FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Now that the regular season is here and the games matter, the Falcons have begun game planning for their Week 1 matchup with the Chicago Bears.
On Monday, Bears coach John Fox reportedly told the Chicago Sun-Times that Mike Glennon would start at quarterback against the Falcons in Week 1 after a long preseason competition with rookie Mitchell Trubisky. Fox also said after Monday's practice that it has yet to be determined whether Trubisky or Mark Sanchez would back up Glennon.
"We haven't made that decision yet," Fox said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "I can tell you the starter's gonna be Mike Glennon. I think with lineups and practice availability, we'll have more information on Wednesday."
After the Falcons' practice on Monday, coach Dan Quinn said they were preparing for multiple quarterbacks, given the Bears' situation. It remains to be seen how this announcement will affect Atlanta's preparation, if at all.
"In these situations, you better be ready for multiple groups of how they want to feature their players," Quinn said. "You have to study that way a little bit in the preseason. … If they decide to play one (quarterback), then we'll go down that road as well."
While knowing who the starting quarterback is certainly helps during the preparation process, the Falcons' approach to the Bears offense, as a whole, will largely remain the same.
Quinn explained that despite each quarterback's unique skill sets, teams don't often change entire schemes to fit one player's ability. Regardless of who is behind center for the Bears, the Falcons need to be ready for the entire offense.
"Within the scheme, not many teams have one offense with this quarterback and a whole other one without him," Quinn said. "What changes is maybe the style of plays called. On one, do you scramble and run keepers more? Or, on one do you stay more in the pocket? That could change, and that will be something we'll look at."
There's more to the Bears offense than just the starting quarterback. Second-year running back Jordan Howard ran for 1,313 yards and six touchdowns on 252 carries as a rookie in 2016. He also caught 29 passes for 298 yards and another score. Chicago's top receiver Cameron Meredith tore his ACL in the third week of the preseason and has been placed on injured reserve, leaving Kendall Wright and Kevin White as the projected starters on the outside.
According to Quinn, the Bears' offensive line is a unit that could be one of the team's big strengths. Pro Football Focus rated Chicago fifth among all NFL teams in their preview of offensive lines for the upcoming season. "Offensively, this is a very good offensive line," Quinn said. "That's the first thing that jumps out when you put their tape in. Especially the inside three, the guards, the center – the tackles are good, too. I think they'll be one of the better lines that we would see."