Bears’ Glennon unfazed with Trubisky lurking
By Andrew Seligman
AP Sports Writer
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — In new surroundings, quarterback Mike Glennon finds himself in a rather familiar position with the Chicago Bears.
He’s the starter at least for now, yet Mitch Trubisky is lurking in the background. To that end, Glennon is unfazed.
“I’ve dealt with plenty of situations in my past where there’s comparisons,” he said.
The Bears began training camp practices Thursday with a new look at quarterback following a last-place finish in the NFC North at 3-13.
They parted with Jay Cutler after eight mostly unfulfilling seasons. They signed Glennon to a three-year deal in March to be the starter and brought in veteran Mark Sanchez as the backup.
After all that, Chicago wasn’t finished.
The Bears made a big trade on draft night to move up a spot and grab Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick, raising all sorts of questions and thrusting Glennon into a spot he knows all too well. Once again, he’s being compared to another quarterback on the roster.
At North Carolina State, Glennon competed with Russell Wilson and became the starter when the future Super Bowl champion transferred to Wisconsin in 2011.
With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Glennon sat behind Jameis Winston the past two seasons after starting earlier in his career.
In Chicago, general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox have tried to downplay the possibility of a quarterback controversy.
So did Sanchez, the No. 2 QB behind Glennon and ahead of Trubisky, on Thursday.
“No chance,” he said. “There’s no chance that happens here. It’s been defined clearly. And that’s what you need. You need it from the top and it’s already been addressed — by Ryan Pace, by Coach Fox.”
Pace has insisted since the Bears drafted Trubisky that Glennon is the starter this season. The Bears dismiss questions about a potential competition at the position, calling them hypothetical and saying the position will be in good shape no matter who becomes the long-term starter.
The job is in the 6-foot-7 Glennon’s right hand at the moment. But the fact is, Pace made a bold move to get Trubisky. And if he shows he’s ready to play sooner than later or Glennon struggles, well, bring on the debate.
“Russell Wilson left, people were comparing us all the time,” Glennon said. “When Jameis got to Tampa, I was dealing with a similar situation. I know that’s going to happen, but I don’t really pay attention to it. Within the building, within the organization, we’re just trying to get better as a team. Hopefully Mitch improves, I improve. Competition makes us both better.”
The Bears ultimately are banking on two quarterbacks with limited experience.
Glennon played in just two games and attempted 11 passes last season after not seeing any time in 2015. In the two previous years, he combined to start 18 games.
Trubisky made just 13 starts at North Carolina, in a dominant junior season last year.
“There’s not too many rookies that come in and just blow you out of the water,” linebacker Jerrell Freeman said. “But I think Trubisky is doing a really job getting acclimated to the game.”
He said he trusts “whoever is back there” and has “zero problem” with Glennon starting.
The same goes for tight end Zach Miller, who spent the 2013 offseason with Tampa Bay.
“(Glennon) was impressive back there as a rookie,” Miller said. “He stands tall in the pocket and throws it. Having Mark is great for those guys in that room, just veteran leadership. And with Mitch coming in, a young talent. Hopefully he can sit back and learn a thing or two and progress and get his game going.”
Teammates praise Glennon’s leadership. He organized a trip to Fort Lauderdale with the receivers, giving them more time to work together and bond. Trubisky was also there.
“It was great,” receiver Kevin White said. “The best thing I’ve done collectively as a group since I’ve been in the league. It was phenomenal. Couldn’t have went any better. We bonded. We did everything together.”
NOTES: Fox said LB Pernell McPhee is on the physically unable to perform list because of an issue with his right knee. He missed the first six games last season following surgery on his left knee. … G Kyle Long (ankle), LB Danny Trevathan (knee), CB Marcus Cooper (hamstring) and Miller (foot) were limited in practice.
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