me a little there,” Glennon said.

What really complicates matters is that Glennon hasn’t played particularly well in training camp.

Stories from Bourbonnais might focus on his leadership, but his play needs to improve. Leading the Bears needs to turn into winning for the Bears if he wants to keep playing for them.

Thursday night was an example.

Glennon — the leader — actually showed up. The problem is that Glennon — the productive and efficient quarterback — did not. He gathered his teammates and talked about responding and putting a drive together.

“And we didn’t necessarily do that,” Glennon said.

You know who did, though? Mitch Trubisky.

It doesn’t matter that Glennon faced better players with the starters. Trubisky still is a rookie transitioning from a shotgun-heavy system at North Carolina.

Trubisky looked like he belonged. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 166 yards, a touchdown and a 103.1 passer rating. All 17 of the Bears’ points came behind Trubisky.

“Yeah, he played really well,” Glennon said. “There’s no doubt about that. I was impressed for his time in the NFL in a real game setting.”

There will be more calls for Trubisky to start over Glennon. The disparity in their play was that great. Right now, the Bears still are unlikely to listen.

But if Glennon struggles against the Cardinals and Titans this preseason and Trubisky repeats his success, the Bears might have to change their plans.

Again, Glennon was that bad.

“You have to kind of put it in perspective,” Glennon said. “For me, it’s just good to get back out playing. I got to get used to coming out as the starter and playing and being that guy. [There are] a couple more preseason games to tune this up, and I’m confident that we’ll do that.”

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