The Chicago Bears are reporting to training camp on Wednesday, and even after a 3-13 season that saw them finish with their worst record in recent memory, there is still a ton of optimism coming from the men leading the show.
“This is the deepest, most competitive team we’ve fielded so far,” Bears head coach John Fox said. “This is the first time I remember having five or six (players) that we’re going to have people looking at on waivers.”
After a year that saw almost 30 players suffer season-ending injuries, the Bears emphasized depth a lot in their offseason dealings, signing more free agents than any other team in the NFL, according to G.M. Ryan Pace.
One of the areas that the Bears made sure to shore up was their quarterback position, where they added free agents Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez and traded up in the draft to select Mitchell Trubisky with the number two overall pick.
Despite having such a high-profile player on their roster, Pace continued to preach that the Bears would be patient, saying emphatically that Glennon would be the starter to start the season.
“I’m not dealing with hypotheticals. Mike Glennon is our starter, and we’re confident with that,” Pace said. That’s a unique position. We all know that. We’re very confident in Mike Glennon.”
As for Trubisky, he will likely start training camp as the third quarterback on the depth chart, behind Glennon and Sanchez.
“For a young quarterback, you want him to take time and develop behind the scenes,” Pace said. “I think that can naturally happen. Right now our focus is having Mike Glennon as our starter and having competition for the back-up role.”
Pace also updated the health status of several players, saying that Danny Trevathan may not start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list after suffering a season-ending injury last year.
He also said that Kevin White, who missed the entire 2015 season with a shin injury and missed most of the 2016 season with a broken fibula, will be all-systems-go when training camp gets underway.
“He’s had a great summer and a great offseason. He’s ready to go,” Pace said. “He’s comfortable with his body, and he’s ready to be unleashed.”
The Bears, who are 9-23 under Fox during his two years at the helm, will be under a lot of pressure to show concrete steps forward this season, but the head coach cited his nearly three decades of experience in saying that he isn’t worried about what the future holds for him.
“I’m beyond the feeling the pressure part of it,” he said. “As a coach, you put pressure on yourself. There’s a lot of people in those stands on Sundays that want to see a winner bad, and every year that’s been the main focus and main objective for me.”
The Bears will get their training camp officially underway on Thursday with their first practice in Bourbonnais.