All the Bears need Mike Glennon to do is to be a game-manager. Manage the game, by handing the ball off to Jordan Howard, and hitting short passes out of the backfield to the backs and slot receiver. If he can do that successfully, and get the tight end involved, the Bears defense should keep the game close enough to where the Bears might actually be close late in seven or eight games this season (though I’m not saying they win them all).
And let’s face it, with this group of wideouts, especially with Cameron Meredith gone, even if the Bears had a gunslinger at QB, there really isn’t anybody to throw to. However, what happens if Glennon tries to force the ball downfield, creating turnovers for the opposition? Then this could all go up as quick as a brush fire, and the season could become an unmitigated disaster. The reason I’m wondering about this is that Glennon knows he’s creating tape for other teams to watch, since he’s obviously not in the Bears long-term plans with Mitchell Trubisky waiting in the wings.
And while a dink and dunk offense might be well suited for Chicago, that might not look so good to other teams who will be assessing his play for next season and beyond. Heck, even if Glennon isn’t thinking that far ahead, he may be feeling the pressure of Trubisky’s hot breath on his neck during the season and, not wanting to lose his job, may try to do more than he’s capable of and that the Bears offense is set up to produce.
These are among the issues as the Bears head into the first game of the regular season on Sunday, September 10th against Atlanta in Soldier Field.
Meanwhile, remember when being a 'game-manager' was considered a bad thing? It was the difference between the big arm capabilities of a Jay Cutler vs. a Kyle Orton, for example. It's why the Niners parted ways with Alex Smith in favor of Colin Kaepernick. The big arm, big play qualities have always superseded the efforts of a guy who could merely follow a game plan and not lose the game.
Yet these days, and especially after going through the Cutler years, we realize that managing the game isn't such a bad idea. Throwing interceptions simply kills a team. While you do have to take your shots downfield to keep the defense honest, taking too many chances with the football is a dangerous game indeed.
But Glennon may have other ideas. But even if feels the pressure to perform at a higher level, does the talent around him support that? I don't think so. Even before the season-ending injury to Meredith the Bears were thin at WR.
I sure hope that Victor Cruz isn't hurt too badly. Any time a player gets injured it sucks, but especially in the 4th preseason game. He is scheduled to be Glennon's primary option in the slot.
Who knows what, if anything, former 1st round pick Kevin White is going to provide.
The offensive line could be very good, but there are issues. Pro Football Focus had them as a top 5 unit last year, but there are questions, such as when will Kyle Long be ready to play? I find it difficult to believe that he will be ready to go week one after not practicing the entire preseason. And when he does play, how effective will he be? Remember, he chose not to have surgery to repair his shoulder, so that could still be a problem.
On top of all the injury concerns, he is changing positions once again, swapping sides with Josh Sitton and moving to LG. And, to me, Charles Leno, Jr. is still somewhat of a concern at LT. He played better in 2016, but is still lacking. I wish Cody Whitehair could play the position like he did in college. But Bears coaches feel he lacks athleticism and length necessary to play LT.
I don't like what I've seen from Hroniss Grasu at center either, so Whitehair, who moved to center so well last season due to injury, needs to stay there in my opinion. But he may play guard week one with Grasu under center.
Bobbie Massie struggles in pass protection, so both tackle spots are suspect.
I'm hoping that with Meredith going down that the tight end position would pick up some of the slack, with 2nd round draft pick Adam Shaheen and Zach Miller, though one is a rookie and the other is injury prone.
With all that said, the Bears simply need Glennon to not make mistakes so the offense doesn't beat itself. Scoring a few points would be nice, but throwing the football all over the field probably isn't in the Bears best interests at this point.
But will Glennon be able to stick with the plan? We shall find out soon enough.
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