Mitch Trubisky isn’t starting against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and he doesn’t figure to come off the bench either – John Fox believes Mike Glennon needs as many reps as he can get under center. But that’s not stopping him from receiving support and endorsements from outside of Halas Hall.
Indeed, Kris Bryant knows a little something about being the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The Chicago Cubs third baseman was taken second overall back in 2013 and he’s been a cornerstone for the team’s success since debuting in 2015 (including an extra-innings, go-ahead homer last night!).
Bryant didn’t make the Opening Day roster that year (something about needing to work on defense for 10 days in Iowa), but he hasn’t looked back since getting his call to The Show.
Now Bryant wants to see Trubisky get the same chance:
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) September 21, 2017
When a reigning MVP and World Series winner speaks, you have to listen – right?
- Whenever Trubisky does finally play (could be sooner, might come later) he’ll have to deal with an offense with an Achilles heel in its depth at wide receiver, writes Bleacher Report’s Sean Tomlinson. Injuries have decimated an already thin group with last year’s leading receiver Cameron Meredith and 2015 first-round pick Kevin White suffering injuries that set them on injured reserve. Kendall Wright is the most experienced of the bunch, but he hasn’t had a 1,000-yard receiving year since 2013.
- But perhaps Markus Wheaton can be an answer to the Bears’ deep ball problems? Ideally, that’s the kind of element he brings to a team with a quarterback who has just thrown two passes that have traveled more than 20 yards in the air this season. In fact, 78 of the 85 passes Mike Glennon has attempted this year have traveled 15 yards in the air or less. That’s 91.8 percent of the passes going in the same general vicinity. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains needs to mix it up to keep the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense honest.
- Zack Pearson of Scout.com’s Bear Report highlights some of Glennon’s struggles in his loaded Stat Pack piece. Glennon ranks 31st or lower in several key categories including completion percentage (31st) and yards per attempt (35th). Good luck improving those numbers against a defense that has limited opposing quarterbacks to a 73.7 rating and 163 passing yards per game in the team’s first two weeks.
- For the Bears’ offense to get clicking on all cylinders, the running game that featured Jordan Howard’s breakout rookie season and another Pro Bowl appearance for Josh Sitton needs to get going. Over at the Chicago Tribune, Rich Campbell breaks down the Bears’ problems when running on first down. Being unable to establish the run early is one thing that has kept the Bears offense from having the kind of success it envisioned in 2017. Howard averaged 5.7 yards per attempt on first down as a rookie and gained 822 yards on 137 carries when given the ball on 1st-and-10 plays. Those numbers have taken a dive in 2017. Howard is averaging just 2.6 yards per attempt on first down and 18 of his 22 attempts have come while his team has been trailing. Getting off the bus running while trailing continues to be one of the toughest tasks in football.
- At least Kyle Long’s return seems promising. Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald writes expectations will be high with Long’s expected return to the lineup, and the three-time Pro Bowl lineman isn’t shying away from it. “If you play the game, you change the game,” Long said in the Daily Herald. “If you’re out there doing anything other than that, then you’re just witnessing it; you’re watching. It’s not a spectator sport.” Long has been a spectator for the better part of 10 months, but his wait looks to be over, and the Bears’ offense should be better upon his arrival.
- I don’t know about you, but I’m putting the tag team champions at the top of my draft board:
Who signed the tag team champs to college football scholarships!? pic.twitter.com/wva7oJFO19
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) September 22, 2017
- Le’Veon Bell is off to a slow start by his standards after missing out on offseason training activities and training camp while holding out for a new contract. Bell’s teammates know his best is yet to come, telling Joe Ritter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that it’s time for him to get back to his old self. Bell wasn’t much of a factor in the team’s first two games, though he ran for 87 yards in Week 2 … but it took him 27 carries to get there. A 3.2 yards per rush average isn’t what anyone is used to seeing out of Bell, but one teammate sees Sunday’s game against the Bears like it’s a preseason Week 3 matchup – a game where players start to look like their old selves. The Bears have been pretty good against the run through two weeks, so this matchup will be worth highlighting on Sunday.
- Is it possible the Bears have a chance because the Steelers might play down to their competition? Perhaps. The Cleveland Browns were hanging tough with the Steelers in Week 1, and there is a bit of a lingering reputation that dates back to 2014. It’s something Pittsburgh is trying to shake, writes Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mike Glennon defeated the Steelers in what turns out to be his most recent win as a starting quarterback, throwing for 245 yards in the second half to engineer the victory.