10 Bears questions: On Mitch’s jersey, John Fox’s beard & coin flips
Is Mitch Trubisky ready for his first start?
He’s prepared, which is halfway there.
“I liken it to taking a test in college,” Bears coach John Fox said of his rookie quarterback, who will lead the offense Monday night against the Vikings. “If you don’t do the preparation, you’ve got to borrow a pencil. You might have had to cram.”
While we wonder if Fox — who joked Friday that he tries “not to be me” when addressing the media — borrowed pencils at San Diego State, here are 10 Bears questions:
1. He’s really prepared?
Tight end Zach Miller says he’s impressed by how quickly Trubisky learned the Bears’ offense.
“Now he’s able to just spit out what we’re doing seamlessly — bop-bop-bop-bop, play is done,” Miller said. “His command at the huddle and up at the line has been great, from Day 1 until now. Him in the huddle, you can just tell he has it all. He gets it. He understands our offense. He knows what we’re doing. It’s a second language where he can just spit it out.”
2. But can he sound like Mike Glennon?
“The first thing you’re going to notice and hear is the cadence,” guard Kyle Long said.
Every quarterback tries to sound like his team’s previous starter, for the sake of continuity, so Trubisky will sound like Glennon.
3. How popular is Trubisky?
According to the Dick’s Sporting Goods jersey tracker, Trubisky’s navy blue No. 10 is the NFL’s ninth-most popular jersey in sales this week — behind the jerseys of Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Von Miller, Carson Wentz, Ezekiel Elliott, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr.. Trubisky’s jersey ranks 18th in jerseys sold over the last 30 days, and 20th for the season.
4. Is he better than the old QBs?
It’s a low bar. The bottom of Football Outsiders’ quarterback DVOA rankings — which measure value per play against the league average — looks like a Bears reunion. Ex-Bear Josh McCown, the Jets’ starter, is ranked No. 27, with Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler at No. 28, Glennon at No. 29 and another former Bear, the 49ers’ Brian Hoyer, at No. 30.
5. Ball’s a Survivor?
Cornerback Alan Ball played in 15 games for the Bears in 2015, his final NFL season. The Illinois alum is now a contestant on the island reality show “Survivor” in its new season that started last week.
Bears safety Adrian Amos learned of his former teammate’s reality-show turn on Instagram.
“I mean, I don’t know what you’re going to get from him,” Amos said. “He’d come in and have one of those moods where he’s just mean, but he’s funny, too.”
6. Monday night magic?
The Bears have won 14 of their last 19 “Monday Night Football” games, starting with the infamous Dennis Green “Crown ’em!” game at Arizona in 2006 and ending with last year’s victory at home against the Vikings. Before that stretch, the Bears had, amazingly, won only 16 of their first 48 “MNF” games.
7. Wanna bet?
The Vikings are 1-8 straight-up and 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games at Soldier Field.
8. Is that a beard?
On Friday, Fox hadn’t shaved in a few days, but he said he’s not trying anything new.
“I kind of lost my razor,” he said with a smile. “Truth be told, my wife wasn’t in town all week, so I didn’t have anybody getting on me about it.”
9. Whither Willie?
Outside linebacker Willie Young went from limited in practice Thursday to missing Friday’s practice altogether because of a triceps injury.
“We’re not sure where he’s at right now,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “We still have guys.”
Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) also was held out Friday, while defensive end Akiem Hicks (foot) and center Hroniss Grasu (hand) were limited.
The Bears figure to lean more on Pernell McPhee, Sam Acho and others if Young can’t play. They also signed outside linebacker Howard Jones to the practice squad Friday.
10. Heads or tails?
The Bears have won a remarkable 14 straight coin tosses — the last four on calls by Glennon. While he’ll remain a captain, it’s unclear if he’ll call the toss Monday.
Hicks called the coin toss factoid “pretty cool,” but only that.
“I wish that could reflect on our record,” he said.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.