Context matters when discussing the Chicago Bears quarterback history

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have had a historically bad output when it comes to the quarterback position. When you look at the history of the position here in Chicago, it is sad that many believe Sid Luckman to be the best to ever play for this team.

Outside of Luckman, a quarterback who never even played during the NFL era, the next name to come out of most people’s mouths is Jim McMahon. That is not the correct answer, but hey, everyone has a right to their opinions. McMahon was a great athlete and competitor. He did whatever it took to win and played with moxie. He also helped bring the only Lombardi Trophy to the franchise during its 100-plus year existence.

Jay Cutler is my number two quarterback in Bears history. If he had the mindset, leadership and personality of say, Mitch Trubisky, he might be viewed as even the greatest quarterback in franchise history. No matter how you view it though, none of them stand out and compare to other teams’ franchise quarterbacks. The Bears have never had the likes of Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Brett Favre, John Elway, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes or the many other great QBs.

By now you are probably wondering, what is the point? We all know how bad this team has been at the quarterback position. Well, the point is, that as bad as this team has been at the quarterback position, I am tired of hearing the following stat without any context.

"Since 1993, the Green Bay Packers have had six starting quarterbacks, while the Chicago Bears have had 32."

This was a statement made by Kevin Fishbain on the Hoge and Jahns podcast recently. This is not the first time the stat has been thrown out there though. What irritates me though is how this stat or statement lacks a great deal of context.

Going back to 1993, the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears was Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh started 15 games that season and was the starting quarterback. However, because Peter Tom Willis started one game that year while Harbaugh dealt with an injury, the Bears are now at two starting quarterbacks in just the first year of the 27-year span being touted.

This can be said for almost every season between 1993 and the present day. Therefore, I call bull on the stat because it makes the team look even worse than it has been in the quarterback department. When in reality, the stat should look more like this.

Since 1993, The Green Bay Packers have had two starting quarterbacks, while the Chicago Bears have had 14.

  • Jim Harbaugh
  • Steve Walsh
  • Erik Kramer
  • Shane Matthews
  • Cade McNown
  • Jim Miller
  • Kordell Stewart
  • Chris Chandler
  • Craig Krenzel
  • Rex Grossman
  • Jay Cutler
  • Mike Glennon
  • Mitch Trubisky
  • Nick Foles

This still looks really, really bad, but the point of the statement should not be hindered by injuries that take place. The Packers went from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. Not one quarterback pushed either two to take over as the starter. The Brett Hundleys of the world should not count on this list for the Packers just like Matt Barkley and Chase Daniel should not count for the Chicago Bears.

Again, this is not an attempt to make the Chicago Bears look like they did a good job, but if we were to go off more recent history, the team went from Rex Grossman (can’t even really count Kyle Orton – “Rex is our quarterback”) to Jay Cutler, to Mike Glennon (yes, he counts) to Mitch Trubisky and then to Nick Foles since that was a true quarterback competition. That is only five quarterbacks over the last 17 years. Can we at least agree that context matters?

Next. Bears might not draft a QB if Kiper is right. dark

Now the hope is that the team finally lands a talent like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson or finds a talent in the 2021 NFL Draft. Out of these three, Wilson seems to be the most hopeful option as the Watson trade is less likely and the team lacks a top-10 pick in the draft.