Bears GM Ryan Pace: Mike Glennon is our starter at QB

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears rookie Mitchell Trubisky -- the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft -- will open training camp third on the team's quarterback depth chart behind starter Mike Glennon and veteran Mark Sanchez, general manager Ryan Pace announced Wednesday.

"Knowing Mitch, he puts high expectations on himself," Pace said. "So that's just how he is. He's going to approach every day like he's the guy, and I like that about him. But I just think you have to bring these guys along the right way. You're coming from a different style of offense ... with this experience ... I think we're in a position to really handle him the right way going forward.

"Glennon's here for a reason. We evaluated him over the years. We're very confident in him. Glennon's our starter, and we're confident with that. This thing is going to have to play out. But Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback, and I don't think now is the time to deal in hypotheticals going forward."

Trubisky faces a steep learning curve after starting only 13 career games at North Carolina, but the rookie did spend a chunk of the offseason program running the second-team offense when Sanchez, who should be healthy enough to practice Thursday, suffered a minor knee injury.

Trubisky, who recently trained in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alongside Glennon and some of the Bears' wide receivers over summer break, looked pretty good in the handful of offseason workouts open to the media.

But Chicago's plan is for Glennon to start the year at quarterback. The position was essentially promised to Glennon after Pace signed him to a three-year deal in free agency worth $16 million guaranteed in 2017.

"Between those two [Trubisky and Glennon], you know you lean on Mike's experience a lot and you can tell he's been in the league for four years with different coordinators and you know you can feel that," Pace said. "They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I think really right now you really lean on Mike's experience and some of the things he's been through, and that's the reason why he's here and that's why he's our starting quarterback.

"There's no more important position in sports than quarterback. We've talked about that. We've aggressively addressed that position this offseason in a number of ways. I think we've set ourselves up for success at that position. It's just got to play out. Glennon is our starter. We're confident in him. We're glad we have Mitch. We're glad we have Sanchez. We're glad we have Connor Shaw. That thing needs to just battle and play out, and it will. And I'm looking forward to watching that."

Prior to his arrival in Chicago, Glennon played four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, passing for 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 18 starts from 2013 to 2014. The 6-foot-6 quarterback became a backup when Tampa Bay drafted Jameis Winston No. 1 overall in 2015.

"I think it's just what I've dreamed of my whole life, to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and to enter the season as that guy," Glennon said. "It's what I've worked for; I've prepared for it ever since I was a kid and all the way through college and into the pros, to get to this moment. So it's going to be a great opportunity."

Albeit a temporary one. Glennon has a stranglehold on the starting job -- for now -- but Trubisky is the franchise's future. Glennon can expect his performance to be heavily scrutinized as the Bears develop Trubisky behind the scenes.

"I think I've dealt with plenty of situations in my past where there's comparisons, dating back to when I was in college and Russell Wilson left, people were comparing us all the time. When Jameis got to Tampa, I was dealing with a similar situation. I know that's going to happen, but I don't really pay attention to it. Within the building, within the organization, we're just trying to get better as a team. Hopefully Mitch improves, I improve. Competition makes us both better."

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