On Wednesday night, after former Clemson star Deshaun Watson looked pretty good in an exhibition game with the Carolina Panthers, there were many talking heads on national debate shows saying that a lot of teams, including the Bears, were going to really be angry they passed up on drafting Watson, who went No. 12 to the Houston Texans, to the surprise of many pundits.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, former UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had been playing third team behind Mark Sanchez and starter Mike Glennon, the former N.C. State star who has thrown 11 NFL game passes since 2014. The Bears, who won three games last season, traded up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the 2017 NFL draft to get Trubisky because Chicago GM Ryan Pace believed he was a generational talent.
Only, when the Bears made the move -- surrendering the third overall pick, a third rounder (No. 67 overall), a fourth (No. 111) and a 2018 third rounder -- people clowned the trade pretty hard. Remember Twitter then?
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Well, Trubisky put all that talk to bed Thursday in his NFL debut. He came off the bench in the Bears’ 24-17 loss to Denver and got the town talking.
The QB Who Used To Be Mitch led a touchdown drive for the Bears as soon as he got in, sending Victor Cruz into a salsa dance with a 2-yard scoring pass. He completed his first 10 passes and led another drive in the third quarter.
In all, Trubisky was 18-for-25 for 166 yards and a touchdown. He ran for 38 yards, avoiding sacks by showing off his athletic ability. He impressed NFL scouts at the game and ignited a genuine quarterback controversy in Chicago. Why? Sanchez and Glennon combined to complete 3-of-12 passes for 24 yards and an interception.
Twitter went nuts.
After the game, Trubisky told reporters that Glennon’s still the starter.
"It’s his team,” Trubisky said. “I was just able to get a lot of reps tonight. It’s the first preseason game … Hopefully we block everything out on the outside, what everyone is writing, what everyone is saying."
Well, regardless of what he’s saying, the former Tar Heel might not be the third wheel for too long.
But ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith isn’t quite sold yet. We’ll let him have the final word.