By Dan Bernstein — senior columnist

(CBS) This really isn’t hard and never was. At the moment Mitchell Trubisky was picked, Mike Glennon became an expensive afterthought, and even he seemed to know it right then and there at the draft function the Bears asked him to attend back in April.

His party is over, now, and Bears games get new meaning as we greet what’s supposed to be the start of the franchise’s return from the football wilderness. It’s that big, the ascension of a top prospect at the most significant individual position in professional sports, a player for whom they traded up to select. That it was just before a loaded college quarterback class this year means general manager Ryan Pace has bet that Trubisky is better than all those guys, too, and now we have 12 games to see.

If he’s able to stay un-injured — a tall task in and of itself in today’s NFL — we get a large sample to determine if there’s hope. Forget about outcomes at this point and focus on the player.

Mistakes will come as Trubisky calibrates his internal targeting system, and this current crop of replacement-level receivers will make that a bumpy process. But that’s fine, as we stay focused on the bigger picture.

Pace will get to hire a coach who’s fully his own, ideally one with offensive chops and tangible tactical responsibilities. Whoever he is, his bond with Trubisky will define what is to come.

The Bears think they have something, and now we can begin to find out what it may be.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.