By nature, the Bears are not a reactionary bunch. Everybody else might see the light, but the people at Halas Hall typically don’t, what with the sunglasses and the dark rooms and the “I Refuse to See the Light’’ buttons on their lapels.
But Mike Glennon made the blind see. It’s why Mitch Trubisky will be making his first career start Monday night and why we’ll be seeing the future earlier than many of us expected to see it. That wasn’t the plan, but the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft was good enough in the preseason and Glennon was bad enough whenever he played that it was obvious a change was necessary. It was obvious about a month ago, but let’s not quibble.
Let’s see what the kid can do against the Vikings at Soldier Field and, if this goes right, for the next 10 years.
And let’s say a prayer that he emerges from this season with limbs and brain cells intact. That’s not even close to a given. But his ability to run should allow him to get out of the kind of trouble that found Glennon so relentlessly. The Bears will be able to roll him out, theoretically opening up the offense.
There’s not much of a track record here, but who cares? Trubisky came to training camp with 13 college starts under his belt and the doubts of a 100 draft experts on his shoulders. He proceeded to impress everyone with the strength of his arm and the accuracy of his passes. He made play after play in practice and in preseason games, and a search party was sent out to locate all those doubters.
It would have been better if Trubisky had spent the season on the sidelines, watching and learning. The Bears are in a rebuild, after all. But Glennon — and general manager Ryan Pace’s error in signing him — made that impossible. He wasn’t good in the preseason, and he was worse in four regular-season games, throwing five interceptions and averaging just six yards a pass attempt. When he threw two interceptions and fumbled twice in Green Bay on Thursday night, it was over.
I can guarantee one thing: Trubisky will average more than six yards a pass attempt this season. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will protect the kid via game planning, but he won’t reduce him to a boy playing catch with his dad, the way he did with an ill-equipped Glennon.
There are going to be bumps with Trubisky, probably lots of them. The Bears’ receiving corps isn’t good. At times, he’ll walk off the field wondering if he should have picked another profession. But all the physical skills are there. He can throw deep, he can throw accurately while on the move and he can run.
There are questions. How much of the playbook has he absorbed? Will he be able to read NFL defenses? Can he command the huddle? Those are all mysteries heading into his first game.
But the questions take a backseat to the answers that Glennon provided in four games.
The McCaskeys apparently were antsy over the way things were going four games into the season, an indication of the depths of the situation. Maybe I’m not being completely fair with my characterization of a family uncomfortable with change. Perhaps they’ve had a surgical procedure to remove their deep-rooted tentativeness. Remember, they OK’d the trade that allowed the Bears to move up one spot in the first round and grab Trubisky. And, remember, lots of people thought taking him that high was a reach.
So much is riding on the decision to start him Monday night. If he helps turn around the team after its 1-3 start, he could save coach John Fox’s job. Whether that’s a good thing is a subject for another day. If he’s awful or, worse, if he suffers a severe injury, all eyes will turn to Pace. He’s already the guy who gave Glennon $18.5 million in guaranteed money. He doesn’t want to be the guy who whiffed on Glennon and reduced a rookie quarterback to bits.
But if Trubisky succeeds, if he shows the same promise he showed with all those athletic plays in the preseason, everything will look different. If he succeeds, if it appears that the Bears can build around him, Pace will be forgiven his Glennon sin. If he shows steady improvement as the season goes on, the hype heading into next season will be ridiculous. And welcome.
For now, let’s enjoy the feeling of possibility, something that was missing under Glennon.
It was time.
Everybody could see that.
Even the Bears.
Follow me on Twitter @MorrisseyCST.
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