Patrick Finley: Analyzing the Bears after their offseason program
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The Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley breaks down the gains made and the questions looming after the Bears’ offseason program, which ended Thursday:
Mike Glennon has looked …
Comfortable as a leader. He has concerns about his fate beyond this season — and he should. But Glennon has spent the last four seasons as a backup dreaming of how he’d handle a team as a starter — on the field and with off-field bonding. One sign of his leadership: He plans to gather offensive players sometime in July to work on routes.
Mitch Trubisky has looked …
Like a rookie. There’s no debating his athleticism, arm strength — and inexperience. That’s why the calls for him to start are ridiculous, at least for now.
John Fox’s biggest challenge will be …
Winning games, and fast. We talk about how the subtleties Fox will have to maneuver — massaging the timelines of his two quarterbacks, balancing youth with veteran newcomers and managing the pressure of a prove-it year — but the only way he’ll continue to get chances is if he wins games. The Bears must show improvement, and fast. They might not be favored to win a game until Week 5. An 0-4 start would make Fox’s future and Trubisky’s timeline the only relevant storylines of the season.
I’ve been impressed by …
Rookie running back Tarik Cohen. He has an amazing fifth gear and has been a thrill to watch during the offseason program. Standing only 5-6, though, the fourth-round pick is supposed to shine in shorts. The question is how he can take the pounding in pads.
The player with the most to prove in camp is …
Kyle Fuller is at best the Bears’ third-most reliable outside cornerback right now and will be fighting for a job in Bourbonnais. After missing all of last season after a seemingly minor arthroscopic knee procedure, the 2014 first-round pick has a lot to prove to the coaching staff.
Are the Bears’ injuries worth worrying about?
Yes, yes and yes. The Bears redesigned their practice schedule and offseason training regimen in part to avoid another rash of injuries. Quarterback Mark Sanchez’s knee injury and wide receiver Cam Meredith’s thumb problem — both suffered during OTAs — are minor but nonetheless concerning. Kyle Long (ankle), Zach Miller (foot) and Danny Trevathan (patellar tendon) could miss the start of training camp because of injuries suffered last season, when the Bears finished with 19 players on injured reserve.
Have the Bears made enough progress this offseason?
Probably not. They were unable to land big-name free agents in the offseason. They used their draft capital on a quarterback who might redshirt and offensive players from small schools. They’re counting on improved health, a patched defensive backfield and a steady season from Glennon to improve from 3-13. It’s impossible to tell in June whether those bets will pay off.