If you thought Chicago Bears head coach John Fox was going to change lanes and toss the team’s quarterback depth chart out the window after one preseason game, then think again.
OK, so Mike Ditka disagrees. But this is Fox’s team until it isn’t, and he’ll make the decisions based on what he believes is best for the team – and Mitch Trubisky’s development and future.
Beyond squashing a quarterback controversy before one could even begin, Fox offered up his thoughts on a variety of things in his postgame press conference with the assembled media at Soldier Field. You can check it out in its entirety here, or check out the embedded video below.
Here are the highlights:
- I hate giving out letter grades for preseason games, but it’s safe to say Fox was pleased with the overall happenings of Thursday’s game. Final score aside, Fox praised the defense for weathering the storm caused by an offense that produced two turnovers in its first three possessions. “I think we played pretty well until late in the fourth quarter,” Fox said, making note of the 14-point outburst by the Broncos’ third-string offense. Fox noted the team only had 10 guys on the field on the 47-yard touchdown catch on 3rd-and-long by Isaiah McKenzie. If you’ll recall, NFL rules permit 11 players on the field. So someone missed out and it cost the Bears. However, Fox didn’t have an explanation for what happened on De’Angelo Henderson’s game-winning 41-yard touchdown run, which also came on a 3rd-and-long. All things considered, the defense played well despite a pair of major late-game gaffes.
- The good news for those players who didn’t play as well as expected, there is still time to right those wrongs. “I don’t think we’re going to pick the football team or pick the depth chart after one preseason game,” Fox said. “There’s corrections we need to do. We’ll look at it, evaluate the tape and march forward.”
- While some things didn’t go as planned, others did – including one major key that set Trubisky on the path to success. You might have noticed, but No. 2 quarterback Mark Sanchez didn’t get much burn in Thursday’s loss. He threw just four passes and was nowhere to be seen when the Bears entered the two-minute drill prior to the end of the first half. Instead, it was Trubisky taking snaps (even some under center!) and leading the team to a touchdown drive. According to Fox, it was all part of the plan. “That was by design,” Fox said of the move to insert Trubisky into the two-minute offense. “That if it worked out that we had a two minute drive we would put Mitch in.” Mission accomplished.
- Fox said he liked the command Trubisky displayed, but warned that “it wasn’t all perfect” adding the coaches would dissect more film and make more corrections to tighten things up for their Week 2 matchup.
- Speaking of perfection, Glennon’s evening was far from it. But Fox isn’t worried about the quarterback currently sitting atop the depth chart. Fox made note of how few plays the first unit ran on Thursday, with the number of plays skewing more toward the second and third-string squads. As for how he felt about his Glennon, Fox said he wasn’t worried about his confidence after a shaky start. “Not at all,” Fox quipped.
- Quarterbacks weren’t the only thing on Fox’s mind. The third-year Bears head coach lauded the running game, which received a pretty nice boost from fourth-round rookie running back Tarik Cohen. “Tarik has flashed quite a bit at camp,” Fox said. “We’ve seen a lot of what he’s capable of, and most people saw that tonight.”
- If you didn’t see it, you missed out. Cohen ran seven times for 38 yards, and that 5.6 yards per average clip is nothing to sneeze at either. The North Carolina A&T product ran strong and made moves between the tackles, which he’ll need to do in order to be a more well-rounded back. He wasn’t targeted at all out of the backfield in the passing game, but there was really no reason to unload the entire playbook in the first preseason game. It leaves something for the imagination.