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Here’s a little history lesson about Chicago: The most popular person in town is always whoever happens to be the backup quarterback for the Bears.
Sure, other cities might feel the same way, but no town has lived it like Chicago, where the starting quarterback has been consistently bad for decades.
Meanwhile, the backup brings hope. I was dreaming myself a few weeks ago, pleading with the Bears to bench Mitch “The Other Guy’’ Trubisky and go with backup Nick Foles.
So this is a bit awkward. But now that we’ve seen Foles, I miss The Other Guy. Forget everything I said before. The Bears have got to make another change.
Time to Switch to Mitch. Or switch back to him, anyway.
The Bears are suddenly an embarrassment after the Los Angeles Rams pushed them around on Monday night. But the truth is that they’re still 5-2 and still a likely playoff team. And there are real and serious reasons why the Bears have to switch to Mitch.
The truth is that Foles isn’t terrible. He’s mediocre. So is Trubisky.
But the Bears need to go back to Trubisky even though Foles doesn’t panic in the pocket the way Mitch does. And Foles runs through his progressions, unlike Mitch. He’s also more accurate than Mitch, and. . .
Wait, what was my point again?
Oh yeah. Switch to Mitch.
Foles blew it, not for his play so much as for what he told ESPN analyst and former Bears QB Brian Griese before Monday’s game. During the Rams game, this is what Griese said on air:
“We were talking to Nick Foles and he said, ‘You know, sometimes play calls come in, and I know that I don’t have time to execute that play call. You know, I’m the one out here getting hit. Sometimes the guy calling the plays, Matt Nagy, he doesn’t know how much time there is back here. So that’s something that they have to get worked out.’’
And there’s only one way to do it. Switch to Mitch.
Foles unwittingly ripped into his offensive line with that comment. He also tore into coach Matt Nagy for his play-calling.
The fact that the Bears might have the worst offensive line in the NFL and that Nagy might be the worst play-caller is actually not the point. This is a team, and one player can’t be ripping others publicly.
I doubt that Foles even meant to. In these production meetings, broadcasters and players and coaches meet to help fill in the analysts on what’s going on. It’s sort of a courtesy, and while it’s not exactly off the record, it comes with an understanding that an analyst isn’t going to burn the person who gave him the information.
Griese burned Foles.
But in addition to all of that, not only do the Bears have a terrible offensive line, but they also don’t have a running back. They can’t run the ball at all. In six years, general manager Ryan Pace has assembled an offensive without a line, a running back or a quarterback and really only one above-average receiver in Allen Robinson, who is now working his way through concussion protocols and might miss Sunday’s game against New Orleans.
The Bears can’t establish a running game, so defenses just sit back and guard the pass. And Foles can’t outrun a street sign.
But Trubisky can move and is a threat all by himself.
It looked like Trubisky was about to be run out of town. The Bears traded up to get him with the second pick in the 2017 draft, taking him over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. That has haunted him, as Bears fans have just watched Trubisky not as himself, but instead as not-Patrick or not-Deshaun.
But at this point, you’ve got to go with The Other Guy, no matter how bad he is. I would actually go with Trubisky as the starter and then use Foles as a relief pitcher, coming in when Trubisky falls to pieces. Foles, who is good in a no-huddle offense, has always been his best when he comes off the bench.
That’s usually the place where you find quarterback saviors in this town.