Chicago Bears head coach John Fox insisted that the team needed to make changes after a demoralizing loss against the arch rival Green Bay Packers in front of a nationally televised audience. But it appears Fox wasn’t the only one.
Benjamin Allbright is the NFL analyst whose report of being “flooded with texts” regarding Mitch Trubisky’s immediate future as a starter set the Obsessive Trubisky Watch in motion. So when he shares an anecdote from behind the scenes, it’s worth noting:
They forced the change
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 3, 2017
When asked about locker room rumblings in the wake of the change, Allbright replied “they” (as in the players in the Bears locker room) helped forced the change from Mike Glennon to Mitch Trubisky. It’s a brief response, but one that opens a small window into a locker room in flux.
It also helps that players were public with their readiness to embrace change:
Zach Miller: "We've got to go home, have some self reflection, see what you can do to better our football team, better our offense."
— Mike Berman (@MikeBermanNBC) September 29, 2017
After seeing a season-high nine targets in Week 2, Zach Miller has seen the number of passes thrown his way decline in each of the past two weeks. This comes as Bears receivers struggled to make a connection with Glennon and as Miller could make a strong case for being the team’s most reliable pass catcher. Miller is Pro Football Focus’ 15th highest-graded tight end, but he has played nearly the same number of snaps as free agent Dion Sims – who ranks 44th among 66 qualifying players at his position.
Wheaton asked if WRs are on same page as MG: "Speaking for myself, I haven’t had a catch. So we obviously have got some stuff to work on."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) September 29, 2017
Markus Wheaton is in a unique position being the only free agent receiver who signed a multi-year deal with the idea of him becoming a deep threat for the Bears’ passing game. However, Wheaton wasn’t able to build much of a rapport with Glennon because of the time he missed in training camp, preseason, and into the regular season. Whether he connects with Trubisky remains to be seen, but Wheaton made it clear there was a significant gap to bridge to get on the same page with Glennon.
Maybe the same will be said about building a relationship with Trubisky, but several of these receivers have already worked with him during the preseason when they were working on the third-string offense.
Hicks: “The changes we need to make, hopefully we make those changes. Hopefully we put our team in position to win on defense and offense."
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) September 29, 2017
When the 6-foot-5, 322-pound defensive end speaks up, it’s best that anyone within hearing distance stops and listens. The Bears defense has been on a rollercoaster ride through four weeks as it struggles to find its identity and fight through injuries, while also defending a short field because of Glennon’s turnovers. Green Bay had scoring drives start at the Bears 3, Packers 40, Packers 37, and Bears 42. Both of the Steelers’ touchdown drives in the Bears’ Week 3 win started in Bears territory, too. That’s a problem. These are problems.
The openness from Bears players regarding change is eye opening and definitely a stark contrast from Fox’s close-to-the-vest style where he’s happy not offering up anything of substance. In the end, the players have received the change they wanted after Thursday’s loss. And in six days, it will be up to those players to hold up their end of the bargain in helping make Trubisky successful.