LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Despite a 29-7 pounding at the hands of the Buccaneers in Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season, the 0-2 Bears are standing by quarterback Mike Glennon.
Coach John Fox repeated his stance Monday that Glennon will remain under center for Chicago. While the calls for rookie Mitchell Trubisky grow louder, Fox remains steadfast that 2017 is Glennon's year despite Trubisky's accelerated development.
"I don’t like our start," Fox told reporters at the Bears’ practice facility. "(But) I think we’re still too early in the season before we get caught up in everything."
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Glennon on Sunday completed 31 of 45 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown, but those numbers are deceiving. He also threw two interceptions, lost a fumble, took a sack, was hit eight times and was under pressure most of the day. He finished the game with a quarterback rating of 23.2.
While the Bears sustained injuries to their offensive line against the Bucs, Glennon’s inability to escape pressure and poor decision-making at times were very telling factors.
In the end, the Bears only managed 310 yards of total offense, thus increasing the demand for Trubisky to take the reigns. But Fox maintains that Glennon will remain the starter heading into this week’s home game against the Steelers (2-0).
"If you ask Mike that's a throw he’d like to have back,” said Fox when pressed about the first of Glennon’s two interceptions. "A lot was made of the quarterback but the reality is we all have our hands on it."
Fox continues to preach that the Bears fail and succeed as a team. He also reminds that the Bears are just two games into the season, and he feels there’s still time for improvement.
But for a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010, the patience of the fan base is wearing thin.
"After (only) two games it’s really hard to evaluate somebody," Fox explained. "The truth of the matter is that’s the case. We're going to play arguably one of the better teams that were going to play this year at home. We’re going to do everything in our power to look more like we did in Week 1 than we did in Week 2."
Fox brushed off the suggestion of playing Trubisky in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss for mop-up duty, saying it would not have been in the best interest of the team.
"I remind everybody that our starting quarterback is only two games in as a Bear," Fox said. "The point that you're (the media) probably talking about is the fourth quarter of (the Tampa game). All of those things are important moving forward, too. I wish we could play two quarterbacks at once but I don’t know if that would be our best option."
At the same time, Fox praises Trubisky’s growth and development, which makes the quarterback issue more puzzling.
"I love where (Trubisky) is. I love his growth," the coach said. “I think the guy works very hard, he’s into it on game day. He’s into it because you’re only one play away from being the starter. … But we’re trying to develop two quarterbacks really in both Mike and Mitchell because they’ve never been here before."
Added tight end Zach Miller: "Week to week (Trubisky) is getting better every day. Mike is very capable of playing football. We didn't play well across the board on Sunday. Now all of it is going to fall back on Mike, but that’s not all on him."
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With injuries being a constant question mark for the Bears (especially on the offensive line), and with the Steelers being one of the better defensive teams in the NFL, one can only wonder how much longer Fox will stick to this formula.
One thing is for sure: Fox isn't putting a timetable on when or if Trubisky sees the field this season.
"I can’t predict the future," Fox said. "I don't think anybody here can. That would be another line of work. But Mike Glennon will be our starting quarterback against Pittsburgh."