What goes up, must come down. It’s the oldest law of the land, and applicable to the Chicago Bears’ depth chart.
Mitch Trubisky’s move up the quarterback depth chart meant Mark Sanchez – who signed on to be Mike Glennon’s backup this spring – slid down the pecking order. However, Sanchez’s tumble isn’t necessarily the end of the road for the 30-year-old signal caller.
Over at the Chicago Tribune, Rich Campbell explains why the Bears kept Sanchez and where the fit is for a player who was a starter with playoff experience, but is on the downside of his career. And one of the people who still sees Sanchez as an ideal fit is the player who bumped him down the depth chart in the first place.
“He has so much knowledge,” Trubisky said of Sanchez in Campbell’s piece. “Being in the league for nine years now, he’s seen so many defenses. And he knows how to, coming into a new team, how to study a new playbook. So he’s giving me tips how to remember things, pick it up faster, what to study in film on a weekly basis and how to carry yourself in the huddle. And he helps me a lot with situation scenarios throughout the game.”
Head coach John Fox praised Trubisky for picking up things in the offense quicker than expected, which helped Fox and his staff elevate the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft to QB2 status. So kudos to Sanchez if he played any role in aiding Trubisky’s progress or development.
For what it’s worth, Bears GM Ryan Pace still sees Sanchez as a valuable piece to the puzzle that is the team’s quarterbacks room. Pace still believes in Sanchez as a player, which apparently helps bring his other attributes to life.
“It starts with he’s a good player,” Pace said. “But it also goes into all the intangibles he brings, what he brings to our locker room and the quarterback room. Mike can lean on his experience, and Mitch can lean on that too. He’s valuable for us. He’s the kind of guy that just exudes positive energy wherever he is, and he has seen a lot in his career.”
All things considered, I can understand if Sanchez is taking his demotion hard. He won four playoff road games in his first two seasons with a New York Jets team that hasn’t seen much success since his departure. But since his last start for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, Sanchez has lost out on quarterback competitions in Denver (Trevor Siemian) and Dallas (Dak Prescott) before settling into a mentor role behind the Cowboys’ new franchise quarterback.
It’s evident Pace sees value in the concept of being a mentor on the gridiron. And while the Bears teamed youth with safety at several positions in the offseason, it is most noticeable in the quarterback room. At this stage of his career, this is a role that fits Sanchez quite nicely – and could suit the Bears this season with benefits that go beyond 2017.