Glennon still No. 1, but Trubisky now No. 2 for Chicago Bears
How is Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon supposed to find any of his undistinguished wide receivers against the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons while looking over his shoulder for rookie Mitch Trubisky, his backup?
Fortunately for the Bears, Glennon doesn't see it that way, as he prepares to make the first opening-day start of his five-year NFL career Sunday at Soldier Field.
"I think competition is good," Glennon said of the challenge from Trubisky, who officially was promoted to No. 2 on the depth chart Wednesday.
"But I'm motivated by more than just that particular situation. I want to come out and help our team win football games, and that's what ultimately motivates me."
Trubisky, the second overall pick in the draft, might be the peoples' choice, but the Bears' coaching staff didn't have any trouble choosing Glennon as the starter.
"He's earned it," coach John Fox said. "A lot goes into evaluating players -- the locker room knows (who should start). They know probably better than all of us. I think it's pretty obvious to me."
Glennon's performance in the first two preseason games was uninspiring, but offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains points out that the third preseason game was the only time the offense game-planned, and Glennon played well. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 134 yards and 1 touchdown for a 102.5 passer rating.
"He handled it exactly like we expected him to," Loggains said. "He's a pro. He knows what to do, (and) he does it. He played well.
"That's how we anticipated him playing. That's how he practiced. He knew what the defense was going to do and made good decisions."
Since the day Trubisky was drafted, he has been the elephant in the room. Coaches have been impressed with the way Glennon dealt with that situation.
"Mike has done an incredible job of handling this," Loggains said. "He knew that the most important thing is that he goes out and focuses on each day and keep doing his job. He's done a really good job."
Sunday, Glennon faces an improved Falcons defense, and he won't have Cam Meredith, last year's leading receiver, who's on injured reserve With a knee injury.
Markus Wheaton would have been the logical replacement for Meredith, but he's still recovering from surgery on his pinkie finger.
So, along with Kevin White, the Bears list Kendall Wright as the other starter outside, although he's a better fit in the slot.
It will be interesting to see how much help Glennon gets from a collection of six wide receivers who last year combined for just 93 receptions, 1,185 yards and 7 touchdowns.
That's about as much production as the Falcons got last year just from Julio Jones, who caught 83 passes for 1,409 yards and 6 TDs while missing two games.
As yet, the Bears don't have anything resembling a go-to guy at wide receiver. So Glennon says he will follow the game plan and throw to the open man.
"I'm just going to go through my progressions, and the ball takes me to whoever it is," he said. "I feel comfortable with our guys.
"Cam was definitely a big loss for us. But other guys are going to step up, and I have (spent) plenty of time throwing with Kevin and Kendall, all of our tight ends and all of our backs. So I don't think that will be an issue."
There is, however, the issue of Glennon proving himself, and he agrees he still has to convince a lot of people that he's a No. 1 quarterback.
It has been nearly three years since he started an NFL game.
"It's not about practice; it's not about preseason games," Glennon said. "It's about these games coming up, when they count, so definitely (there's something to prove).
"I think everyone's always proving something to themselves, to the team, to the rest of the league."