Chicago Bears' Trubisky knows where he stands, for now

BOURBONNAIS - Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky knows where he stands with the Chicago Bears - behind veterans Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez, at least for the foreseeable future.

So even though he was the second overall pick in the draft and has a four-year, $29 million contract, Trubisky might not take a snap all season.

General manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox have been adamant in repeating that Glennon is No. 1.

"Glennon's our starter," Pace said, "and we're confident with that. This thing is going to have to play out."

When it does play out, the Bears expect the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Trubisky to be their franchise quarterback for many years. But barring anything unexpected, that will begin somewhere down the road, and he accepts that.

"I have to respect the plan that they have in place, and I have to believe in that, so that's what I'm doing," Trubisky said after Saturday's first practice in pads. "For me, it's just control what I can control, get better every day and believe in the plan. It's all about winning games for the Bears."

Neither Pace nor Fox will say Trubisky won't play at all this season, but in an ideal world that would be the scenario. And, since the Bears are paying Glennon $18 million to immediately improve a 3-13 team, it's important for the Bears' decision-makers to provide a united front in their support of him.

Jobs depend on wins and losses this year.

"Every situation's different," Pace said. "Our confidence in Mike Glennon is hopefully apparent. For a young quarterback (like Trubisky), you want him to take time and develop behind the scenes. I think that can naturally happen. But right now our focus is that Mike Glennon is our starter and then competition at the backup job."

Trubisky knows rookies start at the bottom in the locker-room hierarchy, no matter what their paycheck looks like. That means catering to the whims of the veterans, who still need doughnuts and coffee in the morning and someone to carry their shoulder pads after practice.

"I know my place," Trubisky said. "I'm the rookie. So any time they ask for something, I try to do it as fast as possible and just be there for them."

The 22-year-old rookie believes it's a fair trade-off for the knowledge and experience that Glennon (27), Sanchez (30) and even Connor Shaw (25) are dropping on him in all aspects of the game.

"It's just a level of respect I have for them," Trubisky said. "Especially when they're helping me so much on the field and in the meeting rooms. When they ask me to do the rookie duties, it's not a problem at all. I appreciate them helping me out. It's just part of your career.

"Everyone's a rookie at some point; you've just got to do it."

Trubisky looked as green as any rookie at Saturday's first training-camp practice in pads.

Working with third-string center Taylor Boggs, he dropped three snaps from center and bobbled a fourth in a six-play series. That resurrected draft-day concerns about how well Trubisky would make the transition from his days in shotgun formation at North Carolina to handling the snap directly from the center in the NFL.

Trubisky was clearly perturbed by the meltdown, even though he didn't deserve all the blame.

"It was frustrating because that was uncharacteristic of me, and I've just got to handle that," he said. "They were just wasted plays. I was frustrated because I wasted a team session right there, and I didn't allow myself or my teammates to get better.

"(But) you've just got to block that out (and) bounce back. The other quarterbacks and the coach said something to me that allowed me to get back in rhythm and play football. It's the most critical part of the play. I've just got to take care of that and get better on my part."

That's not the only part of the game that has changed for Trubisky, but he has impressed coaches with his learning curve.

Also, his arm strength and accuracy transcend any scheme. Both have been apparent already in practices.

"He's learning a whole new offense," Fox said, "and we see a little bit more extensive types of coverages. The guy's done everything he can. He's improving every day. He's got a great work ethic. He learns quickly and works hard. You can't ask for much more."

Trubisky showed at North Carolina that he was capable of getting better without the benefit of game experience. He spent two years riding the pines but continued to work at his craft before getting an opportunity to be the main man. And then he performed so well in just one season - 30 touchdown passes, a 68 percent completion percentage and just 6 interceptions - that the Bears traded up one spot to make sure they got him.

But even with the Bears hoping to make 2017 similar to a redshirt year for Trubisky, that doesn't mean he can't become a better NFL quarterback.

"No matter what, don't take any days off," he said. "Practice as if you're the starter, no matter what. That's how it should be for anyone in the quarterback room and for the whole team.

"(Playing time) is out of my control. Redshirt year or not, you've got to keep getting better, because when you're called upon, you've got to be ready to rock 'n' roll."

So the Bears don't mind if Trubisky goes about his business as if he were the starter.

"He puts high expectations on himself," Pace said. "That's just how he is. He's going to approach every day like he's the guy, and I like that about him.

"But I just think you have to bring these guys along the right way. You're coming from a different style of offense, (and) I think we're in a position to really handle him the right way going forward."

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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