For the last eight seasons the predictability surrounding the starting quarterback competition at Chicago Bears training camp down in Bourbonnais, Illinois has been just that- predictable. Jay Cutler was traded to the Bears in 2009 and was the starting, franchise quarterback from the moment he put on the navy blue uniform.
Jay Cutler’s reps were calculated: Get him in rhythm, make sure he feels confident particularly with any new weapons- and just keep him 100 percent healthy leading up to the start of the season. In 2016 the quarterback training camp battle had more to do with settling which quarterback would be the backup and which would be the third string. Connor Shaw outplayed the more experienced Brian Hoyer this time last year, and unfortunately in preseason game No. 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Shaw suffered a gruesome injury ending his 2016 campaign before it even started.
Fast forward to today, just nine days before the Chicago Bears begin training camp in the hot Bourbonnais, Illinois sun. Jay Cutler is long gone. Brian Hoyer is now on the San Francisco 49ers. Connor Shaw once again is competing for a backup quarterback spot on the team, except now there are more bodies ahead of him at training camp. The Bears traded up to draft rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the first round. Chicago signed veteran quarterback and Tampa Bay Buccaneers outcast Mike Glennon. Former New York Jets AFC Championship leading quarterback Mark Sanchez is in the mix as well.
— Chicago Bears Fans (@BearsViews) July 17, 2017
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox on NFL Draft Day declared Mike Glennon the starting quarterback. Fans and media alike cannot wait to get down to training camp to see just how sharp Glennon and Trubisky look working with their receivers. How big is the gap between those two players? Can Trubisky work himself into the starting job before the season starts, or at least get close? The Bears had many holes to fill in the draft and they did a nice job of filling those holes- but drafting a quarterback that high only begs the question: When is Mitch Trubisky’s time coming?
Early implications in training camp will pave the way for all four quarterbacks to prove themselves. That was not the case the last eight seasons, because even though Glennon was named starter this season- it’s not as though he’s Jay Cutler coasting through camp, his job already set in stone. Glennon has a playbook to learn. He has a new team culture to embrace and ultimately lead.
This will be the most intriguing Chicago Bears training camp in almost a decade. As with most topics concerning the NFL- it all starts with the quarterback position.
Michael Berns is Editor in Chief of Endzonescore.com. He also contributes to college football writing: particularly covering the Illinois Fighting Illini and all things BigTen. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter –@MichaelBerms.