The preseason is meaningless.
There is one exception to this rule: when a team finds itself embroiled in a quarterback “controversy”. And the Bears, especially after the events of last week, now find themselves firmly in the midst of a battle at the most important position in all of sports.
Now make Trubisky the starting quarterback.
Yes, he’s only 22 and started only 13 college games at North Carolina. And the NFL is mean and vicious and eats its young.
Again, so what? Life is hard and then you die. Maybe you’ve heard.
Trubisky ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine — the same as athletic Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson — and his feet never will be faster than they are now. His arm is a cannon.
This is not news around these parts. No one lurking in Media Meadow or strolling down Blog Boulevard has been as steadfast when it comes to what the Bears should do at quarterback, starting week one, starting against the defending conference champions. When the team boldly traded up and selected Mitch Trubisky in April, Trubisky immediately became the best quarterback on their roster. And there was nothing to debate.
Trubisky is a wow talent. Mike Glennon, the incumbent starter due to a hefty one-year paycheck and limited alternatives, is not. I’ve been prone to saying “Glennon stinks”. Maybe that’s my pithy way of saying, well, no, Glennon does in fact stink.
The reason last Thursday night turned heads is because – quite frankly – many had never seen Glennon or Trubisky play in pads before. Forget the results. Forget the dropped passes. Forget the drive outcomes. When one objectively looked at the two men playing quarterback the contrast was stark and dramatic. One is the quintessential modern quarterback, big, strong and mobile, with an arm immediately placing him in the top tier of the league’s throwers. The other is an immobile statue with the kind of arm that will keep him in the league (and on a bench) for the next decade. It’s also the reason he’s barely thrown a professional pass in the last two calendar years.
Saturday night should be Glennon’s last chance. If The Giraffe doesn’t look poised and in control, doesn’t take the offense up and down the field, doesn’t wildly improve on his dismal performance of a week ago, the Bears should start Mitch Trubisky in their third preseason game and begin preparing him to start in September. (The Bears should do this anyway but it doesn’t seem like they’re moving in that direction yet.)
What Trubisky does with his backup battalion shouldn’t matter. Trubisky is going to make mistakes and he’s going to make them all season long. That is what happens to every rookie walking into this position. Saturday night in Arizona is not about Trubisky. It’s about Glennon.
It’s also about entertainment value and the Bears need to recognize that. Trubisky under center on opening day will be a white line up the nostrils of the 2017 season. It immediately makes things more fun. Will the Bears be willing to forgo that enjoyment to give Glennon a bunch of meaningless starts while the future stands on the sideline and watches?