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Thursday May 26th

Former UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to start his first NFL game

Former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) dives for a touchdown against Florida State in 2016.
Buy Photos Former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) dives for a touchdown against Florida State in 2016.

After four weeks on the bench, former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will get his first NFL regular-season snaps next week.

Trubisky will start for the 1-3 Chicago Bears next Monday night, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano.

Trubisky will be going up against the Minnesota Vikings, who have allowed just 19 points per game this season, on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. It'll be a tough test for  the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. Fortunately, the Bears had a mini-bye week, as they played last Thursday against the Green Bay Packers. This gives Trubisky almost 11 days to prepare for his first career start.

If one is not familiar with the situation, here is how the former Tar Heel got to this point. 

Trubisky redshirted his first season at UNC then sat behind Marquise Williams for two more. After Williams left, Trubisky assumed the starting position and dazzled scouts immediately.

In 2016, he set school records for total offense (4,056), passing yards (3,748) and passing touchdowns (30). He rushed for five more touchdowns and threw just six interceptions. Trubisky led the Tar Heels to a 8-5 record and had signature wins against Pittsburgh, Florida State and Miami.

Trubisky’s 6-foot-3, 220-pound build and 13-game resume intrigued plenty of NFL teams. His only red flag was his lack of experience at the college level, and he quickly became labeled as a project that needed to sit and learn before he was thrown into NFL action.

Despite signing quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45-million contract, Chicago traded up one spot in the draft to select Trubisky second overall.

Glennon went on to start the first four games of the Bears' season. He played well at times but was generally unsatisfactory, throwing five interceptions compared to four touchdowns and losing three fumbles. The former N.C. State quarterback did lead the Bears to an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in week three.

Many saw the switch to Trubisky as inevitable. The Bears aren't a playoff team right now, and the quarterback change is one that will satisfy the fan base and give the 23-year-old Trubisky an opportunity to develop.

Trubisky had a good start to his NFL career, albeit in the preseason, throwing for 364 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions with a 106.2 quarterback rating.

With Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott having an incredible preseason in 2016 and subsequent regular season, fans are impatient when it comes to young quarterbacks. For all those fans, Aaron Rodgers is the exception, not the example.

Bears head coach John Fox may see the growing pains that come with a young quarterback. But recent success stories like those of Prescott, Russell Wilson and Derek Carr show that Trubisky may not be as inexperienced or unprepared as some think.

Chicago fans will be hoping the North Carolina kid can get his career off on the right foot and bring some excitement to an organization that had to experience the Jay Cutler roller coaster for eight seasons.


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