Mitch Trubisky’s time will come when the timing’s right for Bears
Mike Glennon is starting Sunday against the Steelers, and that’s more a reflection of the Bears’ circumstances than his.
Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s time will come — when the timing is better.
“After two games, it’s really hard to evaluate somebody,” coach John Fox said of Glennon on Monday. “But the truth of the matter is that right now, that’s the case.
“We’re playing arguably one of the better teams we’re going to play this year at home. We’re going to do everything in our power to look a little bit like we did in Week 1 rather than Week 2.
“It gives us a chance.”
Glennon’s experience preparing for NFL defenses makes him the choice against the Steelers and, presumably, four days later in Green Bay. Entering Monday, only the Panthers and Bills allowed fewer yards per game than the Steelers. Only the Jaguars had more sacks than their nine. Only five teams allowed fewer points than the Steelers’ 13.5 per game.
The Bears won’t have a full practice between the Steelers game and the ‘‘Thursday Night Football’’ matchup at their most hostile road venue, Lambeau Field.
To expect Trubisky to prepare for both games, or one on short rest, is folly.
There’s no perfect time to start a rookie quarterback, but some circumstances are better than others. Tight end Zach Miller lived it in 2011, when teammate Blaine Gabbert started 14 games as a rookie. The 10th overall pick went 5-22 in three seasons with the Jaguars.
“It’s a timing thing,” said Miller, a college quarterback. “It’s so sensitive with that position. You’ve seen it in the past, and I’ve seen it personally with different teams.
“You see guys, they get out there and they’re not prepared and they’re not ready to go, and stuff starts to go south. It can put a dent in someone’s career. It can hurt ’em early on.”
The Bears, then, will undoubtedly search for a softer point in the schedule for Trubisky to start — sooner rather than later if Glennon’s third game resembles his second, when he committed three turnovers in the first half of a 29-7 mauling by the Buccaneers.
The Bears will have a mini-bye — or at least the longest possible time allowed between games without one — after the game against the Packers. They’ll have nine days between their Sept. 28 game and their “Monday Night Football” appearance Oct. 9 against the Vikings. If they wanted to prepare a rookie for his first start, that week and a half offers the right combination of practice time and seclusion.
If not then, the Bears’ bye comes exactly halfway through the season, after Week 8, leaving two weeks between the Saints and second Packers game.
Fox claimed to not know when Trubisky could start for the first time.
“I don’t know if anybody has a crystal ball when that is,” he said. “I know I don’t — and I’m here every day watching in practice and on video.”
Any decision will be made in conjunction with general manager Ryan Pace, of course.
“I think you just kind of know when it’s time,” Fox said.
That wasn’t Monday, despite Glennon’s two picks — one returned for a TD — and fumble against the Bucs. Fox walked back his defense of Glennon from a day earlier that sounded like absolution.
“[On Sunday], I said that a lot was made of the quarterback, and the reality is we all had our signature on it,” Fox said. “That doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved at all.”
The Bears are impressed with Trubisky’s preparation. He has grown faster than they thought he would.
“I love where he is,” Fox said. “I love his growth. The guy works at it really hard. He’s into it on game day because you’re one play away from being a starter, like any backup.”
That’s what Trubisky remains — for now.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.