Be excited about Mitch Trubisky but still have faith in Mike Glennon.
That was Bears general manager Ryan Pace’s overarching message about his quarterbacks in a sitdown interview with the Hoge & Jahns Podcast (WGN Radio).
Here are five highlights from Pace’s interview:
1. Trubisky’s strong debut didn’t hurt Glennon’s standing with the Bears’ brass.
Pace wants fans to be excited about what Trubisky did against the Broncos – “That’s extremely positive,” Pace said — but he wants to see him build off it in the preseason.
“There’s some vanilla things happening defensively that I think can aid a young quarterback,” Pace said of playing late in exhibition games.
As for Glennon, Pace felt he performed well in practice on Saturday and Sunday after finishing with a 0.0 passer rating and a pick-six against the Broncos.
Pace also pointed to the struggles of the entire first-team offense in the preseason opener. The line didn’t establish running back Jordan Howard; receivers struggled with their releases off the line.
“There’s a lot of things that go into that other than just one player,” Pace said. [But] there’s a lot of evidence that supports that we really like him as a starting quarterback, Mike Glennon. I want to convey that support as we’re talking here. Again, [it’s] one preseason game, and I think he’s going to respond well from that.”
2. Glennon is the starter, but Pace said there is a “competitive environment” in the quarterbacks room.
Trubisky showed off nearly everything the team liked about him when evaluating him for the draft in his impressive debut. It starts with his ability to get through his progressions quickly.
“You saw the athleticism, the accuracy, the poise and some of the things that we value,” Pace said. “That was very encouraging.”
It was performance that could help motivate Glennon.
“Mike’s our starter and we’re rolling that way,” Pace said. “But, hey, having competition throughout the field [at] all positions is important.”
3. Receiver Kevin White is playing faster and with more confidence, but stacking good days of practice together still is a priority.
White is officially heading into this third NFL season, but Pace views this training camp only as the receiver’s second because of his injury history.
“He’s progressing more and more with his confidence at a steady rate,” Pace said. “He’s developing as a route runner. I think [receivers coach Zach Azzanni] is doing a really good job with those guys.”
Pace suggested that White’s confidence is related to his patience.
“He’s just eager to show everybody the player he is and the player that we know that he can be,” Pace said. [It’s] just stay the course and keep on stacking good practices, which I think he’s doing.”
4. Count receiver Tanner Gentry, an undrafted free-agent signing, among the rookies who have impressed in camp.
It’s easy to get carried away with underdog stories in camp, but Gentry’s knack for making big plays seemingly every day is notable. He’s beaten the Bears’ best defensive backs.
“He’s got good hands. He wins contested battles,” Pace said. “So when the ball is in the air, he’s going to go attack it and get it. He’s done a good job.
“We’re still early in the process. We have three more preseason games to see it under the lights. But so far, he’s done well. He’s another guy, the moment’s not too big for him at all.”
5. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee has kept himself in solid shape, but the Bears don’t have a timeline for his return.
McPhee was the only player placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list after tests revealed that he required arthroscopic knee surgery.
“He’s doing everything right,” Pace said. “He’s progressing just as we hoped. He’s kept his weight down, which is important. He’s just eager to get back.”
Pace said he’s “hopeful” that he won’t be sidelined long.
“We’re pleased with what he’s doing behind the scenes,” he said.
Listen to the full podcast below: