Mitch Trubisky’s stock is on the rise. Some would even say his campaign to start the season as the Chicago Bears’ QB1 has the popularity of a runaway freight train.
What’s made him so popular? Well, according to research from Dick’s Sporting Goods, it’s jersey sales (or maybe that’s the other way around). Trubisky has the 11th best-selling jersey in the last week, 19th in the last 30 days, and 24th this season, according to data provided by dsg.com.
And if you’re interested, you can buy his and many other Bears jerseys through our partner, Fanatics (plus, there’s 20% off today and free shipping over $30, so why not?).
- The fourth preseason game isn’t usually one about which players or fans dream, but Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has fond memories of his first time. Carr says the additional playing time given to him by (then) head coach Dennis Allen gave him a boost and allowed for some in-game development time. Carr, who was the NFL’s highest-paid player for a brief period this summer before Stafford took over, was a second-round pick by the Raiders who launched himself into a starting position as a rookie by beating out Matt Schaub. So, good luck telling him the fourth preseason game is meaningless.
- For what it’s worth, Trubisky will get his chance to state his case to be the Bears’ starting quarterback. While it’s highly unlikely Trubisky does anything that sways the Bears’ thinking or moves them off their plan, Trubisky could make the most of his playing time and continue his already impressive development.
- There is obvious injury risk in starting Trubisky tonight, but ESPN analyst/quarterback guru/Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden is an advocate of getting the No. 2 overall pick an extended look to wrap up the preseason. Gruden tells Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, “I think this is a great idea. Let him play the whole game. Put something on his plate. Give him a game plan to sink his teeth into. Let him go out there and play. He only had the one year [starting] at North Carolina. This experience is huge for him.”
- Gruden makes an astute observation in that there is no replacement for game reps. So while Trubisky can practice and go through as many walk-throughs as he wants, there is no substitute or simulation for getting a feel for the game than playing it.
- Trubisky is reason enough to watch tonight’s fourth preseason game, but Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush notes there are a variety of other things to watch for beyond what’s happening at quarterback. Among them, perhaps we’ll get some separation from some of the players angling to catch passes from Trubisky, Mike Glennon, or whoever is under center this season. Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Tanner Gentry, Deonte Thompson, and Titus Davis are among those who will be in a prime position to raise their profiles in the preseason finale.
- With that in mind, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune has details on how Gentry is making his push to make the 53-man roster. The University of Wyoming product is doing more than just running routes, catching passes, and making a friend under center in Trubisky. An undrafted free agent who could garner plenty of attention if he doesn’t make the cut, Gentry is putting in the kind of grunt work coaches think highly of when considering final cuts.
- Josh Allen, Gentry’s former teammate at Wyoming, is getting his share of prospect hype. But the best quarterback prospect since Cam Newton? Those are mighty big shoes to fill:
In 2013, not one FBS school offered Josh Allen a scholarship.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 31, 2017
- JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago highlights seven players to watch closely in the Bears’ final preseason game. Trubisky obviously falls somewhere on the list, but veterans such as outside linebacker Lamarr Houston and Victor Cruz, as well as young players such as tight end Daniel Brown and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris are players who aren’t front-and-center who are battling for playing time and roster spots.
- Speaking of Robertson-Harris, Chris Emma of CBS Chicago writes the linebacker-turned-defensive end doesn’t look like he’ll settle for just making the roster. Emma writes Robertson-Harris could be making a move toward being a significant contributor to a defensive line hoping to bulk up and provide a strong front line for what has the potential to be a top-10 defense. Injuries to Mitch Unrein and Jaye Howard have thrust Robertson-Harris into an expanded role, where he has picked up four tackles, two sacks, and a blocked punt.
- If he makes the team, he’ll get a chance to wear these nifty uniforms:
Bear ⬇️. pic.twitter.com/dj2tmSk4Wu
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 31, 2017
- Plenty of former Bears are looking to secure roster spots with their play in the final preseason game. Among them is defensive tackle Will Sutton, who was let go by the Bears this offseason and seems to have found a home with the Minnesota Vikings. Sutton, who was drafted by Phil Emery, looks to be a better fit for a 4-3 defense and has shown just that while working with the Vikings this summer. Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes Sutton is someone to keep an eye on in Minnesota’s final preseason tune-up.
- Matthew Stafford’s major pay raise hasn’t changed anything about Aaron Rodgers’ contract status, says Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, “When it comes to how that affects my own status, nothing’s changed. I have this year and two more years to play, and that stuff takes care of itself.” Rodgers is in the middle of a five-year deal worth $110 million that goes through 2019. Because of some of the contracts that have been signed since the Packers inked Rodgers back in 2013, the two-time league MVP and Super Bowl XLV winner is the seventh highest-paid quarterback. Surely, his time will come … again.
- On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers have gone to free agency in search of a boost by signing former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks. A Pro Bowl outside linebacker with two second-team All Pro nominations on his record, Brooks will look to bring a boost to Green Bay’s pass rush.