Thinking about getting a Mitch Trubisky jersey after last night?
Of course you are. But the line starts right behind me.
- It looks like Trubisky made some friends/fans with his debut performance. Several Bears wideouts checked in with The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain to share what they saw from the rookie signal caller. It’s an overall positive vibe (which was expected after watching Trubisky throw how he did on Thursday) for a quarterback who has made just 13 starts since graduating high school and has spent most of training camp taking third-string reps behind Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez. Trubisky made the most of an extended look in the preseason opener. Rueben Randle lauded Trubisky’s ability to handle the pressure and was excited to be catching passes from the North Carolinan, Deonte Thompson praised his poise and his ability to command the huddle, and Victor Cruz (who caught Trubisky’s first touchdown) gave his stamp of approval.
- Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network writes Trubisky turned heads for all the right reasons with his play against the Broncos. Trubisky did it all on Thursday. He hit open receivers with accurate throws, threaded the needle and squeezed deep passes through tight windows, and used his athleticism and showed off some mobility to extend plays and make things happen. Naturally, this left Mike Glennon in a bit of an awkward position, but the starting quarterback (for now) took it in stride and was a good sport when fielding questions. Just don’t expect him to be fielding NFL Network’s calls this week as he tries to block out the noise heading into a Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. “I wouldn’t say my phone’s going to be off,” Glennon told Pelissero when asked if his phone will be off in an attempt to quiet the noise and distractions. “But if you work for NFL Network, I’m not going to be checking you out.”
- Before going all in on the Mitch Trubisky Love Fest, let’s not lose sight of what the Bears defense did last night. Particularly in the first half, holding the Broncos to 94 total yards and limiting the unit to 1-for-6 on third-down conversions. Leonard Floyd led the charge with a sack, a quarterback hit, and a tackle-for-loss in his short stint. Defensive end Jonathan Bullard also flashed with a big run stuff which was a pleasant surprise for the 2016 third-round pick. While Denver’s quarterbacks aren’t going to put fear into many defenses, Vic Fangio’s group showed up from the first snap and proved to be the aggressors by setting an early tone and dominating for three quarters.
- Sticking on the defensive side of the ball, SI.com’s Chris Burke highlights important training camp position battles, including the one brewing between two-year starter Adrian Amos and rookie fourth-round pick Eddie Jackson. The Bears passed on high-upside secondary members early in the draft, instead settling on taking a shot at Jackson, who has been working with the first-team at times during camp and has shown off the kind of ballhawking skills not seen since Mike Brown roamed the defensive backfield. His challenge is a tough one, as Amos has started 30 games over the last two years and has been an above average starter in each of those years. But he has played more than 1,800 defensive snaps and has yet to come down with an interception. That stands out, especially considering he’s playing for a defense that struggled to force turnovers last year.
- Reminder: There is still a ton of stuff to work on before the games start to matter:
Not quite what you draw up defensively on 3rd and long. pic.twitter.com/OOG1A1oySI
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) August 11, 2017
- Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts column in the Chicago Tribune is always a treat after a Bears game, though, not so much if you’re cornerback Kyle Fuller. Biggs writes Fuller is likely to be traded before final rosters are due on Sept. 2, adding it feels as a matter of when (not if) a deal gets done. Fuller’s career with the Bears has been a disappointment, and not just because he missed the 2016 season with a knee injury. Fuller played in all 32 games in his first two seasons, but his inconsistent showings in those years were maddening. The four interceptions he had as a rookie feel like a distant memory, in part because three came during a two-week stretch within the first three games of his career. Knowing that dominant defensive tackle Aaron Donald went one pick before Fuller, and players like linebacker Ryan Shazier, guard Zack Martin, wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin, and safeties Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Jimmie Ward were first-rounders who went after Fuller is quite annoying.
- After weighing its evidence for quite some time, the NFL finally came down with a punishment for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott that stemmed from domestic violence allegations. The league’s leading rusher was handed a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. You can read the NFL’s statement regarding the suspension here. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension hoping to knock some games off the back end. If Elliott does not appeal, his suspension will begin on Sept. 2 and won’t be eligible to return until after the Cowboys’ Oct. 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
- The Buffalo Bills have been busy on the transaction wire, making two major trades to shake up their wide receivers room. Buffalo acquired cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for wide receiver Sammy Watkins. A former top-10 pick, Watkins bolsters what projects to be an improved pass offense for the Rams. Jared Goff struggled to move the ball and put points on the board as a rookie, and having a lackluster group of receivers didn’t help matters. Adding Watkins, who gained 2,920 receiving yards and scored 15 touchdowns in 29 games over his first two years before injuries caused him to miss eight games in 2016, to that offense is a nice addition. Buffalo wasn’t done, as it replaced Watkins with Jordan Matthews in a separate trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills received Matthews (who has 2,673 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in his career) and a third-round pick from the Eagles in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby.
- Seeing a pair of cornerbacks dealt on Friday makes you wonder if the Bears could get anything in a deal for Fuller if he can stay healthy and prove to be productive during the preseason.
- A survey conducted by J.D. Power says national anthem protests were a main reason why some fans tuned away from NFL games last season. The survey found that 30 percent of football fans said “The Star-Spangled Banner” protests led to their decline in NFL viewership and/or attendance. Compared to the banner year of 2015, ratings dropped 6 percent in the playoffs and 9 percent in the regular season.