By Chris Emma—
(CBS) The calls for Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky are getting louder and louder, and they sure seemed warranted Sunday afternoon in Tampa.
A week after putting the Bears in position to win, starter Mike Glennon didn’t give his team a chance. He threw two interceptions – including one returned for a touchdown – and fumbled twice as well in an ugly 29-7 loss to the Buccaneers. Facing his former team, Glennon didn’t offer them much to miss.
Glennon did throw for 301 yards and a touchdown, though that didn’t matter much. The Bears were buried early into this game. Their first three drives ended with an interception, fumble and interception from Glennon, and the Buccaneers had a blowout win in line before halftime.
In the opener, Glennon didn’t commit a turnover and paced the Bears down the field. They came five yards away from the victory, with teammates and coaches speaking highly of his ability to lead. Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains spoke of how Glennon managed the game.
“Sometimes, that phrase can be misconstrued,” Loggains explained last week. “When I say managed the game, he did exactly what he needed to do to play the game we detailed out to him — how we thought we could win the game and what was best for us and that matchup, that game. He handled all the situations, did a really good job.”
Sunday was a different story for Glennon, whose first interception came trying to force a pass to Zach Miller, who was surrounded by three Buccaneers. The pick-six was on a ball telegraphed to Kendall Wright, going the other way with cornerback Robert McClain. Both fumbles were the result of a poor pocket presence.
Trubisky would be better off working with a full week as the starter as opposed to being thrown into a 22-point beatdown and hoping he can swim in the deep end. The Bears were right to leave him on the sidelines Sunday.
Managing the game is the expectation for Glennon, who signed a three-year deal with $18.5 million guaranteed. He doesn’t have a top-flight arm or mobility to extend plays. Glennon is simply being asked to minimize mistakes and keep the Bears in the game.
Glennon struggled with an offense in flux. The receiving group is in disarray, and the offensive line is being shuffled due to injury. Rookie Tarik Cohen drew more attention than he did a week ago, while Jordan Howard posted just seven rushing yards on nine carries. The Buccaneers played tight coverage and dared Glennon to throw the ball deep. They laid out the blueprint for beating him.
The Bears have stood by Glennon ever since signing him, with coach John Fox stating to reporters in Tampa on Sunday that there will be no consideration of Trubisky as the Week 3 starter. We shall see whether he stands by that plan this week.
Every time Glennon has been backed by Fox and the Bears, his experience and abilities as a game manager are referenced. The team feels its best chance to win is with Glennon.
Not only did he fail to keep the Bears in the game, but Glennon dug their hole too deep from the early onset. He was the primary reason they lost – and lost badly.
Trubisky’s time will come sooner rather than later if Glennon can’t even manage the game.