Way back on April 28th in his introductory press conference, Mitchell Trubisky - adorned in a classy navy blue suit and a small Bears pin on his lapel - showed he understood the gravity of the moment as the newly anointed Chicago quarterback. To get to said press conference, Trubisky rolled up to Halas Halas in an old Toyota Camry once owned by his grandma that much of the city was amused by for weeks. The "Chosen One" showed a little "grit", if you will.
"The most historic franchise in football, it's great to be a part of. We just need to get the winning tradition back here in Chicago," said Trubisky then.
No one currently associated with the Bears will have more to do with restoring that former glory than Trubisky. Not by a long shot. And he knows it too.
The official announcement Monday morning of the No. 2 overall pick Trubisky making his debut on "Monday Night Football" next week against the rival Vikings was overdue, expected, and paints a target on the young quarterback. The eyes of a football city gaze longingly at the 23-year-old as it is finally able to open its Christmas present early, and wonder exactly how he'll reinvigorate what has been quite frankly - a depressing franchise.
No pressure at all.
Thankfully enough, for once, the Bears broke free of their long historic, mind-bogglingly naive, and stubborn bubble to make the right choice. Benching the beyond ineffective placeholder Mike Glennon in favor of Trubisky, the future and better player, was a decision that should've been made weeks ago. After a disastrous Thursday night in Lambeau Field by Glennon, the fever pitch to "Start The Kid" reached an all-time high. This move was a no-brainer, but still no one trusted Chicago's brain trust to actually make said move: until they did.
Perhaps you can thank the electric fellow rookie quarterback Texans' Deshaun Watson for lighting up the Tennessee Titans on Sunday to inch the Bears towards their own potential rookie stud. Maybe, it was the Chicago Cubs' Game 3 of the National League Division Series being potentially scheduled at the same time as next week's Bears game against Minnesota. If Glennon had started that game, one would've not been remiss to expect a half-empty Soldier Field.
Whatever the case of outside factors into this decision, the most monumental was that the Bears recognized their development plan with Glennon and Trubisky went kaput and mercifully adapted on the fly. Eight turnovers in four games from your starter in Glennon, a guy who already limits your playbook to the utmost degree, wasn't going to cut it. The risk of a widespread locker room mutiny by continuing to play the hapless veteran over the man the franchise invested everything in, was too much to consider. This Bears team needed a spark and who better than the man they wish to provide that spark for years to come in Trubisky.
Let's be clear: the moment to insert Trubisky was never going to be picture perfect. Acting as if every single minute factor could be controlled in this situation - such as an amazing supporting cast from the outset - was misguided. There wasn't going to be a soft landing spot. That's not how the notoriously brutal NFL works. Playing against the beyond athletic Vikings defense as a rookie is a daunting task in your first ever professional game. Incredibly intimidating on paper. Good thing this game isn't played on paper.
In reality, this move was always about not wasting time in the development of your primary catalyst in Trubisky towards ending Chicago sports' longest standing championship drought. The timeline of this organization to become a contender is accelerated and back on track, provided all goes well.
Now, the Bears' reins are firmly in Trubisky's hands. There's no turning back. The eventual success - or failure - of the Ryan Pace era will rest on his shoulders as it was always going to. Trubisky gives the Bears hope in the here and now and down the line. If he's indeed what they believe, Trubisky offers excitement this franchise hasn't felt in quite awhile. A thought of blue and orange confetti streaming from rafters isn't so crazy if he pans out. An important designation for a team that was indeed starting to be more closely associated with the bottom-feeder Cleveland Browns, instead of a standard of consistent excellence in the rival Green Bay Packers.
Whatever Trubisky becomes, it isn't going to happen overnight. That's what needs to be understood here more than any other aspect. The young quarterback will improve the Bears by virtue of his presence and natural ability alone, but he won't come without a few rough patches. For every dime touchdown pass, will come a misread of a coverage and subsequent interception.
And that's okay.
Because Trubisky will be learning on the fly, as he should. You can only learn by doing with tangible playing experience. The time to evaluate properly will come later. Early mistakes with some flash now are more than fine. Set the bar low and be pleasantly surprised if he plays well. Accept his youthful growing pains and lumps if not.
All this talk of rich history and yet it has been six years since the Bears made the postseason. 10 years since they captured their last NFC title. Over three decades since they last won a Super Bowl. This is a franchise that has made the playoffs five times since 1994. For the league's charter organization, you couldn't have imagined a more shrouded cloud to disappear under.
October 9th, 2017 - Trubisky's debut - will mark the beginning of a new era. Not only for Trubisky individually, but for a Bears franchise that has long fancied itself as something special without anything to show for it. To finally have a claim to fame and possess meaning with a true emblem of a proposed bright future.
Though, that discussion of establishing a legacy and restoring the Bears to their dominant mantel for Trubisky should be shelved for the time being. Those are concerns for a later date. It's time to have fun, revel in the moment, and appreciate the promise of a young quarterback merely taking it day by day.
The only real crucial question to ask right now is: does Trubisky roll up to Soldier Field next Monday in his grandma's Camry?
Robert Zeglinski Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for the Rock River Times and is an editor for Windy City Gridiron. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.