John Fox has mastered the art of using a lot of words to speak without saying anything of substance as he plays it close to the vest during the team’s 10-day layoff. And when it comes to a potential promotion for rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Fox continues to keep it mum, but we’ll do our best to read the tea leaves.
- Fox’s latest came Friday when he was given a chance to bring clarity to the Bears’ quarterback situation, but instead decided to deflect attention elsewhere. Zack Pearson of Scout.com’s Bear Report writes Fox was being intentionally vague when talking about the position. “I don’t single out one position,” Fox told reporters on Friday. “I know there are a lot of people out there that enjoy that, but there are 11 critical positions and we’ve got to do a lot of work on all 11 of them.”
- Of course, one position stands out above the rest. It’s a position the Bears have been trying to fill for quite some time and hope to have done so with how they approached acquiring Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes Fox didn’t rule out starting Trubisky in Week 5 on Monday Night Football, but insisted there was no rush to announce any changes because of the lengthy amount of downtime between games. Fox added GM Ryan Pace will have a say in when Trubisky gets the call, but Fox did not specify how the two sides would come to a conclusion as they weigh Mike Glennon’s early season struggles with a rookie’s readiness to run a pro offense.
- Former Bears receiver Victor Cruz weighed in on the Bears’ options on when to start Trubisky prior to the Bears-Packers game, saying he wouldn’t be surprised to see him start as early as Week 5. But after Thursday’s debacle, Cruz believes Week 5 is the time to start the No. 2 overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft. “Anytime a young guy gets his first start, there’s no easy game to put him into,” Cruz told NFL Network’s Good Morning Football program. “There’s always going to be those jitters. There’s always going to be that week of preparation that has to get through and everybody’s good in the league, so you’ve got to make sure that he’s ready to go. If this is the week, I think it happens now.”
- Finding the ideal time and place to thrust Trubisky into a starting role seems impossible, in part, because it is. There will always be first-game jitters, opponents will always have intimidating defenders, and opposing offenses will still be on the hunt to put touchdowns on the board. Eventually, there will come a point where the developmental process goes beyond running the scout team and performing other duties reserved for backup. That time seems to be coming up quickly, even if Fox is talking his way around it.
- Greg Gabriel, who once served as the Bears’ scouting director, believes now is the time to start Trubisky. Putting the rookie into a starting role doesn’t ensure instant success, and Gabriel cautions rookie mistakes are inevitable. However, putting Trubisky in the lineup will change some of the offense’s dynamic by allowing offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to expand his playbook to use designed rollouts, bootlegs, zone reads, and run-pass options. Making the move will serve as an acknowledgment of the Glennon experiment being a mistake, but will also put the franchise in the position to move forward with a player they believe can be a franchise quarterback.