Vikings Bears Football

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) looks for a receiver during the first half of Monday's loss to Minnesota.

DARRON CUMMINGS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The walker is equipped with handle bars, a basket for storage, even a cushioned seat should the need arise for a brief rest.

“My Cadillac,” its 90-year-old owner calls it.

With it, she is moving forward … not as fast as she’d like, but a step at a time. Without it, she goes nowhere.

My mother never played quarterback. Yet, there are parallels with a quarterback in the news lately and the team paying his salary.

In Mitchell Trubisky the Chicago Bears have a “Cadillac.” Or, with the zeroes on his pay stub, perhaps he is a Rolls Royce.

No matter, his presence is much like that walker. It represents moving forward. With Mike Glennon, the Bears were going nowhere. With Trubisky, they’re headed somewhere.

When you’ve been in “neutral” or more accurately “reverse” as long as they have, it’s a start.

Monday night the Bears played a game that mattered. It’s been a while. It mattered not in a “division race” or “playoff” sense, rather a “future of the franchise” kind of way.

Trubisky’s debut start was a mixed bag. Facing a veteran defense, he had good moments and bad in a 20-17 loss to the Vikings.

The best news was this: you didn’t have to watch hours of game video to get a feel for who he is and what he might become. There were enough glimpses of athleticism, mobility and throwing accuracy — even on the run — to know drafting him No. 2 overall has merit.

Duties here precluded watching the game start to finish. Yet, taking in the second half and seeing replays from the first half provided a better than abstract picture.

It was no masterpiece. He was a long way from perfect. If you didn’t anticipate that, you should have.

What mattered was Trubisky gives you a chance to one day be competitive. That day is a ways away with the lack of talent around him, particularly at receiver.

It’s OK.

Hope is no longer lost. It’s wearing No. 10. It has a strong arm, nimble legs and, from all indications, a solid work ethic and the respect of teammates, coaches.

The past eight years the Bears tread water at quarterback. The first four games this season they were drowning at the position. Trubisky may be swimming upstream because of the current roster, but you sense he’s not going under. Nor will he drag his team under.

The numbers Monday were modest: 12 of 25 passing for 128 yards, one touchdown and a costly late interception. There also was a sack/fumble that set up another Vikings’ field goal.

On the flip side, Trubisky ran three times for 22 yards (a 7.3 average) and avoided pressure far better than Glennon.

Even the late interception, which led to Minnesota’s winning field goal, was a product of Trubisky being athletic enough to escape the rush and, on the run, try to make a play. A lot of quarterbacks, Glennon included, would have been on their backs.

It was an error in judgment but also one of aggression, far more palatable than those of ineptitude.

There were plenty of the latter with Glennon and that wears on even the most supportive of teammates.

The move to Trubisky seemed to energize his team. Like the rest of us, the fellow Bears saw Trubisky’s flashes in the preseason, experienced Glennon’s follies once the bell rung.

It certainly has perked up the fan base. There was reason to care Monday night, big news for a franchise awash in apathy as much as anger. There is reason to watch intently as the final 11 games of a fourth straight losing season play out.

He wears No. 10.

And the Bears move forward, a step at a time.

Just like Mom.

Follow Randy Kindred on Twitter: @pg_kindred

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Sports Editor

Sports Editor for The Pantagraph.

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