If you’re a Bears fans with high hopes for quarterback Mitch Trubisky, you are not alone.
Brian Urlacher starred for the Bears from the season he was drafted, 2000, until he retired after 2012, but he suffered through some lean times at quarterback while he raomed from sideline-to-sideline as the team’s middle linebacker. Urlacher is hoping players on the Bears’ future defenses don’t suffer a similar fate.
“I hope this kid is unbelievable,” Urlacher said in an interview that picked up headlines because of his mention of a Lovie Smith Curse. “I hope Mitch Trubisky is the best quarterback of all time. He looks like a stud. He’s 6-2, 6-3, put together, good-looking kid, he seems really nice … I hope they do really well.”
Urlacher also has big dreams when it comes to the Bears’ defense, predicting the defense will be good this season, in part because of how many young players contributed, which he believes will help them (and the team) improve in 2017. As for Trubisky, he doesn’t project to start in 2017, though certain situations could dictate otherwise. Former Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday made a compelling case for him to compete with Mike Glennon for the starting job during training camp, but the consensus is still for Trubisky to learn on the sidelines – which could turn out to be the best-case scenario for a player who has started just 13 games since graduating high school.
Perhaps Trubisky earning his way into the starter’s role could clear up some confusion for Urlacher regarding the future of the quarterback spot. Urlacher said he didn’t understand what the team was doing when they drafted Trubisky with the second overall pick a month after signing Glennon in free agency.
“I don’t know what the identity of that team is,” Urlacher said.
To be fair, the Bears are in a period of transition. GM Ryan Pace has successfully moved on from many of the players from the ill-fated Phil Emery regime who weren’t projected to be long-term contributors for future Bears teams. Emery had three drafts in Chicago, and the only players left who were chosen by him are cornerback Kyle Fuller, running back Ka’Deem Carey, punter Pat O’Donnell, left tackle Charles Leno Jr., and left guard (moving from the right side) Kyle Long.
Soon, a day will come in which Pace will be judged by the quality of his drafts. And none will be more important than the 2017 NFL Draft, where Pace hopes that Urlacher’s feelings about the No. 2 overall selection are spot on.