It’s fair to expect the unexpected in the NFL, and all bets are really off when it comes to the inexact science of quarterback development.
So, then, it’s fair to wonder what would happen if rookie Mitch Trubisky outplayed seasoned veteran Mike Glennon in training camp.
In the world of Jeff Saturday, a six-time Pro Bowl center who was a first-team All Pro twice during a career in which he played with Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, Trubisky should be allowed to compete for the starting job. Saturday recently told ESPN’s Dickerson and Hood Show (co-hosted by ESPN Chicago writer Jeff Dickerson) that the Bears should hold an open competition to be the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback in 2017. Saturday doesn’t think much of the offseason declarations of starters, because he believes teams don’t get better when competition is taken away because of how it can fuel players.
To be fair, we’ve seen recent examples of young quarterbacks playing their way into the starting lineup after being projected as backups (Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Trevor Siemian). The difference between those situations and what Trubisky faces, however, is that the Bears don’t have the kind of supporting cast surrounding their quarterback – a player who has still started just 13 games since graduating high school – that the other teams did.
Even still, a scenario where Trubisky outperforms Glennon exists and shouldn’t be completely dismissed. Allow Saturday to paint the picture:
“They paid Glennon a lot of money and they are going to try and get that year out of him, but my issue with that — as a veteran — is that if Trubisky shows up and just balls out and is the guy on offense that everyone wants to follow, shows he can be an incredible leader on the football field, and shows he’s a great quarterback and is better than Glennon, and then you make that decision that he’s not going to start no matter what … I think you’ve done yourself a tremendous disservice.”
Perhaps Saturday’s dream scenario will play out organically at camp. Maybe Trubisky comes in throwing dimes and building a rapport with his teammates to the point where they’re rallying around him. And while Trubisky learning from the sidelines while Glennon takes the on-field lumps might be best-case scenario in 2017, Trubisky could throw a wrench in the plans if he plays to the potential of being a No. 2 overall pick.