By Chris Emma—
(CBS) By moving quarterback Mitchell Trubisky up for reps with the first-team offense, the Bears have put the pressure on starter Mike Glennon to hold down his job. How will he respond?
That’s the wonder for Chicago as it travels down to Tennessee for the third contest of this preseason, facing off with the Titans at noon on Sunday. It’s the dress rehearsal for the regular season, one in which Glennon will play the entire first half before handing the reins to Trubisky.
Glennon will be under the spotlight as he attempts to lead the first-team offense to production. He struggled mightily in the first preseason contest and showed improvements in the second tune-up. This will be his greatest test yet, because Trubisky is pressing him.
“I just have to control what I can control, and that’s going out there and playing good football for the Bears,” Glennon said this week. “That’s really all that came to my mind. Focus on what I can control and go out and prepare this week to go out and execute.”
Struggles would be more acceptable for Trubisky, the rookie drafted second overall, because it’s simply a part of his learning curve. He has maintained poise in leading the offense to this point.
Sunday in Tennessee will be a major test to determine who deserves to lead the team this season.
If Bears coach John Fox has his way, Trubisky will step onto the field for the second half and face a Titans starting defense ready to attack. It’s the next step for Trubisky, who in such a case would be getting a dose of first-team action in a game setting.
“It’s all about getting better in preseason and continuing to create good chemistry with the guys you’re with,” Trubisky said this week. “I’ve been able to create that with the twos and threes, and now I’m getting some reps with the ones, it’s got to roll over.”
Trubisky has handled his reps with the ones well in practice, but performing in a game is a different battle. He must display a steady grasp of the huddle, identify pre-snap coverages and make sound decisions with the football. It’s time for the next test.
Don’t blame the struggles of Glennon solely on him. The Bears have been lacking at receiver to this point.
Kevin White and Cameron Meredith remain the leading targets, with Kendall Wright working in the slot. It’s a group of unproven players hoping to find consistency.
“We want to go out there and start to really show our culture and what we are about,” Meredith said. “Go out there with a tough mindset. Go out there and put some plays together, make some plays downfield. Go out there and just have fun.”
The progressions have been good for linebacker Danny Trevathan, who’s still working his way back from a torn Patellar tendon.
Trevathan will travel with the Bears to Tennessee and could even play, Fox said Friday. A decision will be made prior to the game.
The Bears have been pleased with the work of Trevathan to get back onto the field, a comeback effort that’s well ahead of schedule. The goal will be to have him healthy and ready for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener, but suiting up this Sunday would be a positive step.
Among the influx of impressive rookies is safety Eddie Jackson, who appears to be on his way toward earning a starting spot in the secondary.
Jackson will get his next opportunity to solidify a place in Sunday’s contest. Thus far, he has left the Bears impressed with strong and steady play.
“He has all the tools for sure, all the tools to be a playmaker in this league,” safety Quintin Demps said of Jackson
Roberto vs. Roberto
There’s no questioning the potential of kicker Roberto Aguayo, a three-time All-American at Florida State. But he has been disastrous in the NFL to this point because of inaccuracy stemming in large part from a lack of confidence.
While Aguayo is competing against incumbent kicker Connor Barth, the Bears know well he’s mostly competing against himself. Aguayo shanked a 49-yard field goal in last Saturday’s preseason game and has struggled throughout practice.
The Bears want to see him perform under the pressure of a game setting.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.
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