The calls for the young quarterback eventually got too loud to ignore; the coach finally opened the door and let the youngster get his run with the starters.
The result was underwhelming.
Rookie Mitch Trubisky ran out onto the field with the starters to begin the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans in the third preseason game of the 2017 season. The result was two incomplete passes, a negative-four yard run and a punt.
#Bears rookie QB Mitch Trubisky practiced with members of the first-team offense today.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 23, 2017
The next series had promise before a sack put them behind the chains. They faced a fourth-and-one, but the young quarterback couldn’t get the snap off in time. A delay of game forced a punt.
And there died the argument that Trubisky should start the season over Mike Glennon — who went 11/18 for 134 yards and a touchdown in the game. Trubisky didn’t take advantage of what could’ve been his opportunity to overtake Glennon before the season began. Instead we had to sit through four weeks of Glennon struggling even to hand the ball off. For what it’s worth, if that rookie season proved anything, it’s that Trubisky wasn’t ready.
But Andy Dalton isn’t Mike Glennon and Justin Fields isn’t Mitch Trubisky. Unlike Glennon, Dalton has played reasonably well in camp and has been an established quarterback in the league for a decade. Unlike Trubisky, Fields has the physical tools to excel even if he isn’t quite NFL ready.
But the crossroads are the same.
Remember when I wrote that Mitch Trubisky isn’t the #Bears‘ best QB — yet — after his camp struggles. Well, maybe “yet” arrived tonight.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 11, 2017
Justin Fields is said to be getting his opportunity with the starters and he needs to take advantage of it. He needs to show the coaching staff that he can make throws down the field in a messy pocket. He needs to show Allen Robinson that he can trust him. He needs to be efficient and explosive. More succinctly stated, Fields needs to win the job convincingly.
Because there was buzz for Trubisky his first summer too. Terrific camp and preseason performances turned what wasn’t supposed to be an open competition into one. The Bears hoped Trubisky would take the job and run with it, but he couldn’t. If they needed evidence that he wasn’t ready, they found it. Now it’s up to Fields to give the current coaching staff the confidence that he can do the job.
This week will surely determine who the starting quarterback entering the 2021 season will be.
The ball is in Fields’ court.