Throughout the 2010's, the Bears brass’s overwhelming loyalty to a player or to a concept has really shown them to be in denial. It's a large reason why the Bears have been basement dwellers in their four team division for so long. "Rex is our quarterback", "We come off the bus running", "We are a Tampa 2 defense, we bend, not break" are examples of delusions Bears management have had this decade. When obviously none of these statements were true, the Bears management were in denial to the point where they seemed brainwashed. The latest delusions of the Bears revolve mainly around the quarterback situation, and there's a number of "subdenials" that factor into their decision making. Let's examine this more closely.
With the inevitable departure of Jay Cutler (someone they were in denial about for far too long), they went out and signed Mike Glennon. The player and his talent aside, Glennon’s contract is ejectable after one year and the Bears felt they needed to get someone with game experience. His numbers are much better than his skillset, and he lost his job to Josh McCown. But he was there, and they didn't know they wanted to/ thought they could get, Trubisky, and he was never meant to be "the guy". I'll accept that.
In comes Trubisky, the potential savior for a Bears franchise that has not had consistent, and that’s setting the bar low when many teams have had superstars in succession, QB play. Trubisky’s knock on him, his lack of experience, could be mirrored by his counterpart #2 overall draft pick, Carson Wentz. The same concerns for Wentz were due to playing D1-AA at North Dakota State. After the incumbent starter Sam Bradford was traded, Wentz was the starter right out the gate, and although he started his season a lot better than he finished, he gained undeniably invaluable experience, and showed Philadelphia he was their man going forward. Playing that rookie year, and finishing to a respectable 7-9, was critical to his growth. Not watching from the sidelines.
In my opinion, the most important reason to play Trubisky is actually the difference of the Bears team this year and the Eagles last year. The Bears management is in denial is they think their team is going to make it to the playoffs, or even finish at .500. They are in denial if they think the Bears will end up better than 4-12 (and that’s awfully generous). Their next 4 games are Steelers, Packers, Vikings, and Ravens. I don’t see a win there, especially if it’s Glennon at the helm. Honestly, I’m not even sure if the Bears can defeat the Browns in week 16. But here’s the thing- all the fans know this. They aren’t expecting the Bears to win, but they are hoping to see some fight in this woefully undertalented team, and a glimmer of hope for their future. As someone who has been to countless Bears games (my family has had season tickets for decades), I can tell you with certainly how empty and pathetic attendance was in the second half of the season. No one wanted to come and sit in the cold and see them get slaughtered. It was almost as the LA Chargers in Stubhub center. That’s what the future holds for Soldier Field without Trubisky this season.
However, it is still Glennon era, even though we know who he is, and his incredibly low ceiling. He doesn’t have a feel for the pocket, escapability, or mobility. He doesn’t know how to extend the play, and he struggles to get the ball down the field even with a clean pocket. He has looked lost all season, just like he looked lost all preseason. He is a downgrade of Jay Cutler, who, if he isn’t flourishing in Miami, he is certainly playing very well. If the Bears brass cannot see this, they are in denial.
It almost seems that John Fox is protecting HIM, not Trubisky. How can you tell us after the Bucs that you never considered a change? How can you not even hold him accountable? Why is he above criticism? Glennon himself said after the game, "There is no communication of being benched. So there’s no reason to worry about it" Are you effing kidding me?! Glennon’s stat line 31-45, 301 yds, 1 td, 2 interceptions, doesn’t seem terrible, but most of his yardage and his lone TD were in garbage time. He turned the ball over thrice, and once for a touchdown. He lost us the game against a team who hadn’t played since the preseason and wasn’t at their best. A team that he used to play for, and circled on his calendar, and came out of the tunnel with the intention of getting some revenge for drafting Winston and dropping him. How can he not worry about being benched for the #2 overall pick? Is this how little he actually cares? The lack of accountability the Bears put on him, and allow him to put on himself, show they are denial about him. The idea that they think Glennon has a better chance to win against the Steelers (and he got throttled versus the Bucs, a weaker team), show they are in denial. What’s especially interesting and really shows John Fox is in denial is that he is keeping the future of this franchise and possibly the saving grace for his own job, on the bench.
Rookies are going to make mistakes. That’s going to happen and its normal. There’s no strategy in playing them, that’s why you just have to play them. In what is already a lost year, and again, everyone seems to know this but John Fox, I strongly believe the Bears management will put themselves in the best position for 2018-2019 if they do the following:
1. Start all rookies. They are the future. Mr. Biscuit has shown us glimpses in the preseason (yes, I know it’s the preseason), but we need to find out what he can do. Glennon’s contract can be severed with minimal losses after this season. Just eat it and move on. Shaheen, another highly drafted rookie who has some intriguing physical tools but is untested, needs to start and needs to targeted. Why is he buried in the depth chart? Miller has been good but he is 32. Eddie Jackson, on the other hand played against the best of the best at Alabama. He was probably the lone bright spot against the Bucs, racking up 8 tackles. His coverage skills are mental and will develop over the season. Continue finding ways for the Bar Mitzvah boy Tarik Cohen to get the ball in space.
2. Adjust offensive scheme accordingly. With a combination of lack of talent/injuries at the WR position, as well as wanting to develop offensive rookies at other positions, utilize more creative packages. Two TE packages, packages with their fullback Michael Burton, getting the ball to Shaheen, Jordan Howard and Cohen. Cover up the lack of wide receiver options and use these other receiving options to give Trubisky some easy targets and game experience.
3. Most importantly and this is for you John Fox- show some passion! Everyone knows the Bears suck, stop denying it and make some changes to reinvigorate the fan base. Stop with the consistent nauseating rhetoric that makes your fan base concerned if you need to be institutionalized with your absolutely obliviousness to the reality. Who are you trying to kid? Get the most out of the offensive talent you want to build around next year.
Let’s hope this regime can eventually progress from denial to acceptance, because they are holding back this team until they do.