Podcast in Print: When will the Bears start rookie QB Mitch Trubisky?

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns and WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge have co-hosted a Bears podcast since the 2015 season. The “Hoge & Jahns Podcast” can be found on chicago.suntimes.com and wgnradio.com. It’s also available on the WGN Radio app, iTunes and the TuneIn app.

Adam L. Jahns: That was an awful trip to Tampa for the Bears, Adam. How about the Bears fans who traveled to Florida to experience that Mike Glennon-led debacle? What did they do deserve all that awfulness? As we turn the page on Glennon’s three-turnover performance, all that matters is when the Bears start the clock on rookie Mitch Trubisky. It won’t be this week against the Steelers. Glennon will get a chance to redeem himself. It’s still his year in the Era of Mitch. But the kid will play at some point this season. I’m convinced of that after watching Glennon struggle mightily against his former team. The only question is when.

Adam Hoge: Well, why not now? The idea that the Bears don’t think Trubisky is ready is flawed. It’s flawed because they already promoted him to No. 2, which means they are comfortable with him playing if Glennon gets hurt. So why wouldn’t they be comfortable with Trubisky playing if Glennon is bad? To me, this is about trying to salvage what appears to be a sunk cost, while also trying really hard to keep their word to Glennon that 2017 is his year. Well, John Fox has spent two years telling us that this is a ‘‘performance-based business,’’ and Glennon’s performance does not reflect an NFL starter. He will get the start Sunday against the Steelers, but this already feels like a last chance. And I have to imagine they’ll at least be open to the idea of turning to Trubisky mid-game if Glennon gets off to another ugly start.

Jahns: Are you really surprised that Fox is giving Glennon another chance? I’m not. And, really, no one should be. It’s only been two games. We were right to criticize Glennon’s Week 1 performance against the Falcons, but he still was one completed throw away from a victory. There also is a significant difference between being ready to play, if needed, and being ready to start. If the Bears felt that Trubisky was ready to start, he would be [starting]. Right now, they want him running the scout team and getting No. 2 reps. I say all this believing that the Bears aren’t going anywhere with Glennon. Their offense is severely limited with him. No one knows if the Bears are doing the right thing by being patient with Trubisky. But the team has been adamant in maintaining a long-term vision for him. If I had to play Trubisky soon, it would be in Week 5. He would have nine days to prepare for a Monday night matchup against the Vikings at Soldier Field after the Packers host the Bears on Thursday night in Green Bay.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky walks to the huddle in the second half against the Titans on Sunday in Nashville. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Hoge: So you’re just going to concede two more losses because you’re scared to play the rookie against the Steelers and the Packers? If Trubisky isn’t capable of playing against the Bears’ division rival on a short week, then they shouldn’t have traded up to No. 2 to draft him. It’s the NFL. At the risk of sounding too much like Fox, all the games are hard. Guess what? The Vikings’ defense is better than Green Bay’s. Facing the Packers’ defense on a short week actually sounds more appealing to me. Picking apart the schedule to find the best game to start Trubisky just seems pointless to me. When you’re good, you’re good. Cade McNown didn’t fail because he played too soon; he failed because he was bad. That’s why this is more about salvaging something — anything — with Glennon right now. The leash has to be getting shorter. Ryan Pace looked like he was passing a kidney stone in the press box after Glennon’s pick-six. I can’t imagine he and Fox will put up with three more turnovers against the Steelers.

Jahns: Come on, the Bears don’t believe they’re conceding anything. That’s not how the NFL works. I do believe that Trubisky will change the complexion of the offense. He’s simply better. But there isn’t one right way to go about this. Some quarterbacks start their rookie seasons; others sit, watch and learn. There are great examples for both sides. But none of it matters. Every quarterback’s development is unique in itself. It’s on the Bears to put Trubisky in the best situation they can so that he’s successful. That ideal time might not exist, but the Bears still have to try to find or create it. They don’t think it’s this week.

Hoge: Of course, the Bears don’t believe they are conceding, but that’s essentially what they’re doing. You think Glennon is going to beat the Steelers? This offense is stagnant right now. Really, the whole organization is. How much longer are fans going to put up with punting on fourth-and-two at midfield while down 23-0? The charter member of the NFL needs a jolt. That jolt wears No. 10 and currently holds a clipboard.

Jahns: Oh, that jolt will come this season; it’s inevitable. But the Bears’ patient process with Trubisky demands patience from everyone — fans, media, players and so on. I understand that being patient is difficult right now after seeing Glennon flounder in his second Bears start. But it’s the reality right now. Trubisky’s time will come.

Follow Jahns and Hoge on Twitter @adamjahns and @AdamHoge.


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