Sure seems that Chicago Bears have a QB controversy
The decision to give rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky snaps with the Chicago Bears' first team in Sunday's third preseason game doesn't mean anything -- for now.
But what happens if the second overall pick in the draft clearly outplays starter Mike Glennon, as he has in the first two exhibitions?
"I don't like doing hypotheticals," Bears coach John Fox said. "Right now Mike Glennon's the starter; he's going to start preseason game three, which is usually a pretty good indicator where you start the (regular) season."
Glennon will play the entire first half vs. the Titans in Tennessee. Trubisky is expected to get one possession with the starters to open the second half.
Trubisky took his first reps with the starters in Wednesday's practice, leading to questions about whether a legitimate quarterback competition exists.
"Well, I'd answer that," Fox said, "but you guys would run with it somehow. So I'll just not answer it."
The answer will come from Trubisky and Glennon.
Coaches often claim they don't determine the roster or the depth chart. "Players do," they say.
Thus far, Trubisky has posted a 111.4 passer rating while playing with and against backups. He has completed 24 of 33 passes (72.7 percent) for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Glennon, playing with and against starters, has a 48.4 passer rating, completing 15 of 26 passes (57.7 percent) for 109 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions.
Fox claims it has long been the plan to get Trubisky meaningful snaps with the first team in the preseason, but the rookie's impressive performances might have had more to do with the opportunity.
"I think his performance has been good," Fox said. "To get a true evaluation, and for us to look at him, you need to do this, and I think most people in the league would agree and do this."
Typically, few if any starters play in the fourth preseason game, so Sunday is the last chance to see how well Trubisky performs with the starters. Fox is hopeful the Titans keep their first-team defense on the field for the start of the second half to get a more accurate assessment of the rookie.
Trubisky was asked if his time with the ones could be more than a barometer, and if he thinks he could alter the original plan and become the starter sooner rather than later.
"I can't control that," Trubisky said. "I'm just going to control what I can control, continue to play hard, make my teammates better, and whatever group I go with help the Chicago Bears win."
But even Trubisky believes his play may have sped up his timetable.
"I would say I've shown them what I can do," Trubisky said. "I think I've progressed faster than they expected I would, but I've still got a long ways to go, and I know that. But I think I've shown that I've earned these reps, and I just need to continue to get better each day."
Asked if he was ready to be the starting quarterback, Trubisky would not be trapped.
"That's not up to me," he said, grinning. "But that's a good question. You almost got me."
The situation isn't novel for Glennon. As a rookie in 2013, he started 13 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then made five starts in 2014 before he was replaced by veteran Josh McCown. In 2015, the Bucs drafted quarterback Jameis Winston No. 1 overall and made him the opening-day starter.
"I mean, déjà vu," Glennon said. "It's situations that I've been through before, that I handled myself well in the past, and I'll continue to do that in his situation."
But Glennon does not consider himself to be in a battle for the starting job yet.
"It was clear to me that nothing has changed as far as the depth chart," he said. "Mitch is getting one (possession) with the starters."
But was Glennon surprised at having to share first-team reps.
"I guess you could say 'yes,' " he said. "(But) I don't know if it's surprising. They just told me what it was and (I said) 'OK, time to start getting ready.' Nothing's changed. It's just one series in my mind. That's about it."
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