At this time last year, the questions surrounding who was going to be quarterbacking the Chicago Bears in 2018 were far from being answered. Though, perhaps we should have looked a little more closely at the writing on the wall.
On this date in 2017, we explored the idea of Mitch Trubisky as a top-5 pick in the draft and someone who could be in play for the Bears with the third overall pick. One NFL GM told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller that Trubisky was a top-5 lock and was told by a scout that “smart,” “accurate,” “poised,” “athletic,” and “smooth” were words that best described the North Carolina product.
Miller believed Trubisky could be in play for the Bears with the third pick, but also felt San Francisco was the most likely landing spot for Trubisky because of his fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. As we all know by now, the Bears and 49ers swapped picks to ensure Chicago had the right to choose Trubisky.
And the rest is history.
- An interesting nugget from Miller’s Bleacher Report piece was a quote that came from teammate Ryan Switzer, who was drafted in a later round by the Cowboys. “I think his persistence over the course of our college years speaks for itself,” Switzer told Miller. “The reason he had the season he had this year is because of the work he put in the previous three years. It would’ve been easy for him to pack up and go elsewhere. There were plenty of conversations we had together about what he should do, but he stayed true to the course and prepped every rep in practice or OTAs like it was a game.”
- What makes Switzer’s comments more interesting a year later is that they really vibe with some things Mack Hollins said about Trubisky during Super Bowl Week. “[Trubisky] worked the same when he wasn’t the starter as he did when he was,” Hollins told Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com. “It was no shock when he became the starter that he was going to ball out. We tried to tell everybody, but nobody wanted to listen.”
- Trubisky’s ascent to the starting role pretty much has Mike Glennon with one foot out the door. So what does the future hold for the former start? FloridaFootballInsiders.com suggests the Buccaneers could be “front and center” if Glennon is on the market in march and could look to bring him back into the fold as a backup. Tampa Bay was willing to make Glennon among the highest paid backup quarterbacks in the NFL before signing that now infamous deal with Chicago. His familiarity with Dirk Koetter’s scheme could make for a soft landing once the Bears cut ties. I don’t expect for there to be much of a market after how he struggled, but returning to a familiar place has its benefits.
- While the Bears upgraded at quarterback going from Mike Glennon to Mitch Trubisky, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes the team’s defensive line was at the center of improvements in 2017. A mostly healthy season from Eddie Goldman, another stellar year from Akiem Hicks, as well as contributions from Mitch Unrein and Jonathan Bullard helped push the Bears’ defense to its best ranking since the Lovie Smith years.
- Seriously, we’re launching an investigation if Akiem Hicks does his thing for a third straight year and still misses a Pro Bowl again:
Akiem Hicks ranked 2nd in run tackles for two yards or less! 💪 pic.twitter.com/2DyaK3AOTq
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 14, 2018
- Here’s hoping the Bears offense can take that kind of leap in 2018. If they do, we might be able to look back at their inclusion in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Baltimore Ravens. Because of their participation in the contest, Dan Wiederer of the Tribune tweets the Bears could report to training camp as early as July 18. the Bears get to start training camp. Further, the Bears will get five preseason games instead of the usual four. Every bit could be helpful for a team that figures to have new faces at several important position groups heading into this season.
- Over at NBC Sports Chicago, JJ Stankevitz explores who will benefit most from the extra practice reps. Because the defense could feature plenty familiar faces, players on the offensive side of the ball such as Kevin White and Kyle Long will get a chance to build up toward a better 2018 as they recover from injuries.
- Here’s something else to keep an eye on if you’re planning to make the trip to Canton, Ohio:
Highly recommended trip for every Bears fan, especially if you’ve never been to Canton. It’ll be an extended celebratory weekend. But make your arrangements now. The town overflows. https://t.co/d8TqIPNWnL
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) February 13, 2018
Good advice for Ravens fans as well. Tickets for game and induction ceremony go on sale Friday. https://t.co/ogpnD6MmfF
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) February 13, 2018
- I imagine whoever the Bears draft will see some added benefit to an early start to training camp and additional preseason reps. Former NFL executive Charley Casserly shared his first mock draft via NFL.com and sends wide receiver Calvin Ridley to the Bears with the eighth pick. The Alabama receiver would hopefully represent one of many new weapons for Trubisky and the Bears offense. Though, mocking Ridley to the Bears coupled with what we discussed above regarding Trubisky had me thinking about where mock drafts had Chicago going this time last year. Remember, there weren’t too many fans, pundits, or draft gurus pumping up the quarterback class of 2017. Instead, many mocks had the Bears going in a different direction and taking a “safe” pick, with Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen being a player who was most often mocked to Chicago.
- If that feels familiar, it might be because we’re seeing waves of mocks sending the Bears a safe pick again, this time in the form of offensive guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame. GM Ryan Pace’s draft history suggests the Bears will have their eye on a player at a skill position of high importance who possesses a high upside. Kevin White, Leonard Floyd, and Mitch Trubisky all fit the bill in that regard. It wouldn’t take long to form an argument that Ridley checks off the boxes here too.
- The Buffalo Bills announced some new additions to the organization, including Nate Breske as the team’s new head trainer. Breske had performed in that role with the Bears until the two sides parted ways earlier in the offseason.