It's the story that isn't going anywhere as the Bears wrap their virtual offseason program early: Which quarterback will grab the reins of the offense, Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles?
Whether or not the Bears truly believe in their 2017 first-round pick seems pretty clear to NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison.
"You didn't pick up (Trubisky's) fifth-year option, but yet the general manager (Ryan Pace) comes out and says, ‘I believe in him,'" Harrison explained on a recent episode of the Under Center podcast. "If you believed in him, you would have never brought Nick Foles in. If you believed in him, you would have picked up his fifth-year option. So cut the BS, just keep it real."
There's more at stake with this quarterback situation than just the fate of the 2020 Chicago Bears. If neither Trubisky or Foles gets the job done, the Bears will be back to Square 1, and Pace will face an amplified wave of media and fan scrutiny over his handling of the most important position in sports.
According to Harrison, how this season's quarterback competition plays out will be very telling for a certain No. 10 in the navy and orange.
"It's going to reveal a lot about Mitchell Trubisky," Harrison said, "because Nick Foles, he's done his thing. Super Bowl MVP, he's got a big fat ring, he's set for life financially, he's done all the right things. Mitchell Trubisky? He's got a lot of question marks. Can he play? Can he play?"
Answering his own question, Harrison explained in detail what he saw in Trubisky's body of work last season.
"When he drops back, he stares at the first read. If that's not open, he goes to the second read, but he's kind of hesitant because he's so focused on that first read," Harrison said. "Then, if that's not open, he panics, and it's like, run, take off, try to manipulate, try to do something. I don't see the consistency in the play-calling, and obviously, you're not going to have that when you don't have your guy at the quarterback position."
The former All-Pro ended on an ominous note speaking on Trubisky, who, in Harrison's mind, is playing for his NFL future in 2020.
"If he doesn't start this year, I'm going to tell you something, and this is going to play out, he'll never start again. He'll be a career backup," Harrison said. "He'll be a career backup, and he'll be considered one of the biggest busts."
That is certainly a fate both the Bears and Trubisky himself would like to avoid at all costs.
Under Center Podcast
Why Bears QB Mitch Trubiskys days as an NFL starter could be numbered originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago