Anybody who has followed the NFL for a long enough time has heard the name Bill Polian mentioned. He’s one of the best general managers the league has seen in the past several decades. A man who helped construct the dominant Buffalo Bills teams of the early 1990s, the Carolina Panthers team that reached an NFC championship in just their second year of existence, and the eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts in 2006. A big reason for his success was an uncanny eye for good quarterbacks. So his opinion on the upcoming battle between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles is worth hearing.
Remember that Polian was the man who reeled in Jim Kelly as GM in Buffalo. He drafted eventual Pro Bowler Kerry Collins in Carolina and then of course took Peyton Manning with Indianapolis in 1998. He also claims to have had a 1st round grade on Tom Brady, who was drafted in the 6th round in 2000. So when he appeared on Waddle & Silvy for ESPN 1000, he was asked the obvious question. Was Foles brought in to actually compete with Trubisky or to replace him?
“No, I think they brought him in to compete. Now I think he’ll have an edge simply because he’s so experienced and because he’s got some chops in the locker room. He’s got a ring and through his own doing. He’s got a reputation around the league as not only being a winner but a good teammate, and a guy who’s tough as nails. When you see him up close and personal, you’re not going to be really impressed. He’s not a big, physical guy but, man, I’ll tell you he is tough.
So that’s going to stand him in good stead and as you know, Tom, that means a lot. So I think he has some advantages but I still think they’re still going to give Trubisky a chance to win the job.”
Mitch Trubisky has the most to prove this summer
It’s hard not to think Foles has the inside track at this point. What Polian said is true. His reputation is well-established. Players in that locker room don’t have to look far to find his argument to claim the job. That ring on his finger says it all. When he’s gotten opportunities to start, he almost always delivers. Combine that with several connections with the revamped Bears coaching staff? The comfort level with him is going to be high.
Trubisky is the one who has the most proving to do. The Bears never would’ve traded for Foles if they trusted him enough to do his job this year. It was his disappointing performance in 2019 that created this situation. He’ll have to show that he can respond to their challenge and play with more poise and efficiency than he has up to this point. Facing one of the best defenses in the league in training camp will be a great measuring stick.