By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — The Mitchell Trubisky era has begun for the Bears.
The second overall pick in the draft, Trubisky arrived in Chicago in his beat-up Toyota Camry and quickly entered the spotlight. The 22-year-old tasked with reviving the downtrodden Bears franchise finished his first practice Friday at Halas Hall.
With the opening of rookie minicamp Friday, so begins the development of Trubisky.
“I really feel like I just scratched the surface in college,” Trubisky said. “And I’m really just getting started.”
Indeed, Trubisky is just getting started. His path to becoming the Bears’ starting quarterback will take as much time as needed.
The Bears will work diligently to ensure Trubisky is ready when that time comes. Mike Glennon is their starting quarterback, and Mark Sanchez will likely serve as the backup. Trubisky will be off to the side on the depth chart but a major focus in practice.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains knows he’ll face a challenge dividing reps with four quarterbacks. The Bears will be prepare Glennon as the starter, Sanchez and Connor Shaw as the backups and Trubisky for the future. It’s a daunting task at hand.
“We have to be really smart with our plan and how we practice,” Loggains said.
Loggains, coach John Fox and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone are still sorting through the details of their practice plans at the quarterback position. Friday only brought rookies to the field at Halas Hall, with Trubisky working the majority of reps with only two tryout players alongside at quarterback.
Ultimately, the growth of Trubisky takes priority over the other quarterbacks because he’s the No. 2 pick and the future of this franchise. The Bears are banking on Trubisky to become not just a good starter but potentially an elite player in this league. That’s the billing for a second pick.
But Trubisky is so raw as a player. He started just one season and 13 games at North Carolina, spending two years as the backup behind senior Marquise Williams. The Bears believed in his accuracy, mobility and leadership — the deciding factors in moving up a spot to select him. They saw enough of him despite the limited experience.
“The first thing you see is when you watch the tape.” Loggains said. “The accuracy jumps off, the ability to make plays and extend plays and move around. The first thing you want to want to see before you talk intangibles (and) personality is the talent.”
Trubisky’s time leading the Bears will come, but the development of him will be thorough and delicate. Fox, Loggains and Ragone must ensure he’s ready because there’s no turning back with that decision.
Could Trubisky ultimately force the Bears’ hands and earn his way to the starting job in 2017? Fox said he can’t predict the future, but that just doesn’t seem likely. This team will take its time growing Trubisky for the future.
When this long process is over, the Bears could have a franchise quarterback.