The Bears have made upgrades at several positions, but coach John Fox is most excited about the changes at quarterback. During the offseason, the team signed veterans Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez and traded up to select Mitchell Trubisky with the second pick in the draft.
"A year ago the last six games we played with a quarterback (Matt Barkley) that wasn't even in camp and is not in the league now," Fox said while appearing alongside general manager Ryan Pace and president/CEO Ted Phillips on the Bears Coaches Show on WBBM AM 780 and 105.9 FM. "No insult to him, but you can't win in the NFL like that.
Quarterback Mike Glennon signed with the Bears in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Ryan and his staff have done a great job of going out and getting Mike Glennon in free agency, a young talented quarterback that's very competitive, very smart and has performed well but just became expendable [with the Buccaneers] because they drafted a guy high. He had a great camp for us; we're excited about having him.
"And then to go out and draft the No. 2 player in the draft in Mitchell Trubisky, he came in and he's learning the offense. He's way beyond even our expectations as far as how fast he's learned and absorbed our offense and NFL football.
"Mark Sanchez is a veteran guy. He's been a top player in the draft. He's been through all the experiences, so he's a great teammate for both of those guys. He can relate to both of them, where they've been and help tutor them."
Phillips feels that the moves at the all-important position have created excitement at Halas Hall.
"The buzz is real," Phillips said. "We transformed the quarterback position, so that's really exciting for now and for the future. We really think that the team now is on the verge of becoming a winning organization, and that's what we all strive for here."
Glennon was selected by teammates to be one of two co-captains on offense this season. Another free agent acquisition, safety Quintin Demps, was chosen as a co-captain on defense.
"There's a lot of work being done inside the building, outside the building, in the classroom, on the field, and it's about respect," Fox said. "You don't earn that respect coming into a new place, a new job, with your workmates unless you show that you can work and that you're a pro. I think it says a lot about the people that Ryan and his staff have added. They're both tremendous young men as well as good football players that are going to help the Bears."
Other key players the Bears acquired during the offseason included receivers Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright, running backs Benny Cunningham Jr. and Tarik Cohen, tight ends Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen, tackle Tom Compton, cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper Sr. and safety Eddie Jackson.
"It's not just the talent, it's the right mindset and the right makeup of the kind of guys we're looking for," Pace said. "Coach Fox has done a great job with me and our entire personnel department of painting the picture of the type of player we're looking for, and it's up to us to go find those guys. I feel like we've accumulated more and more of those players and when you walk into our locker room you can feel that and that's going to pay dividends."