Chicago Bears

Miller: New Bears uniforms don't mess with tradition

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Miller: New Bears uniforms don't mess with tradition

Many NFL fans have been excited about Nike taking over for Reebok as the official outfitter for NFL teams. College fans have known for years about the cutting-edge looks and styles Nike has provided their favorite college football programs. Nikes combat uniforms have been all the rage amongst college fans but new age, cutting-edge looks have kept the game fresh and intriguing.

The most notable new-age look would be from the University of Oregon. Nike has never made duck feathers look more fashionable, almost flapping in air, when placed on shoulder pads. Football fans in general tune into Ducks games just to see what uniforms they will be wearing that week.

I dont think Bear fans have anything to get excited or worried about concerning their traditional uniforms. It's how the McCaskeys like it. Tradition is sacred around Halas Hall and the Bears hold some of the richest history in the NFL. Traditions that have been passed on from George Halas to daughter Virginia McCaskey that will not be compromised.

George McCaskey looks to be the latest family member in a position of authority since being elected as Bears board chairman. New companies selling the NFL logo will lose any delusions of grandeur concerning any new marks or changes because NFL teams wont be straying from sacred traditions. Other traditional teams like the Steelers (Rooney family), Chiefs (Hunt family) or Giants (Mara family) know their traditional classic throwback style has national appeal and impact. It sells itself.

Uniform changes have to be approved by the team and the NFL. Nike knows it wouldnt be welcome disrupting the apple cart by trying to convince teams to change their looks. The NFL already sold jerseys without Nike -- Nike just happened to be the highest bidder to win the contract over any other outfitter.

Speaking of traditions or lack thereof; did you see the Seattle Seahawks unveiling of their new age Nike uniforms today (photos here)? When you dont have tradition or history to sell, you have to find something to package the fans. I suggest the Seahawks win or they could become the laughingstock of the league looking like that.

History shows Week 5 or Week 6 could be when Mitchell Trubisky makes his first start

History shows Week 5 or Week 6 could be when Mitchell Trubisky makes his first start

The question of when Mitchell Trubisky would make his first career start was always going to be a storyline this year, but Mike Glennon’s rough showing in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought it to the forefront of Bears-centric debate this week. 

Coach John Fox doesn’t want to deal in hypotheticals, and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains shot down a question Wednesday about if Trubisky was taking snaps with the first-team offense in practice: “Mike Glennon is the starter.”

But when will Glennon not be the starter and give way to Trubisky? History shows you might want to circle Week 5 or Week 6 for Trubisky’s debut. 

Since 1997, there have been 33 quarterbacks taken in the first 10 picks of that year’s NFL Draft (we’re using top 10 here as a rough cutoff point for drafting a guy expected to be the future of the franchise). Trubisky and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes haven’t played yet. Among the 31 quarterbacks who have played, three waited at least one year to make their first start (Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers and Jake Locker). Of the 28 remaining quarterbacks, there’s an even split: 14 started from Game 1 of their rookie year and 14 made their first starts sometime between Games 2 and 17. 

Of those 14 quarterbacks who didn’t start immediately, they on average made their first start in their team’s sixth game of the season, which for the Bears would be Oct. 15's trip to face the Baltimore Ravens. The median of that group is Week 5, which is the Bears' home Monday night game against the Minnesota Vikings. 

Interestingly enough, none of them started their first game immediately after a bye week or even with an extra day of rest (i.e. the week of a Monday Night Football game). The Bears have 11 days off between facing Green Bay on Thursday, Sept. 28 and Minnesota on Monday, Oct. 9. 

Quarterback Draft year (pick) First start game # QB rating
Tim Couch 1999 (1) 2 73.2
Donovan McNabb 1999 (2) 7 60.1
Akili Smith 1999 (3) 5 55.6
Michael Vick 2001 (1) 8 62.7
Joey Harrington 2002 (3) 3 59.9
Byron Leftwich 2003 (7) 3 73.0
Eli Manning 2004 (1) 10 55.4
Alex Smith 2005 (1) 5 40.8
Vince Young 2006 (3) 4 66.7
Matt Leinart 2006 (10) 5 74.0
JaMarcus Russell 2007 (1) 16 55.9
Blaine Gabbert 2011 (10) 3 65.4
Blake Bortles  2014 (3) 4 69.5
Jared Goff 2016 (1) 10 63.6

Most of these quarterbacks didn’t have success parachuting in during the middle of a season — the highest quarterback rating among the group (Matt Leinart’s 74.0) is lower than the average quarterback rating for the 14 players who were starters from Week 1 (75.4). The three quarterbacks who waited at least a year to start had an average quarterback rating of 81.1, though that’s a small sample size. 

Among the last 10 top-10-picked quarterbacks, only two made their starting debuts in the middle of a season — Blake Bortles in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fourth game and Jared Goff in the Los Angeles’ Rams 10th game — while Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Carson Wentz started from Week 1 (Locker is the 10th guy here and started his first game a year after being drafted). So Trubisky, in not starting immediately for the Bears, would be somewhat of an outlier in recent history.

The Bears will have to hope that Trubisky is an outlier, too, in terms of initial success among quarterbacks who make their debuts mid-season, too.