I’m conflicted on the 2017 draft pick by the Chicago Bears for a few reasons:
1. The two championship Bears teams in my lifetime were notable for their stellar defense and running games. It’s folklore around here, but it’s also practical. They’re a cold-weather team playing on rough turf.
2. While the quarterback is the most important position in sports, Jim McMahon and Rex Grossman took their teams to the Superbowl.
3. Over numerous management regimes, the Bears have been notoriously bad at selecting quarterbacks. The example that might be most relevant today is Bears last 1st round QB: Cade McNown.
[the Bears] announced that Shane Matthews would be the starter, but that McNown would play at least one series every game to gain experience. McNown would start his first game for the Bears on October 10 following a hamstring injury to Matthews the previous week.
We know how that story ended.
4. My biggest gripe is the trade with the 49ers. The Bears could have planned for contingencies. Clearly, they really wanted Trubisky, but they must have considered that they also need a pro-bowl safety, and how bad would it really have been if both of those picks were gone? Myles Garrett certainly wouldn’t have hurt the team. Besides, there’s a high likelihood they would have gotten Trubisky or Adams without trading, anyhow. [Edited]
5. The Bears simply need to figure out how to beat Green Bay. The best way to do that is not to engage in a battle of gunslingers – it’s to shut down Aaron Rodgers. They had a chance at Ha Ha Clinton-Dix a few years back and ended up with an injured, grumpy corner instead. They had an even better pick with a pro-caliber safety available this year, and they went with a position they’ve never been strong on, with a defensive-minded head coach, and a 2nd year offensive coordinator.
Ryan Pace swung for the fences here, but I’m afraid he might have pulled a hammy in doing so. My prediction for this year, based on the moves made so far, is that the Bears will improve from 3 and 10, but not by much. I’m not sure how many seasons I can go without the hope of rooting for a relevant team.
[Addendum] After speculating and hearing Bears fans on the radio riding a crazy, emotional pendulum over this pick, I have more thoughts.
– Taking a QB buys Pace another year, and probably another draft. They started out by stating that Trubisky is not expected to start at all this year. I hope they don’t panic or force the situation (see McNown above).
– Glennon shouldn’t feel sad or betrayed. Had he done any homework on the Bears, he’d know that they cleaned house, and they probably wouldn’t be going into the season with just himself and Sanchez. With no other free agent acquisitions up to draft day, this was a possibility. Besides, feelings are trumped by solid QB play. Go out and win the position and there’s nothing to be upset about.
– On the flip side, Bears fans should be happy that there’s not an incumbent QB to muddy the waters. There are two QBs with great upside to lead the offense, and whichever proves to have the more complete game (skills, poise, leadership) will win the job.
– There’s a lot of focus on the negatives after the draft, but if Trubisky works out, Pace will be seen as a genius. Fox was the first head coach with previous head coaching experience in my recollection. Maybe Pace will be the first GM to get the QB position right.