Mark Potash: Where the Bears stand after their offseason program

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Potash breaks down the gains made and the questions looming after the Bears’ offseason program, which ended Thursday:

Mike Glennon has looked …

Like a quarterback with no NFL starts since 2014 and only 18 total in four NFL seasons playing for a new team and learning a new offense with a new offensive line that is missing its two best players and an entire group of receivers he had never thrown to. It’s difficult to tell how much Glennon is grasping this offense because so many others are trying to grasp it, as well.

Mitch Trubisky has looked …

Bears newcomer Jaye Howard (left) could provide a big upgrade on the defensive line in 2017, but he also has to prove he is healthy after missing eight games last season. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Intriguing. Trubisky’s accuracy is impressive. It’s easy to see why he was a first-round pick. He doesn’t look out of place. If the starting job were an open competition instead of Glennon’s no matter what, at this point there’s no reason to believe that Trubisky would not be a contender.

John Fox’s biggest challenge will be …

Managing the quarterback situation. If Mike Glennon is good from the start, it won’t be an issue. But if Glennon is a work in progress as he is likely to be, the Bears can “bunker down” and insulate themselves from “outside noise” all they want . They won’t be able to keep the quarterback chatter from affecting the Bears’ organization, including the locker room.

I’ve been impressed by …

Tight end Adam Shaheen. With his impressive size, speed and athleticism, the rookie from Division II Ashland showed enough to support GM Ryan Pace’s belief that he can contribute as a rookie.

The player with the most to prove in camp is …

Guard Kyle Long. The three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman is arguably the Bears’ best player. But after playing through a shoulder injury, missing the second half of last season with an ugly ankle injury and missing much of the practice portion of the offseason program, it remains to be seen just how much the Bears can count on Long not only being there, but being as good as he was.

Are the Bears’ injuries worth worrying about?

Yes. Maybe a lot of it is bad luck. But after two seasons of injury issues under John Fox, the Bears have lost the benefit of the doubt. Considering the Bears’ history under Fox, if Danny Trevathan doesn’t spend the first six games on the physically unable-to-perform (PUP) list, it would be a bonus. Long, guard Josh Sitton, tight end Zach Miller, linebacker Pernell McPhee and defensive lineman Jaye Howard all bear watching in the early going. 

Have the Bears made enough progress this offseason?

Too hard to tell. You can’t blame the players and coaches for being upbeat, but the “signs of progress” are all too familiar — a better vibe, better communication, more familiarity with the offense/defense, hungry players with something to prove, etc. The Bears have a real chance to be better than people think, but the best advice for Bears fans right now is: Demand to see it before you believe it.


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