It's been surprisingly fun watching the Bears first two preseason games, mainly due to the promise that rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky holds. Normally, even when the Bears are good, I couldn't care less about exhibition football, but this year's different. It's not that I expect the Bears to be any good, it's just that the performance of the young Bears franchise signal-caller looks so impressive.
However, that performance, as fine as it's been, has been against the opposing team's second and third string players. Which brings me to the point of this article; namely, that I believe it's time to let the fans see Trubisky play against the other team's first-string defense and see how he works with the Bears starting lineup.
Look, almost everyone cautions us when praising Trubisky that he isn;t facing the best defensive competition. But another way to look at this is that he also isn't benefiting from what is supposed to be the Bears' best offensive players, both on the line as well as play-makers on offense.
I know that the third preseason game is always touted as the most important one, so it's doubtful we will see Trubisky open the game, when proposed starter Mike Glennon needs all the game reps he can get to prepare for the start of the real season.
But why can't the Bears allow Trubisky to start the final, and often meaningless game, of the preseason? Sure, he probably wouldn't play more than a series or two against the opponent's first strong, or with the Bears main guys, as teams often do not play their starters for very long, if at all, in the final game of the preseason affair.
Yet it might be a nice reward for a kid who has obviously played very well thus far. Now I'm not clamoring for him to start the season as the Bears QB. I get that he needs time and that a year watching and learning probably isn't the worst thing for his development.
That said, it's almost inevitable that he will play during the season. With injuries as prevalent as they are, if Glennon goes down, Trubisky would be only a play or two from having to take the field. After all, Mark Sanchez really isn't any good, so the Bears might get tired of watching him play and may need a boost, especially if they surprise us by actually being decent this season.
So no matter how you slice it, it would be great to see the kid from North Carolina college throwing to and against the best players on both sides of the ball. He's earned that, and perhaps just as importantly, the fans are starting to demand it.
Having said all this, it's not as if Glennon looked horrible on Saturday night. He was much improved over his first game, although that's partly to be expected since the Denver Broncos have such a stout defense. Still, he was almost as good as Trubisky if you take away that interception.
Of course, that's like saying I'd be Brad Pitt with a different face and body.
Glennon, who I personally want to go on record as stating that I don't think he's going to be very good unfortunately, was 12/18 passing, good for 89 yards on a meager 4.9 average. He did have a TD to his credit, to go along with that pick, making for a QB rating of 78.2.
Meanwhile, Trubisky was just as solid as his first week. He was 6/8 for 60 yards (a 7.5 yard average), with a TD and no interceptions. That makes for a hefty 135.4 passer rating. (Just for the record, Sanchez completed both of his pass attempts for 23 yards and no runs, no hits and no errors).
By the way, if I can stand back and comment for a second—I almost feel bad for Mark Sanchez. Nobody in Bears Nation really gives two craps about the guy. He could go out and rescue a kitten from a burning building and most of us would yawn.
Although he didn't show it in Saturday's win over the Cardinals, Trubisky is mobile, too. Glennon isn't a running QB by any stretch, while Mitchell can take off and use his legs to get first downs when he has to. And, he's adept at throwing on the run as well, so maybe some naked bootlegs are in store for the kid once he starts playing regularly.
And don't sniff at that, for being able to use mobility to escape pressure is a necessary element of any successful QB in today's NFL. Doing it too much, of course, can be a bad thing, as running QBs often get hurt, so there needs to be a delicate balance.
In short, like a lot of you, I like what I see from the kid and I want to see more. Like a Christmas present carefully wrapped under the tree, we are dying to take a peek, maybe shake it just a little bit so we have an idea of what's in there. And part of that desire is to see him play against the best competition so we can more fairly judge his performances.
While I'd love to see him start the next game, I'm not foolish enough to think that's going to happen. But if they could get him into the game as the No. 2 guy, maybe some of the starters will still be on the field when he takes his snaps, since guys play longer in game three.
No matter what, Trubisky is certainly making this preseason something to be interested in. And believe me, I'm watching with baited breath to see if the Bears could possibly have an honest-to-goodness franchise QB. Yes, I was one of those who knocked GM Ryan Pace for the pick and especially the trade, but as a Bears fan I would love to be proven wrong.
Perhaps someone will start a 24-hour all-access TV channel about Trubisky. That's how interested many Bears fans are in this new-found creation. After all, the Bears have had fewer homegrown QB stars than almost anyone, so this is exciting stuff. First, the Cubs break a 108-year drought and now the Bears actually may have a real NFL QB?
Someone call 911, I don't think my heart can handle this!
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