QB Mike Glennon leading after Bears demotion: ‘I have a job to do’
The sun had set when Mike Glennon walked into Dowell Loggains’ office this week.
“How you doing, bud?” Loggains said.
Glennon said, cheerfully, that he was fine. The offensive coordinator wanted to know the most difficult part of Glennon’s role since he was demoted from the starting job Oct. 2. Glennon’s answer was simple: reliving what he would do differently were he needed again.
The Bears may never find out. Rookie Mitch Trubisky will play every snap the rest of the season, barring injury, and the Bears figure to let Glennon walk at the end of the season rather than pay him $15 million to return next season.
A highly paid demoted player — Glennon is getting $18.5 million guaranteed — is usually a recipe for team destruction, and locker-room fires spread quickly.
But say this for the quarterback, who became one of the most derided athletes in recent Chicago history after four disastrous starts: Glennon hasn’t let it ignite.
“One, I have a job and I have a role and whatever that role is, I need to do it to the best of my abilities,” Glennon told the Sun-Times in his first public comments since one day after his demotion. “Two is, keeping perspective on things. I think this has not been what I wanted, like I said, but there are a lot worse things. At the end of the day, I have a job to do.”
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The Bears’ quarterbacks and wide receivers gather inside Halas Hall every Saturday morning. There, Glennon leads them through film clips he assembled during the course of the week.
“I try to find things that might be unique to that week — our game plan, what they do, and other coaching points that have been made during the week,” Glennon said. “To reinforce it, or find some things that we haven’t yet talked about.”
From his chair, Glennon clicks through the tape and reads off his hand-prepared notes, ensuring that Trubisky and his receivers are as prepared as possible.
“It speaks to his character, and how much he can take himself out of the equation,” Loggains said. “Saying, ‘Look I gotta do what’s best for my team and best for my teammates.’
“I’ve been in rooms where that wouldn’t have happened.”
During the week, Glennon serves as the scout-team quarterback on the field and an inquiring mind in meetings. He asks questions for his own sake, but also for the rookie.
“Mike’s usually the first guy to greet me when I come to the sidelines, especially when it’s a not-so-good series, a three-and-out, and he’s always telling me what I did good and what I need to work on,” Trubisky said. “He’s a great teacher and he really knows how to talk to me where it’s not too critical but to where I’m listening and can improve.”
Glennon can see the rookie improving.
“Until you do it in the league, it’s hard,” Glennon said. “He’s starting to do it. He’s gone through more situations. He’s had good plays and bad plays, and he’ll continue to do that as he plays more games, spends more time in this offense, his confidence will continue to grow.”
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Loggains suspects Glennon was envious of the defensive help Trubisky got in run-heavy wins against the Ravens and Panthers.
“I’m sure at times he’s thinking, ‘Well I could have handed it off that many times,’ ” he said
Injuries to receivers hurt Glennon’s cause, Loggains concedes. Still, Glennon knows he was benched because of five interceptions, three fumbles and a 1-3 record.
“It’s a heavy burden to wear the crown . . .’’ Loggains said. “I just know how stable he is. I’m seen guys crumble under the pressure of the NFL. Especially in a major media market, it’s a tough place when you’re not winning.”
Glennon has remained a team captain, though he ceded his coin-toss calling duties to Akiem Hicks after the two called out different sides before the overtime game in Baltimore. Hicks’ tails call was correct.
“My role is just to do things the right way in the week, do a good job running the scout team,” Glennon said. “Anything I can do to be that leader, even though I’m not on the field.”
Said Loggains: ‘‘He hasn’t had one bad day.”
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When Dontrelle Inman was traded to the Bears last month, Glennon was the first player he saw in the cafeteria. He offered to help the Chargers receiver learn the playbook, and the two began working after practice.
“Of course you’re mad when you’re not playing,” Inman said. “I was mad when I wasn’t playing with the Chargers. It’s all about just controlling what you can control.”
Handling those failures takes maturity.
“Whenever you think that you’ve earned something,” Inman said, “the world always shows that you really, really have to humble yourself.”
This season has humbled Glennon. After looking ahead last season at which teams needed a starter, he has thought about where he’ll be next year, too.
“It’s human nature to think of the future, but that’ll take care of itself,” he said. “I just try to focus on right now what I can do to help this team. And then we’ll figure that out.”
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