It’s preseason game three. Starters across the league will see their most playing time so far, making it the most note-worthy exhibition game before the regular season starts. This is their chance to solidify the starting job, or lose it.
Bears coach John Fox announced earlier this week that rookie QB Mitch Trubisky will start the second half, getting time with the starting offense. With the quarterback controversy alive and well, it’s up to Mike Glennon to solidify a job, or Trubisky to continue to make the case to take it.
In this article, Thomas Gibbons will take a look at three players to watch in Sunday’s preseason game vs. Tennessee.
Two catches for two yards. That is all former first round pick Kevin White has to show for so far this preseason.
White was not even targeted in the preseason opener vs. Denver. And a poor showing in Arizona still leaves people to question if he can produce at a high level. The burst off the line is there, but the route running is not where it should be.
The starting offense will play for the entire first half and probably a couple series in the third quarter. The Bears have to get him involved early. Simple routes such as slants and curls. These routes put White in space, and with his speed, he can make guys miss. You cannot abandon the deep ball, but the shorter routes will eventually setup the go routes.
White is still adjusting to the NFL game. His two major surgeries have put him back a lot, and time is running out. He’s healthy and he knows he has to get the job done. And today is a great opportunity to have a really good game. He has connected with Glennon and Trubisky in practice and it’s time for it to translate to the game field.
Roy Robertson -Harris
Both Mitch Unrein and Jonathan Bullard did not travel to Tennessee due to injury, leaving Roy Robertson-Harris to be lined up to get a lot of playing time.
Robertson-Harris made the transition from linebacker to defensive end this offseason. After being put on illness/ non-football injury list last season, Robertson-Harris owned the offseason, putting on a lot of weight and improving his game. Last week in Arizona, he totaled two sacks and one pass defended. There was no question he was a standout in that game and a repeat performance would speak volumes for a roster spot.
I could see the Bears keeping five defensive ends, and right now, those guys are Akiem Hicks, Jaye Howard, Jonathan Bullard, C.J. Wilson, and Mitch Unrein. But with another impressive game on Sunday, Robertson-Harris could make a push for a veteran to be shown the door.
The time has come. Trubisky will get his shot to play with the first team offense. This opportunity brings excitement for fans and another step in the evaluation process for the Bears staff.
It’s easy to say Trubisky has outplayed Glennon so far this preseason. He’s limited mistakes and his athleticism trumps the veteran. But the Bears have named Glennon their starter and unless something drastic happens, number eight will lead the Bears onto the field on September 10th.
Trubisky should have better pass protection on Sunday because he will be with the starting unit. His protection in Arizona did not let him execute like he did vs. Denver. Because we saw first hand when given time, Trubisky is going to execute. For play calling, I expect split time being under center and in the shotgun. Also, Dowell Loggains has to give Trubisky chances to roll out because he is so good at throwing on the run. It not only creates opportunities for him to run as well, but it’s the part of his game that needs to be put on display.
The Bears can deny it all they want. It is a quarterback battle now. John Fox is coaching for his job. You have to play the guy who gives you the best chance to win. Despite the Bears wanting to sit Trubisky his entire rookie year, that may not happen. The best player should play. And today should be the determining factor. If Glennon goes out and executes, the job is his. I think even if Trubisky puts up better numbers, but Glennon looked good, Glennon is your starter. It would have to be an awful performance by Glennon and Trubisky to shine for the Bears to really consider having number 10 start week one.
And that’s a wrap. It’s almost game time. It’s Glennon vs Trubisky in Tennessee on Saunday afternoon!