“Mike’s the starter,” Trubisky said. “This is his team.”
The question is, for how long.
Chicago’s plan has always been for Trubisky to one day assume the starting role -- he’s the second overall pick of this year's draft -- but the club’s stated preference is for Glennon to be the guy in 2017.
That may still happen -- Glennon is guaranteed $16 million this season -- but Trubisky’s performance against Denver (18-of-25 for 166 yards and one touchdown) ratchets up the pressure on Glennon, who had a forgettable preseason debut.
“You have to kind of put it into perspective,” Glennon said. “Like I said, we’re exactly one month out from that game [the season opener]. 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.”
Unfortunately for Glennon, sports fans tend to lose perspective in situations like these.
The Bears have been searching for a franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman started under center in the 1940s. You can’t blame the fan base for its excitement over Trubisky’s play Thursday night, especially since those fans have been forced to endure three straight years of last-place finishes and six consecutive seasons without playoff football.
Did Trubisky play against all backups?
Did Glennon have to face a much better defense?
Do Chicago sports fans care?
Of course, fans don’t make personnel decisions -- or they shouldn’t -- and coach John Fox has given zero indication that he’s contemplating any change to Chicago’s quarterback depth chart.
But Glennon is a realist. He knows it’s only a matter of time until Trubisky takes over. You can delay the inevitable for only so long.
“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.
“He [Trubisky] played really well. 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.”
Glennon is in a tough spot. The veteran quarterback needs a bounce-back performance in the Bears’ next preseason game at Arizona on Aug 19. If you think exhibition football doesn’t matter in Glennon’s case, think again.
He cannot afford another clunker. Otherwise, the calls to start Trubisky will grow louder and louder, reaching a point where the Bears -- despite their best efforts -- will be unable to ignore them.
In the NFL, the best players play. Period. And Trubisky sure looked like the best quarterback on Chicago’s roster Thursday night, even if he faced only second- and third-teamers.