It’s time to break open the plastic wrapping, cut the tags off the merchandise, and introduce the brand new Christmas toy to the rest of the figurines in the toy box.
It’s time to place the old Mike Glennon figurine, the one that was cool and new for about a month, into the donation pile where some other needy child can find use for him.
Yes, it’s time to take out the Mitch Trubisky action figure that was beginning to collect dust on a shelf in the closet and see what the Bears’ new superhero can do. What kind of cool features does he have? What are his powers and strengths? What can he do that no other toy before him has been capable of doing?
Does he run faster than a 300-pound locomotive linebacker and pick up first downs to keep drives alive? Does he evade the evil defenders with his lightning-quick agility, use his superior eyesight to spot an open receiver and make a laser throw on the run? Does he lift his wounded teammates on his back with his superhuman strength and carry them across the finish line to save the day?
This is all so exciting. The possibilities are endless!
Except … we don’t know if we’re allowed to open it yet. Papa Fox wants us to play with the old toy for which the organization paid good money. If we take out the Trubisky action figure too soon, we might break it and it’ll never be the same again.
Understand: my opinion that the Bears need to start the rookie Trubisky at quarterback when the team takes the field next Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings has more to do with Trubisky’s potential and the future of the organization than it does with Glennon’s failures or the current state of the roster.
This is not all about Glennon’s poor performances through the first quarter of the season. The Bears’ 1-3 start, including their woeful road losses to the Buccaneers and Packers, are not all on Glennon’s shoulders. Glennon has played poorly, to be sure. His five interceptions and three lost fumbles doubles the number of touchdown passes he’s thrown. To put it another way, he’s turned the ball over 8 times in 16 quarters as the Bears’ quarterback.
That’s not a good ratio. That’s what drove Bears fans crazy about Jay Cutler. And Cutler is infinitely more talented than Glennon is. Trading jerseys for the same product on the field is not going to get it done.
But I’ll reiterate my stance: going to Trubisky is more about the rookie than it is about Glennon’s performance and how it’s aided the Bears’ two embarrassing losses this season.
The Bears have proven they’re not good enough to compete with Green Bay. That’s a Packers team that was decimated by injuries that destroyed the Bears on Thursday night. I’m not so sure that starting Trubisky would have made that game any closer on the scoreboard.
But because there remains a huge gap between the Bears and their chief division rival, and because Glennon is not the long-term answer at quarterback, it does not make any sense to continue trotting him out onto the field.
The Bears need to find out what they have in the rookie Trubisky, and they need to find out sooner than later.
This is an experiment. This is not the Bears trying to win right now. I don’t want to hear the phrase “the best chance to win” when debating which quarterback to play. Playing Trubisky for the final 12 games of the season is done to see if his arrow is pointing up or down. To see if he is a guy with whom they truly can build a team.
Because mark my words: if they don’t start Trubisky until the last few games of the season or — God forbid — they wait until next year, the Bears will have wasted not only this year but next year, too, in terms of finding out what they have in him.
There is supposedly a nice crop of rookie quarterbacks that will be entering next year’s draft. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to the Bears if they played Trubisky, found out he was awful based on his performance on the game field — not on the practice field or in film study — and then were in position to take another swing at that elusive franchise quarterback in next year’s draft?
I guarantee you that if the Browns — who have started rookie DeShone Kizer from Day 1 — are dissatisfied with his performance or the direction in which his arrow appears to be pointing, they’ll take another crack at a quarterback next year.
The Browns have the right idea — I know, it’s as surprising for me to type this as it is for you to read it. They’re seeing what their shiny new toy can do. They’re not keeping it wrapped up in its original packaging for fear of breaking it if they take it out too soon.
I feel bad for Mike Glennon in one sense. He was brought into a no-win situation with even less chance at succeeding given the talent surrounding him. But in another sense, football is a business and the Bears made a business decision to bring in two new quarterbacks this offseason.
It’s clear that Glennon is not the answer, through whatever circumstances and reasons even the staunchest of Glennon supporters might want to argue.
But the Bears have to play Trubisky now. They have 11 days to get him prepared and up to speed with the starting offense — even less when you consider the team will have days of rest. The Bears need to rally the troops, get the players excited about football after such a devastating blowout to their division rival in front of a primetime national audience. Win or lose, the further the Bears fall into a pit of despair as an entire organization, the longer and tougher it is to get out.
It’s Trubisky time. It just is.