The Chicago Bears will kick off their preseason on Thursday night, and it will be the first opportunity for fans to get a look at the team’s new quarterbacks against real live competition.
Of course, preseason games are a different animal than regular season tilts, but the fact remains that the Bears are getting a new era underway on Thursday. For the first time in nearly a decade, Jay Cutler isn’t the man under center, and Mike Glennon will take over as the team’s starter when they take on the Denver Broncos.
Glennon has said all the right things this preseason, as he signed a three-year contract and then saw the Bears draft a quarterback with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. He is still the starter, the team has repeatedly said, and he will get his first opportunity to show why the team made a significant investment in him when free agency opened earlier this year.
Even still, all eyes will be on the man who will likely be on the field in the second half, as Mitchell Trubisky will get some work in against the Broncos.
Trubisky has turned heads in training camp with his big arm and his athleticism on the run, but despite those skills he is still listed as the number three quarterback on the team’s depth chart, and he will be relegated to second half mop-up duty in the team’s first game.
That doesn’t mean that his appearance will be without meaning, however. The game will be fans’ first opportunity to see what Trubisky has been working on in training camp, as he looks to learn how the NFL game works. He’s taking snaps directly under center, which he rarely did in college, and the blitz packages and defensive alignments can often be tough for a rookie quarterback to diagnose.
Fortunately for Trubisky, his first appearance won’t necessarily be marked by those potential pitfalls. Teams will often use simple defensive schemes in preseason games, to avoid giving away any secrets before the regular season, and so Trubisky should be able to simply focus on executing plays and calling audibles at the line of scrimmage.
It will be fascinating to see how Trubisky handles his first chance under center in game action for the Bears, when his decision-making and accuracy will be under the microscope. The game may not have real consequences in the final standings, or even in the competition between the quarterbacks, but it will represent Trubisky’s first chance to send a message to the Bears and to the rest of the NFL.