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Did the Bears Sandbag Mitchell Trubisky?

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There were some very curious, and telling, decisions made by the Bears last night. What does it mean for the quarterback position heading into the all-important third preseason game?

Chicago Bears v Arizona Cardinals
Mitchell Trubisky
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Feel free to accuse me of having my tinfoil hat on or drinking the Trubisky Kool-Aid, but there were some things last night that didn’t add up for me. Coming off of the week 1 performances by each quarterback, I expected to see something different against the Cardinals.

What we saw though was something that didn’t surprise me, but rather confirmed my worst fears. John Fox is so opposed to a quarterback controversy, that he sandbagged his own rookie quarterback.

How else do you explain waiting until 2:04 left in the third quarter to let your rookie, second overall pick play in a preseason game? Then once you put him in the game, you feature Josh Rounds for the bulk of the plays.

Rounds, who amassed a whopping 18 yards on 9 carrier, and that is with a long of 17 yards mind you, provided no help to the Bears offense and clearly is not an NFL player. The Cardinals defense was consistently putting 8, 9 even 10 men in the box and blitzing heavily. The Bears countered by running the undrafted rookie 9 times out of 20 total plays that Trubisky was in the game.

Furthermore, the receiver darling of week 1, Deonte Thompson, did not appear to get on the field when Trubisky was in the game. He certainly was not targeted at any rate. All this despite a very nice game on special teams for Thompson. So clearly, he was not injured or being sat down for any other purposes.

What I don’t understand is why you would try to run out the clock to preserve a victory in a preseason game. What is the value in that? You could have at least used those snaps for the benefit of your young signal caller. Why couldn’t you simulate situational football despite what the actual situation was? Instead, you simulated the 4-minute offense for the remaining 17:04. What purpose does that serve?

To add insult to injury, John Fox inserted Mark Sanchez in the game for one series. Seemingly the sole reason for this was to prove that Trubisky was third on the depth chart and that he was in charge. When are the Bears going to learn to stop hiring ego maniacs like Fox and Lovie Smith, who purposely torpedo their own team because they are too stubborn?

All of this falls on the heels of another sub-par performance by Mike Glennon. After Tarik Cohen drove the offense inside the redzone, Glennon promptly throws an ill-advised pass to Tyrann Mathieu. There were 3 other instances where a Glennon pass could have, and should have, been intercepted.

Everything Glennon did was in slow motion. His feet are slow, his reads are slow, his throwing motion is slow, his velocity is slow. Honestly, Glennon simply does not appear to have an NFL skill-set. Why then, does he keep being forced upon us while the other rookie quarterbacks are moving up their respective depth charts?

The fact remains that Glennon struggled mightily again (4.9 YPA and 78.2 Rating) and those numbers would have been even worse had they replaced Glennon in the second quarter, which they should have. This game offered a prime opportunity to see what you rookie quarterback is made of. The Arizona defense played fast, provided consistent pressure and proved to be overwhelming to the veteran Glennon. Could Trubisky have performed better? We will never know.

But then I ask, what is the reason behind sticking with Glennon? Is it Fox’s ego? Is it strictly money? Or is because Glennon’s psyche is fragile enough that he couldn’t handle a benching? If the latter is true, then he needs to be removed from the starting role immediately. The players know who’s the real deal and who’s not. There will soon be a divided locker room if this continues.

This blind faith is an affront to the intelligence of football fans. It doesn’t take a coach or scout or general manager to see that Trubisky is a better football player than Glennon. If John Fox is really on the hot seat, isn’t he better off going with the better player? He seems to be throwing it in our faces as the pressure builds for him to improve results on the field, while at the same time, find meaningful playing time for the future of the franchise.

This is a young team that needs a flexible, innovative and energetic head coach to see through this rebuilding process. What they have though, is a rigid, crusty old man that cannot see the forest for the trees. The single-minded, bull-headedness that is on display at Halas Hall will be the undoing of this current administration. The assumption, like the ones Greg Blache and Lovie Smith have made about the intelligence of the Bears fanbase is folly. The ego and arrogance will eventually lose the locker room.

My only hope is that Ryan Pace steps in before this becomes an issue. In the pregame interview on the FOX broadcast, there was some hope and optimism about the quarterback situation. What actually happened though, was quite the contrary. I sincerely hope that I am wrong in this assessment, but I fear that I am not.

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