By Chris Emma—
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – Bears quarterback Mike Glennon, a man defeated by circumstance and his own doing, stood tall in front of his locker stall at Halas Hall on Tuesday.
Surrounded by cameras and a herd of reporters, Glennon did something not required from the $18.5 million guaranteed and expressed support for the Bears’ new starting quarterback, 23-year-old rookie Mitchell Trubisky.
“He’s a very talented player,” Glennon said. “Obviously, the way you really improve is game experience. That’s what he’ll get now. I’m sure there’s going to be some ups and downs, because it is an adjustment playing in a real NFL game. But he’s definitely a talented player that I think has a bright future in the NFL.
“I think I played well enough to win two, didn’t play well enough to win in the other two. Obviously, turnovers were very critical. But I’m going to stay ready, be ready to go because (I’m) only one play away. I’ll continue to help Mitch in any way I can.”
There appeared to be a little extra pep in Trubisky’s step Tuesday as he warmed up for his first practice as the Bears’ new starting quarterback. Coach John Fox called both Glennon and Trubisky late Sunday night and informed them of the change from veteran to rookie.
Glennon was signed to a three-year deal worth up to $45 million with the hopes that he could prove to be an NFL starter and offer Trubisky time to develop. He turned the ball over eight times in four games while Trubisky demonstrated a readiness to lead in practice.
Now, Glennon will serve as a highly paid shoulder to lean on for Trubisky.
“I can’t say enough good things about Mike through this whole process,” Trubisky said. “Really, from day one, he has taken me in, accepted me and made me a part of the quarterback room — him and Mark (Sanchez) both. I’ve learned so much from him and continually how he carries himself and throughout the situation as a professional and a person. It just says a lot about him and his character and what he means to this football team.”
Added Fox: “Mike gave us everything he had. He prepared hard. It wasn’t a lack of preparation. He worked very hard at it. Just after four games didn’t go quite as well as everybody wanted, and now we’re taking a look at Mitch.”
Word of the Bears’ quarterback change spread Monday morning through media reports and was later made official by Fox on his weekly show on WBBM Newsradio 780. By then, Trubisky and Glennon were both already in the know and their teammates had been informed.
Glennon has been in this position before after losing his job in Tampa Bay to Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in 2015. He was granted the starting job upon signing in Chicago, but the writing was on the wall once Trubisky was drafted with the second pick.
But an eventful news day Monday kept Glennon from feeling sorry for himself. A shooter kill at least 59 and injured more than 500 at a country music concert late Sunday night in Las Vegas, the latest in horrific tragedies around the world.
Glennon kept that in mind as he handled a professional ordeal – something he went out of his way to explain.
“You look around the country, the world and you see what’s going on, and that kind of brings perspective back into things,” Glennon said. “I think I always try to (have) that perspective on just the grand scheme of life, even in disappointing times.”
After losing his starting job, Glennon must still prepare himself to play as if he were still the starter. The Bears are sticking with him as their backup, meaning he’s just one play away from stepping back onto the field.
Glennon went out of his way to win over teammates after signing with the Bears and being named the starter. In short time, he earned their respect and was voted a team captain. But good gestures only go so far after eight turnovers and another 1-3 start to the season.
The Bears are moving on from Glennon and giving Trubisky his chance to lead.
“Obviously, not what I wanted,” Glennon said. “Not what I hoped for. But I still have a big role on this team. I’m still a captain of this football team. I’m going to handle it like a pro.”