Steve Smith: Bears play-calling set up Glennon to fail, Trubisky to succeed
The future Hall of Famer doesn't think Mike Glennon got a fair shot
It took the Bears only four games to realize that Mike Glennon needed to be benched for No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky, but those four Glennon games were so bad, the common response to the Bears' decision was "What took so long?" But on Monday night, during Trubisky's long-awaited debut, one former player and future Hall of Famer pushed a different narrative.
If I'm #mikeglennon I'm asking where the heck was this play calling when I was in the game. Man this is some bull💩!!!!🤔🤔🤔🤔— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) October 10, 2017
playbook looks totally different for mitch, script for success for one guy, and holding back for the other one. Set up for failure— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) October 10, 2017
As former player I've seen this happen way too much. Calling better plays for the guy you want to succeed. Glennon isnt great but really— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) October 10, 2017
OK, so first of all, Smith knows a heck of a lot more about play-calling than I do. I won't dispute that. But I think there's a pretty obvious reason behind the Bears' totally different play-calling on Monday night.
Trubisky is athletic and Glennon is a statue. The Bears' entire game plan on Monday night revolved around moving Trubisky out of the pocket to simplify his reads and take advantage of his athleticism. They did that throughout the entire preseason and again against the Vikings. Trubisky is capable of bootlegging and throwing on the run like this (taken from the preseason):
And here's a play from Monday night:
Trubisky looks way more comfortable throwing outside the pocket. Glennon isn't even capable of getting outside the pocket to make a throw.
And so, that's probably the biggest reason why the Bears' gameplan looked so much more creative and open on Monday night than it did during the previous four weeks. Play-caller Dowell Loggains finally had a quarterback who could execute a game plan that revolved around getting the quarterback out of the pocket. And that's the biggest reason why the Bears benched Glennon: He just couldn't do enough. He's a statue in the pocket with bad decision-making and subpar accuracy. He was limited. Trubisky is limited in his own ways -- reading and breaking down defenses -- but the one area he's not limited in is his athleticism.
Furthermore, if the Bears truly wanted Glennon to fail, they wouldn't have waited four awful games to bench him. They had every opportunity to pull him after every game, but they waited this long. I'd argue the opposite of Smith. I'd say the Bears desperately wanted Glennon to succeed so that they could give Trubisky a redshirt season. But Glennon wasn't good enough to do that. And so, the Bears were forced to start the rookie. To ease his transition, they tried to make the game plan as simple as possible by shaping it around his athleticism. In short, they played to his strength -- a strength that Glennon doesn't have.
That's why the Bears' playbook looked so different on Monday night. As Trubisky grows more comfortable in the NFL, expect the Bears' playbook to change. Trubisky can't make a living by always leaving the pocket, as evidenced by Monday night's loss. At some point, he'll have to master the nuances of pocket passing.
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