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Patrick Finley: Analyzing the highs and lows of Bears training camp

BOURBONNAIS — The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley breaks down the best and worst of the Bears’ training camp, which ended Monday at Olivet Nazarene University:

Mike Glennon looked …

A lot better a week ago. His teammates still love his take-charge attitude — he makes them run gassers after practice — but it won’t mean much if he can’t perform on game day. The Bears are saying the right things about their faith in Glennon, who never looked as bad in practice as he did against the Broncos. Even a pedestrian performance Saturday against the Cardinals will slow any Mitch Trubisky momentum.

Mitch Trubisky looked …

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky. (AP)

Worlds better against the Broncos than at any point in camp. The big question is why. Because he had a play script? Because he’s better when the lights come on? Because he was playing against third-stringers for most of the second half? The Bears need to sort through those variables when determining exactly what they have in him.

Do the Bears have a quarterback controversy?

Trubisky won’t win the job unless he’s undeniable. He’s the boxer who must win by TKO. If he’s miles better than Glennon again Saturday, then he’ll be halfway there, and the Bears will have a controversy. Also, in what world is that a bad thing? The Bears threw two darts this offseason by signing Glennon and drafting Trubisky. If Trubisky hits the bull’s-eye right away, that’s fabulous news for him and the team.

He had a good camp …

Lightning-quick, 5-6 running back Tarik Cohen was the most exciting player to watch in camp. I feared “Chicken Salad” might be just another training camp MVP — see Braverman, Daniel — until he put on a show against the Broncos. If his speed and elusiveness continue to stand out in preseason games, I’ll be sold.

He had a disappointing camp …

Linebacker Pernell McPhee couldn’t pass the Bears’ physical on move-in day, was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list that night and had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee two days later. There’s no timetable for him to return, and when he does, it’s fair to wonder whether the Bears can count on him as more than a role player.

I’ll be watching …

To see how both quarterbacks handle the pressure of the next week. In the modern NFL, figuring out the quarterback is all that matters.

Did camp change my opinion of the team’s future?

I’m a bit more optimistic, in part because they seemed to escape Olivet Nazarene without a catastrophic injury. At the least, linebacker Leonard Floyd, tight end Adam Shaheen, Cohen and maybe Trubisky will be fun to watch. That’s good news. Bad and boring is a bad combination.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com


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