Chicago Bears reminding Kevin White ‘how great he is’
While Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians rains down fire and brimstone on his players, the Chicago Bears are taking a more positive pitched approach with one of their young athletes.
Wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni told Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune the Bears have resorted to reminding Kevin White how great he can be on a football field to help coax the wideout out of a two-year injury funk.
“We’ve got to block out the noise with him,” Azzanni said. “I can’t let him read papers and [listen] to the Mitchell Trubisky jersey media. I just can’t. Because there is going to be some negative in there that gets in his head. And he can’t let that happen. He has to be positive. And we’ve got to go in our bunker all the time and tell him how great he is. Because he is.”
After the Bears made White the No. 7 overall pick in 2015, the receiver missed all but four games in his first two seasons due to injury. To buoy his spirits, Azzanni recently showed White his explosive college film from West Virginia to help convince the first-round pick he has the talent to excel in the NFL.
“He forgets about that sometimes,” Azzanni said. “Because of the embattled two years that he has had. … I wanted him to see how he owned the ball in the air, how he used to go up and just grab that ball in the Kevin White jersey air. He’s starting to do that again.”
The night didn’t get any easier for Glennon against the Denver Broncos‘ vaunted No Fly Zone. He ended the night 2-of-8 passing for 20 yards, and a measly 2.5 yards per attempt. Glennon finished the night with a 0.0 QB rating after just over a quarter of play.
The 6-foot-6 quarterback showed shaky pocket presence, threw high down the field, and several passes failed to lead receivers into open spots. Glennon got little help from his offensive line, getting hit on a few third-down throws.
Glennon gave way to Mark Sanchez for two series before the real party commenced.
Mitch-a-palooza started at the end of the first half. The hype-fest might not end for a week.
Trubisky took over the final two minutes of the first half and promptly drove the Bears to a touchdown on a 50-yard blitz. The first-round pick punctuated a 4-for-4 drive by rolling to his Walter Payton jersey left and tossing a TD to a wide-open Victor Cruz for the two-yard score. Trubisky’s 24 yards on his opening drive was more than Glennon compiled all night.
Trubisky played the balance of second half, finishing 18-of-25 passing for 166 yards and a touchdown pass. He also added 38 yards rushing on three scampers. The rookie completed his first 10 throws, leading touchdown drives on his first two series. When he entered the game, the Bears trailed 10-0. Trubisky led them to 17 straight points. His bid to win the game after Chicago’s defense gave up two late TDs failed on Brian Urlacher jersey and a heave out of bounds as time expired.
Trubisky’s athleticism sits in stark contrast to that of Glennon and Sanchez. The 6-foot-3 signal-caller appeared most comfortable on the move. The Bears’ offense played to that strength with a bevy of boot legs and play-action rollouts, which gave the rookie more time to throw and cut the field in half, making reads easier. Trubisky rolling to his right and throwing darts is a thing of beauty.
Trubisky, on the other hand, couldn’t have played better. He finished 18 of 25 for 166 yards and one touchdown. Of those seven incompletions, two were spikes and one was a drop. He finished with a 103.1 QB rating. The No. 2 overall pick displayed poise that belied his 13 career college starts. He boasted superior athleticism. His accuracy was off the charts, especially when on the move. He sliced up Broncos defenders, most of whom will be cut before the regular season starts, like Drogon scoring Lannister troops.
“I thought he had pretty good command, it wasn’t all perfect,” Fox said of Trubisky’s performance. “Obviously you can see why he was picked in the draft where he was picked. I think that was evident. But we still have a long way to go as a football team and like I said, it was one preseason game. The coaches will all look at the film inside and out and we’ll make corrections. But all in all, I thought he moved the team well and made things happen, in particularly with his feet.”
For a Bears’ offense in dire need of someone to make plays in the passing game, Trubisky lit a fire.
One preseason game won’t cause Fox to ditch Kyle Long jersey plan, but it should underscore Trubisky taking No. 3 snaps behind Mark Sanchez is a joke. If the coach is going to change his depth chart, moving the rookie to No. 2 ahead of next week’s game is a no-brainer.
If Glennon continues to struggle and Trubisky shines, it’s only a matter of time before Fox — who enters the season on the hot seat — has no choice but to revisit the depth chart and elevate the rookie to the top. Whether it’s Week 1, Week 5 or Week 10, we expect Trubisky to play at some point in 2017.