Chicago Bears quarterback competition will have Tobacco Road feel

With Trubisky drafted and Glennon signed, the Bears will pit former UNC and NC State QBs against one another this offseason

Bill Streicher—USA Today Sports
Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina) is selected as the number 2 overall pick to the Chicago Bears in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Four years ago, Mike Glennon waited until the third round before his name was called by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get his shot in the NFL out of NC State. Three months earlier, Mitch Trubisky enrolled in North Carolina as a 4-star quarterback with a bright future.On Thursday night, we learned that the two former Tobacco Road quarterbacks will battle one another for the starting role with the Chicago Bears.This all comes after Trubisky was drafted No. 2 overall by the Bears, who traded up one pick with the San Francisco 49ers with a haul that included the No. 3 pick, a third-rounder (No. 67) and fourth-rounder (No. 111) in this draft and a 2018 third-rounder. That came with a unique reaction from Bears fans back home.Why would Bears fans immediately question giving up such a massive haul for a quarterback? Well, that very same team signed Glennon earlier this offseason to a three-year, $45 million contract.So we have a Tar Heels versus Wolfpack battle for the starting QB spot in Chicago, right? Apparently not, according to Bears General Manager Ryan Pace.”I talked to Mike tonight. He understands the competitiveness of our business at every single position,” Pace said. “Mike also understands he’s our starting quarterback. Mike’s been here working hard all the time, already developing leadership with his teammates. I’m extremely excited about Mike Glennon this season and I’m extremely excited about adding Mitch to our roster.”Where have we heard that before? Oh, I don’t know, maybe when a guy named Matt Flynn was signed to a three-year, $20.5 million deal to the Seahawks. He was dethroned by former Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson before ever earning a start with Seattle. That decision worked out for the Seahawks.But the Bears definitely told Glennon about their plans of drafting another quarterback before signing him, right? Nope.”We didn’t know [what we’d do],” Pace said. “We talked to Glennon about the opportunity here and the excitement about joining the Bears — the historic franchise — but we didn’t really get into a lot of details in that regard.”What Glennon brings to the fold is a quarterback who started has started 18 games over four seasons, passing for 4,100 total yards, 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 59.4 completion percentage. He was stripped of his starting role in 2014 behind Josh McCown and when the Buccaneers drafted Jameis Winston No. 1 overall in 2015.As for Trubisky, he started 13 games in Chapel Hill, passing for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions with a 68.0 completion percentage in his lone season as a starter. What Trubisky offers that Glennon doesn’t is a dual-threat component, rushing for 308 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.”It is what it is,” Trubisky said of the possibility of sitting behind Glennon. “I’m going to come in and learn as much as I can from Mike and the other veterans on the team. I’m always going to compete and do my thing and push the guy in front of me and my teammates as well. But when I am given my opportunity I’m looking forward to take full advantage of it.”Given the fact that Glennon’s contract is fully guaranteed for the 2017 season at $16 million, the likelihood of him starting looks pretty solid. But both quarterbacks, regardless of the situation this year, are comfortable with waiting their turn to earn a starting role.Glennon waited behind the aforementioned Wilson for three seasons — one during a redshirt year — before getting a chance to start. He then passed for 62 total touchdowns in two years despite mediocre seasons for NC State that ultimately cost Tom O’Brien his job.Trubisky redshirted behind Bryn Renner before waiting behind Marquise Williams for two seasons. He was handed the starting reins finally as a junior before making the immediate jump to the NFL. Having gone through multiple quarterback competitions in the past, Trubisky is ready to do the same in Chicago.”I’m not really the guy to talk or say anything,” Trubisky said. “I’m going to come in, work, and compete. That’s how you make your teammates better, and that’s how you make the other quarterbacks better. So, the best quarterback’s going to play. Whoever is going to help the Chicago Bears win is going to play and that’s what I’m all about.”