Lets cut to the chase, especially if you saw the Trubisky debut on Monday Night Football. Trubisky, just like current backup qb Mike Glennon, was in position to win his first game as the Bears starting quarterback. But this being the Bears, the rookie boy wonder threw an interception that was very… Cutler…ish, wouldn’t you say? See, Cutler was a strong armed, agile young quarterback when we acquired him many years ago for a lot of draft picks, sound familiar?
Cutler would roll out on a play that was designed for his agility, throw against his body toward the middle of the field and– PICKED OFF. Seen it more times than I care to remember. Every quarterback the Bears have had has done the same thing; Barkley, Hoyer, Krenzel, Quinn, Orton, Grossman, McNown, Willis, Walsh, Kramer, Jim Harbaugh, Tomczak, Fuller, McMahon and Bob Avellini. EVERY QUARTERBACK I HAVE EVER SEEN has made that stupid play. Ben Rothlisberger just threw 5 picks for the Steelers in their loss to Jacksonville. And Ben will still start next week.
At least when Mike Glennon made his debut, it didn’t end on a pick, but dropped passes in the end zone, which would’ve become touchdowns to win the game. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I supported Glennon at first. Yes, he completely lost his composure in the two road losses. That is enough to bench him, I agree. But I am not sold on Trubisky and the way the Bears acquired him either. You know that by now, too. I am not going to gush over how athletic this kid is, that’s a given. How will he handle the adversity that will come the rest of the year? That’s what I want to know now. And if he gets hurt and the Bears have to turn back to Glennon, will Glennon, execute the way I thought when the Bears signed him? I stand by my mark of calling the Bears, a fringe .500 or better team, with an outside shot at competing for the playoffs. I thought they would have to start 2-3 to be that team, and they are 1-4 with two terrible losses and two close calls that easily could have been flipped to the win column.
It occurred to me watching the Trubisky interception that led to Minnesota’s game winning field goal, how many times and how often the Bears receivers simply aren’t running! I have seen repeatedly. You have too. Everybody is standing around picking their noses, watching the quarterback run for his life when they should be running to a spot on the field that says, “hey! I’m open, throw it here!” Trubisky did this once for a touchdown, that should’ve been picked off, but was tipped into Zach Miller’s hands. And the second time it was picked off, on virtually the same play with a different, not as lucky result.
The only receiver I have ever seen who didn’t have boogers was Tom Waddle. I wish people could go back and have seen him play. For two years, plus or minus, he was the best the Bears had. He would just sneak into open parts of the field and before you knew it, he had gone running. He took a terrible beating when he played, but he caught everything. If you listen to his radio show, the sound production team at ESPN 1000 plays the sound bite from Hall-of Famer Ronnie Lott, the 49er’s safety, who says, “if I was starting a team, you want Waddle!” He made John Madden’s “All Madden” team which was reserved for those players who best exemplified toughness, sportsmanship and great play. He is probably the only Bears receiver who has been regarded as such, in the last 50 years, since Ditka and Johnnie Morris in the early 60’s.
The Bears, the fans, and the media continue to think that the problem lies with the quarterback. To some extent it does. You can’t live with the many turnovers Glennon saddled the team with early in their two road losses. They all also believe that Trubisky represents the next great hope for the organization.
So the Bears acquired this weapon, like a new powerful gun, and then decided to give him one small bullet in Kendall Wright. One big, slow bullet in tight end Zach Miller. Two blanks in Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson, who barely played against the Vikings, but were awful against the Packers. And two duds, in waiver wire pickup Tre McBride, castoff from Tennessee and Marcus Wheaton, the big free-agent signee, who each caught one pass. Now Wheaton is the guy with the big mouth who threw Glennon under the bus last week after one game played with him, saying that the Bears need a quarterback who can throw it more accurately. Never mind Marcus, that you dropped all three passes from Glennon, which, by the way, hit you right in your hands! You finally caught a pass on the last play of the game against the Vikings with 8 seconds left. Well worth a two year contract. Not! The completion percentage for Glennon of 66.4 %, ranks 9th out of 32 passers that are over 50%. Turbisky was 12 of 25 in his debut, and he did not make this list.
Now, I know that Glennon got off to a bad start against the Packers when he was sacked and stripped for a fumble on the first play of the Bears first possession, but I seem to remember that Trubisky was also sacked and stripped for a turnover as well. Other writers said it must be Glennon’s lack of mobility, when it happened to him, hmmm. Not so different after all, are they? I did notice the ability to scramble by Trubisky, but I also noticed the speed of the Vikings defenders in chasing him down as well. On one play in particular, Trubisky tumbled out of bounds after getting his legs cut out from under him as he reached the sideline. I was quickly relieved to see him run back to the huddle. He best not over judge his own speed, or under estimate the speed of his opponents. Let’s see how he fares in his first road start against a good defense next week in Baltimore.
I really wasn’t impressed by the play calling, once again. It seems that offensive coordinator Dowel Loggains prefers to pass rather than run, which goes against the Bears model. He isn’t helping his team’s cause, and I have no reason to think that he will become elite as his job. That said, the rest of the staff and front office is also diminishing my confidence of a sustained turnaround. More to come on those issues…
My crystal ball felt more vindicated this week after feeling embarrassed against the Packers. The trickery that was expected against Green Bay to help Glennon was instead unleashed to help the rookie. The fake punt led everyone who is not on the Trubisky bandwagon to say, make O’Donnell the quarterback. Good call by Fox, and who gets credit for the design of the 2 point conversion? Loggains or Rodgers, the special-teams coach? I believe I hit on production for Howard and Vikings receivers except for Diggs who aggravated his groin in the first quarter. Missed on Cohen, but I’ll blame that on Loggains not running the ball more. And actually I overshot on Trubisky’s passing but nailed his running.
We’ll explore other problems and preview Baltimore game in next takedown…