It was just another day at the office for Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy on Tuesday, with rookie Mitch Trubisky taking first-team reps instead of Mike Glennon.
“The same vibe as always, man,” Bellamy said. “Just another guy coming in.”
But tight end Zach Miller noticed the difference — the excitement that comes with change.
“You could feel it,” Miller said. “I think change brings that in general. That’s not saying it’s because of one guy or the next. Everybody feels for Mike. [But] you get a change at that position, there’s going to be a new excitement around it.”
While Bears fans are rejoicing, the immediate aftermath of a quarterback change is a delicate balance for teammates — disappointed for Glennon but excited about the possibilities with Trubisky. This isn’t Craig Krenzel taking over for Jonathan Quinn or Moses Moreno replacing Steve Stenstrom. This is the Bears’ best homegrown hope for a franchise quarterback since Rex Grossman in 2003 and maybe since Jim McMahon in 1982.
But whether or not the excitement was palpable on the field, it most definitely was not in the locker room. For some, their first thoughts were with Glennon and then Trubisky when asked about the quarterback change.
“Any time there’s a position change, it’s not a lot of fun for a lot of people,” guard Kyle Long said. “The one thing you’ll find with Mike is that he’s going to be supportive of Mitch. Mitch is a rookie quarterback. There are going to be obstacles he’s going to face, and it’s our job as offensive linemen to make it as easy as possible for him.”
Bears coach John Fox said he hopes Trubisky’s teammates will make things easier for him, but the reality is Trubisky has a better chance to make things easier for them. A quarterback who provides hope can energize a team.
“There’s just a kind of an ‘it’ factor in how you relate to people around you and how people feed off you that I think was pretty evident early, too,” Fox said a month ago. “I think [teammates] respond well. When you can raise all boats, I think that’s a great quality.”
With no disrespect to Glennon, teammates definitely see that effect with Trubisky.
“He does that just with the type of quarterback he is — being able to extend the play; be accurate on the move,” Miller said. “Like coach Fox said, he carries that with him. That’s what he brings to the table. I’m excited for him. Excited for the opportunity for him to be on that stage, Monday Night Football, at home. It’ll be a fun night for him.”
“He’s definitely confident out there. We love that,” wide receiver Markus Wheaton said.
Wheaton will be a player to watch with Trubisky at quarterback. The Bears’ top deep threat had no receptions and no chemistry with Glennon in two games since returning from a broken finger.
He was direct when asked what Trubisky can bring to the offense.
“Opportunity,” he said. “With him being mobile, there will be a lot of scramble plays — a lot more scramble plays than we had with Mike. More opportunity for us to get open.”
The Bears’ receiving corps might be the ultimate test of a quarterback’s ability to “raise all boats.” If Trubisky is the real deal, even Bellamy might realize that he is more than “just another guy coming in.”
“Everybody has their different styles of play. We gotta see Monday,” Bellamy said when asked what he likes about Trubisky. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen. You can’t predict it. Can’t wait to see Monday.”
Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.