NFL

Glennon fires back as Bears squelch Trubisky-mania

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- BOURBONNAIS, IL -- Quarterback Mike Glennon dropped back at Saturday's first Chicago Bears practice following their 24-17 preseason loss to Denver and fired what seemed a statement shot.

On his first pass of the scrimmage, Glennon threw deep downfield to Kendall Wright, who beat the secondary for an easy score. Glennon proceeded to have what was easily his best practice of training camp, as if in response to the groundswell of sentiment pouring out from fans and media behind rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

"I think he obviously has had a bad game before," head coach John Fox said of Glennon. "If you've played this game you have. So, he responded well and I thought the first unit looked pretty good today."

The 18-for-25 effort for 166 yards and a touchdown by Trubisky created excitement in Chicago, but it became an even bigger issue because Glennon struggled with a 2-of-8 performance for 20 yards with a pick-6 interception by Chris Harris Jr.

The anointed starter can't have preseason efforts so poor and hope to avoid quarterback controversies.

"These guys are all big boys," Fox said. "They're professional athletes. They get it. There are going to be days like that. It's life.

"So, we'll just grab the bull by the horns and go about trying to get better. It was our first preseason game. Our whole first unit didn't do well. We had an errant shotgun snap. We didn't block real well. We didn't ID some things like we'd expect. It's like anywhere I've ever been as far as first preseason games with a lot of new guys out there, they look at the film. They'll get better for it."

On the other hand, Fox wasn't about to diminish what he saw from Trubisky, who led the Bears back against Denver reserves to a 17-10 lead after their first-team offense had looked inept against Denver's first-team defense.

"Everybody made a big deal out of him having success," Fox said. "I think that beats the alternative. I thought he played well, I thought he came back today (Saturday) and in his reps in practice today also responded well."

Fox wasn't about to call Trubisky a challenger for Glennon's job immediately after the game, or two days later. Nor was he even saying Trubisky would get to play with the second team ahead of Mark Sanchez.

"We've got a plan," Fox said. "We don't share every little intricacy of the plan. But we had a plan going into that game. As we prepare and get ready for Arizona, we'll have a plan going into this game."

What was obvious was how Trubisky's play electrified teammates.

"I think it's an amazing thing," rookie guard Jordan Morgan said. "When we both came here Day 1, we hit it off right away. Me and Mitch are pretty close.

"Just to go out here and see him perform like that, that's a great feeling. And then seeing him play so well, that's awesome. That's the type of stuff we talk about at our rookie meetings: teaching each other to hold each other accountable and be able to raise the bar for one another."

The fact the effort came in the first preseason game was enough to keep anyone from getting carried away with Trubisky's effort.

"He hasn't let it go to his head, so to speak," Morgan said. "It was the very first preseason game. It's one of those things where he realizes he did some good things and he's just going to continue to develop on that and build on that moving forward."

Fox refuses to let the effort carry too much weight.

"I don't think we're going to pick the football team or the depth chart after one preseason game," he said.

Trubisky hadn't looked overly sharp in practices leading up to the game. In fact, he closed the final practice Tuesday by throwing an interception. It was all different with the lights on at Soldier Field.

"That's kind of what I wanted to do," Trubisky said. "Go out there, just be consistent, move the ball with the offense, show command in the huddle, at the line of scrimmage.

"The O-line did a great job taking care of me. The running backs and receivers did a great job of moving the ball, catching it and running it. I thought it was good."

And while Trubisky also downplayed it, he wasn't about to ignore the opportunity.

"It was important for me to not just let this moment go by," he said.

If that was the case, Glennon wanted to forget about his first moment.

"You have to kind of put it into perspective. Like I said, we're exactly one month out from (the season opener)," he said. "For me it's just good to get back out playing.

"I have to get used to coming out as a starter and playing and being that guy. A couple more preseason games to tune this up and I'm confident we'll do that."

Even he had to marvel at how Trubisky threw so well, particularly on the move.

"He played really well," Glennon said. "There's no doubt about that. I was impressed for his first time in a real NFL game setting. He played well. He moved the ball well. He ran it, had a touchdown to Victor (Cruz). He definitely played well."

So Glennon expected the inevitable talk about a quarterback controversy.

"Yeah, when you take a guy that high, I immediately knew that there could be something stirred up," Glennon said. "I'm not going to focus on the outside world. I'll focus on what's going on within the locker room and the coaches."

Not everyone is getting caught up in the perceived quarterback controversy.

Bears owner Virginia McCaskey, now 94 years old, visited camp on Saturday and chatted with Fox in a golf cart for a few minutes.

Fox was asked if McCaskey, the daughter of team and league founder George Halas, had a comment for him about the quarterback situation.

"Uh, no," he said. "She probably figured we already had enough of that."

Updated August 12, 2017


@STATS_Insights