It’s interesting the effect that a different view point can have.
I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis. The neighborhood in St. Charles, Mo. was predominantly white and relatively prosperous. When I left to go to college to experience the world, I was a typical conservative suburbanite. I didn’t know that’s what I was. But that’s what I was. Members of my family that stayed in that environment are, too. And they don’t know they are, either.
Forward 30 years later after spending 15 of that living in downtown Chicago and I can honestly say that I’m a much different man than I was then. If you ever wonder why big cities are more liberal than urban environments, move to one and you’ll find out. Few people can walk past multiple homeless beggars on their way to work every day and not be affected. I wouldn’t call myself a liberal. But how would I know? I just know now that I was very conservative before.
How you view the Bears first round last night is also largely a matter of perspective. Nationally the pick of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been almost universally panned because media experts and anonymous scouts who have an interest in seeing the quarterbacks fall have almost universally disparaged the class. And the Bears actually traded up a spot to get theirs.
But in stark contrast to the national reaction, the local media were generally positive about the move.
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune was (and has been) amongst the most out spoken.
“[General manager Ryan] Pace said the strength of the draft was on defense and plenty of observers would agree. Moreover, the Bears have a host of needs on that side of the ball. But they haven’t had a greater need, period, than quarterback and that pre-dates the Phil Emery era. In fact, the Bears have mismanaged the position for far too much of the post-Sid Luckman era.
“Something had to be done and when the Browns didn’t draft Trubisky, who was raised in the Cleveland suburb of Mentor, with the No. 1 pick, Pace paid big-time to acquire the No. 2 pick from the 49ers. The Bears forked over the No. 3 pick, their third-round pick (No. 67 overall), fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-rounder in 2018. The exchange was a steep price, equivalent to a second-round pick according to a source with another team, but when you’re seeking a franchise quarterback, you have to be bold and the Bears have spent far too much time being meek.”
Rick Morrissey at the Chicago Sun-Times, usually ready to fire at the Bears at the drop of the hat, was fine with this (albeit with a parting shot):
“A tip of the cap to general manager Ryan Pace for having the courage to make a choice that is very much a roll of the dice. I have no idea whether Trubisky will be a good NFL quarterback. But I like the idea of the Bears throwing caution to the wind and going for it. They haven’t had an excellent quarterback since Jim McMahon, and I think it has slowly dawned on them that they can’t win a Super Bowl without one. And when I say slowly, I mean slooooooooowly.”
Even David Haugh at the Tribune, who I rarely completely agree with, nailed this one perfectly in my mind:
“It’s about time.
“The Bears could have stayed in the third spot and taken a defensive player to suit coach John Fox, or maybe even Trubisky if he was still on the board. They could have gone by the book like NFL executives typically do and the way Pace fooled everyone into believing he would.
“But going all-in to draft a Trubisky for all the Grabowskis in Chicago, Pace opted for bold over blase.”
People who actually follow the Bears are bound to have a different perspective on this once they settle down and ponder it this morning. It’s really easy if you are covering or following a NFL team that has a good quarterback to trash this pick. But try doing that if you are following a team that hasn’t had a quarterback in 30 years (or more) and who hasn’t even tried to draft anyone to solve the problem in 13 years.
Do that year after year after year and watch what happens to your attitude. It certainly has had an effect on me. And I’m not alone.
In contrast to media reports, NFL teams actually valued this quarterback class a great deal. We know that because, depite deceptive anonymous quotes, their actions spoke louder than their words. General manager Ryan Pace stated that they knew that the 49ers were receiving offers to move up for a quarterback because they were receiving offers from the same teams. And the 49ers confirmed that they had two offers on the table.
That’s not all. Immediately after the Bears took Trubisky, the Browns reportedly tried to engineer a trade for Kirk Cousins, something that could have been done well before the draft but was likely attempted only after the guy they, themselves, planned to trade up to get disappeared. It’s worth noting that the Chiefs also traded up to get ahead of the Browns and the Saints to keep them from taking Pat Mahomes. Houston traded up a long way to get Deshaun Watson at 12 overall. And many, many other teams worked these players out privately before the draft despite the class’s supposed lack of quality.
Needless to say that, when you aren’t just a media pundit and your job is actually on the line when your team doesn’t win, it obviously affects how you see things. These people thought a lot more highly of these players than reports indicated.
The Bears had to make this move. They had a guy they liked, they aren’t planning to be drafting this high again, and they don’t have a developing quarterback, a position that Pace has stated repeatedly that he’d like to draft every year.
For the record, I’m warming to the pick and to Trubisky. He is, after all, the only one of the top quarterbacks who has been characterized as accurate, something that arguably can’t be taught. Indeed, the only major criticism that’s usually leveled is that he was a one year starter. Well, so was Marshawn Lattimore. So was Ryan Ramczyk. So were quite a few of the top prospects in this draft. You do your due diligence, evaluate and project based upon what you have. That’s all their is to it.
I didn’t like the price but 2 third round picks and a fourth round pick isn’t exactly giving up the farm. And if he’s the guy you like, there’s no price too high for a potential franchise quarterback.
At least not if you have been exposed to the Chicago Bears for any length of time.