Payton Presser: The change at QB isn’t if but when for the Bears
The Bears continued through the gauntlet of their opening schedule Sunday when they traveled to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers. Another week and another test for John Fox’s ball club. Could they build on their week one performance or would they take a step back? Let’s just say this was not what Bears fans had hoped for. The Bears not only took a step back, they looked nothing like the team we saw against the Falcons. Was the game versus the Falcons a mirage? The things that the Bears did so well last Sunday, they weren’t able to execute against the Bucs. After Sunday’s 29-7 loss, what can we expect out of this team? The Steelers are up next and the Packers are on deck. Fox’s team has their hands full and they have to find a way to turn things around before we have a repeat of last season. Let’s get into some of my takeaways from yesterday’s game.
Glennon is a marked man
Well, if you thought the screams for Mitchell Trubisky were loud during the preseason, I can only imagine how loud they were before the second half started and will be moving forward. Coming into Sunday’s game versus the Bucs, I had envisioned writing a section of my presser on how Mike Glennon came back to his old stomping grounds and played lights-out, not how his performance would make me wish for the debut of Trubisky. Last week, Glennon was just what the Bears organization had hoped for, a QB that would take care of the football and manage the game. Sunday, Glennon started off on the same note, going 6 for 6 on the opening drive. Glennon was taking what the defense was giving him while moving the Bears down the field. On his 7th attempt of the day, he wasn’t so lucky. Out of the shotgun, looking for his TE Dion Sims on an out route, Glennon tried to fit the ball in a sea of Bucs defenders resulting in an interception. Glennon threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, all in the first half. He finished the day 31 of 45 passing for 301 yards with a 76.2 passer rating. The truth of the matter is, Glennon is the same guy I’ve studied film on over the summer: A guy that likes to go through his progressions, but at times, holds on to the ball too long. Also, he doesn’t have the legs to extend a play or get out of trouble when the rush is coming. He is exactly who the front office thought they were getting in the offseason. However, they were hoping he could bring a little more to the table. The reality is the Bears don’t have enough playmakers on the offensive side of the ball to help Glennon be successful. If they do, we haven’t seen it yet. Glennon is fighting a losing battle underneath center. Listen, I’m on board for the Trubisky era to start. Trubisky will have to be remarkable to elevate the play of the Bears’ offense. That’s asking a lot of a rookie. But we will never know until he gets some snaps. Trubisky will make his mistakes, you can bet on that. But if he’s the future, why not get him ready for his destiny?
Injuries, injuries, injuries
The one thing that we can all agree on is that this year’s Bears team couldn’t afford to sustain injuries like they did last season. Since preseason, this Bears team hasn’t been so lucky. Not only have they had key members on the roster go down, but their depth is now being pushed to the limit. Here’s a look at the injuries from Sunday’s game:
· RG Josh Sitton – Rib Injury
· LB Nick Kwiatkoski – Pectoral Injury could be out for the season.
· OL Tom Compton – Hip Injury
· RB Jordan Howard – Shoulder Injury
Mistakes and miscues
The Bears are a team that will have to play an almost perfect game to win most games. They really have no room for error, especially out of the gate with the first four teams they face. Yesterday, the Bears played some sloppy football. Turnovers highlighted the Bears ninth road loss dating back to the 2015 season. The Bears committed 4 turnovers Sunday, and that’s a hole that any team would have a hard time getting out of. In addition to Glennon’s two interceptions and a fumble, there was Tarik Cohen’s punt return gone wrong. The rookie tried fielding the ball off of the ground with Bucs players all around him. He fumbled the ball and the Bucs recovered, setting them up on the Bears 13 yard line. If he had to do that play over again, I know he’d play it differently. I feel for the kid. He knows he’s the best offensive option and was forcing it, just trying to make a play and give the team a spark. He will learn from it and grow from it. Penalties were an issue Sunday as the Bears had 8 penalties for 59 yards. Injuries have hurt the defense, losing Freeman and now it looks like Kwiatkoski is done for the season. Before the season started, we talked about staying healthy. Not only are key players out, but the depth chart is getting thin too. It’s time for Leonard Floyd to take over. The message from the locker room on the defensive side was, “we have to keep fighting.” They will have to fight now, because they face two solid QB’s ahead. The defense needs to clear their minds and avoid the miscues they had against the Bucs because they need to play an almost perfect game to give the Bears a chance to win.
Watching the Buccaneers yesterday really made something clear to me. The Bears are lacking playmakers on both sides of the ball. The name of the game is to have guys that can get you big plays when you need them. As of right now, the only home run hitter on offense is Tarik Cohen. The Bears are in a tough situation right now. They have lost guys on this roster due to injury that they couldn’t afford to lose. Now it seems we are in the same situation we have been in over the last few years. I sent out a tweet saying it was time for the Bears to make a change at the QB position, But in my heart, I’m not sure that things would change much. We would be asking a rookie to come in and elevate the play of an offense that has serious deficiencies on the depth chart. Could he change things for this team? It’s something that we will never know until gets live action. That’s what you moved up for to get. The foundation that has been set is still there, but this team will have a hard time building with key footings out of the lineup. As I’ve said before, I believe things are better than they have been with this organization. But it’s games like Sunday that make me resort back to my old way of thinking about this team. I guess I need to have more faith and trust the process, even with the doubt that keeps creeping into my mind. Sunday made it clear that the Bears have a long way to go before fans can truly trust them. It’s amazing how your feelings can change in a week’s time. #BearDown