Chicago Bears

No matter the outcome vs. NE, Bears are A-list team


No matter the outcome vs. NE, Bears are A-list team

Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010
12:50 PM

By John Mullin

The Bears do not need to show well against the New England Patriots to establish that they are a legitimate A-list team in 2010. They already are, and the result Sunday will not change that.

If the Bears defeat or hang with the Patriots, thats a statement that skeptics and anxious fans can respect. But New England has beaten Pittsburgh, Baltimore and split with the New York Jets and my guess is that no one is dismissing those teams as contenders, especially the Steelers, who were double-digit losers.

The Bears have beaten the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears have won five straight, tied with New Orleans behind only Atlanta (six) for the longest active win streak this season. That alone is a statement of legitimate no matter what happens Sunday.
Snow birding

The damage from snow to the Metrodome this weekend has forced the NFL to shift the Minnesota-New York Giants game from noon Sunday in Minneapolis to Monday night in Detroits Ford Field. It is unclear whether the Bears visit to the Dome is in jeopardy but the University of Minnesotas TCF Bank Stadium could be readied in a matter of days for an NFL game. And the extent of damage and repairability of the dome is still being assessed.

The Big Fella

The sometimes-struggles of the New England defense have not dimmed the luster of one of its anchors: nose tackle Vince Wilfork, a former No. 1 draft choice and the linchpin of the Bill Belichick 3-4 schemes.

Wilfork is listed at 350 pounds, but that typically gets an eye-roll for being on the low side. But Wilfork is enough of an athlete that Belichick has shifted him out to an end position, although since the defeat in Cleveland, he has been anchored at nose, which puts him opposite Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz.

Kreutz has faced the likes of Pat Williams from Minnesota and was a teammate of Ted Washington. He sees Wilfork in precisely the same class.

Hes like Pat, smart, hard to move, and they are better athletes than people give them credit for, Kreutz said. All the elite nose guards are the same: Theyre big guys who can run, can use their hands and they know their scheme and whats going on around them.

And finally

Each weeks game seems like it is the new most difficult to assess but this one really is. No, I mean it. The issue isnt weather; New England is used to this. It is that there are so many aspects to the Patriots that isolating one on which to base a decision.

What I keep coming back to is Belichicks lackluster performances in games after short weeks. Also, Greg Olsen and others have always, and correctly, stated that it is more difficult to come back from a good win than a bad loss. What the Patriots did to the New York Jets last Monday night is akin to the Bears upending the Packers in Game Three on a Monday, then being pounded by the Giants the following Sunday on the road.

New England is coming off a hugely emotional win over its chief division rival and off a short week. In a game of small factors, that is a big one. Tom Brady, Jay Cutler, Bears defense, Patriots offense, Mike Martz, Bill Belichick those are all major elements in what will play out Sunday afternoon. In the end, the Bears are three-point underdogs, equating to roughly a handicapping equivalent of a touchdown, given the home-field advantage being worth about a field goal. They will win by three, not lose by three.

Bears 17 Patriots 16

John "Moon" Mullin is's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

How the Bears view Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky and their QBs heading into training camp

How the Bears view Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky and their QBs heading into training camp

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Back in March, before free agency began, both John Fox and Ryan Pace said they wanted a quarterback who could make everyone around him better. So initially, the signing of Mike Glennon — a guy with a 5-13 record as a starter — didn’t seem to fit with that “raises all boats” approach. 

But in the four months since signing the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer to a three-year, $45 million contract, Fox and Pace have watched Glennon take command of the Bears’ offense with his presence at Halas Hall and motivation to work with his teammates away from the team facilities. What that means for the offense’s success in the regular season remains to be seen, but Glennon has done what the Bears hoped he would with the opportunity he’s been given.

“It’s very natural for him,” Pace said. “Whether it’s in our building, or in the meeting rooms, or it’s away from the building getting the guys together over the summer, doing things away from the building, those are important leadership traits that he has that kind of bring his teammates together. I think that’s very easy for him to do, very easy for his players to follow him.”

The Bears will hold their first training camp practice of 2017 on Thursday with Glennon as the unquestioned starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez as his backup and Mitch Trubisky — for now — a third-stringer. How Dowell Loggains and Dave Ragone split up practice reps over the coming weeks will be important to note, though, as they juggle preparing Glennon to win games while also developing the second overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. 

Trubisky will have opportunities to compete with Sanchez and win the Bears’ backup job, but anything beyond that sounds like a longshot. When asked what could happen if Trubisky exits training camp or the preseason having out-played Glennon, Pace brushed away that thought as something that isn’t being considered. 

“Glennon’s here for a reason,” Pace said. “We evaluated him over the years. We’re very confident in him. Glennon’s our starter and we’re confident with that. 

“This thing is going to have to play out. But Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback and I don’t think now is the time to deal in hypotheticals going forward.”

Part of why Glennon has impressed as an offensive leader is because he’s been the unquestioned QB1 since signing in March. Pace called Glennon about 10 minutes after drafting Trubisky to reassure him he’d be the starter, and during OTAs in May, Glennon repeatedly said “this is my year” in comments that left no doubt about his mindset for 2017. 

“I don’t really feel like it’s hard because we’re going to have one guy, Mike,” running back Jordan Howard said when asked if having three new quarterbacks could complicate things for the rest of the offense.

Glennon understands, though, that he’ll be under a microscope not only during training camp but for the foreseeable future, with every mistake an opportunity for fans to clamor for Trubisky. 

“I think I’ve dealt with plenty of situations in my past where there’s comparisons, dating back to when I was in college (at N.C. State) and Russell Wilson left, people were comparing us all the time,” Glennon said. “When Jameis (Winston) got to Tampa, I was dealing with a similar situation. I know that’s going to happen but I don’t really pay attention to it. Within the building, within the organization, we’re just trying to get better as a team. Hopefully Mitch improves, I improve. Competition makes us both better.”

Eventually, the Bears will be Trubisky’s team. But for now, this is Glennon’s group to lead. He’s said all the right things and done well to connect with his teammates. 

Now, he’ll have to prove it on the field. 

“It’s just what I’ve dreamed of my whole life, to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and to enter the season as that guy,” Glennon said. “It’s what I’ve worked for. I’ve prepared for it ever since I was a kid and all the way through college and into the pros to get to this moment. So it’s going to be a great opportunity.”

Why this year feels different to Bears head coach John Fox: 'There's a lot of optimism'

Why this year feels different to Bears head coach John Fox: 'There's a lot of optimism'

The Bears are no different from the other 31 NFL teams in feeling optimistic about their 2017 prospects.

General manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox addressed the media prior to the Bears' first day of training camp and discussed that this season feels different.

Coming off a 3-13 record, the Bears had a busy offseason in moving on from both Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery, signing quarterback Mike Glennon and drafting the future face of the franchise in quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

With a defense that is just about set as far as starters go, as well as a veteran offensive line featuring three Pro Bowlers, Fox and the coaching staff will be doing less evaluating and more progressing, teaching and improving. That in itself should yield more results and, hopefully, wins.

"I don't like putting records on seasons but...there's a lot of optimism, both in that locker room and (with) the coaching staff around our building," Fox said. "This is the first training camp I've been to where I wasn't looking at hypotheticals, as far as who's going to be on the roster in certain positions. So where that takes us time will tell, and that's why we're here."

Stay with throughout the day and the rest of the season as we bring you the latest from Bourbonnais at Bears training camp.