OPEN­ING SHOT

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - SPORTS - Steve Rosen­bloom

Raise your hand if you agree that this would be a bad day for Joe Mad­don and his play­ers to let the pres­sure ex­ceed the plea­sure. More,

If we’re go­ing to con­struct a Mitch-O-Meter to gauge the con­tri­bu­tions of po­ten­tial fran­chise quar­ter­back Mitch Tru­bisky — and we should build one be­cause all I could find on Etsy were “Mitch Please” T-shirts and a Khalil Mack cof­fee mug — then I imag­ine it would be shaped like the Lom­bardi Tro­phy with three stacked boxes to de­note the choices to rate his play af­ter each week’s game. Oh, and a sound ef­fect.

Here’s the way it would go af­ter the Bears’ 16-14 win last week against the dog-breath Car­di­nals:

■ The Bears won be­cause of him.

■ The Bears won with him.

■ The Bears won de­spite him. (Ding! Ding! Ding!)

The fear, of course, is that we can’t get this thing built be­fore the end of Sun­day’s game against the Buc­ca­neers any more than Tru­bisky can change his rat­ing.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said he might cut down the choice of plays Tru­bisky must learn. Nagy also might want to stop us­ing John Shoop’s play­book.

In Nagy’s un­der­stand­ably op­ti­mistic

world view, the in­com­ple­tion is al­ways half full.

Did the Bears line up 6-3, 306-pound left tackle Charles Leno Jr. at wide re­ceiver ear­lier this sea­son so Tru­bisky would be able to spot the open tar­get?

Tweet from Tri­bune Sports Ed­i­tor Amanda Kaschube: “the Bears are in first in the NFC North and their QB has a neck beard. what year is it?’’

Email from Richard W: “It’s deja Glen­non all over again.’’

The NFL claimed it won’t change the word­ing on its rough­ing-the-passer rule, but the league sent out a video aimed at in­struct­ing on-field of­fi­cials to in­ter­pret it dif­fer­ently.

Clay Matthews’ laugh­able rough­ingthe-passer penal­ties re­port­edly weren’t on the video, so it is pre­sumed that call will not be made, and it’s about time.

The rule against land­ing on the quar­ter­back with full body weight has been around since 1995 but was made a point of em­pha­sis this sea­son, and it be­came overem­pha­sized as if the of­fi­cials worked on com­mis­sion.

In­di­ca­tions are the NFL will re­sort to com­mon sense be­cause you can’t use a form tackle to sack a quar­ter­back with­out land­ing on him. Sounds like the NFL dis­cov­ered physics late and grudg­ingly, same as it came to chronic trau­matic en­cephalopa­thy.

We’ve seen this kind of walk-back be­fore from the self-in­dict­ing NFL. The league changed its in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a stupid rule dur­ing the pre­sea­son when it in­sti­tuted penal­ties for play­ers who low­ered their heads to tackle. You know, the way ev­ery player has been taught. Af­ter a con­tro­versy in pre­sea­son games, the league in­structed of­fi­cials to ig­nore in­ad­ver­tent hel­met con­tact, and the con­tro­versy went away even though play­ers have con­tin­ued to lower their heads at the point of col­li­sion.

Both rules were in­sti­tuted in the NFL’s typ­i­cally ham-handed act of fak­ing con­cern about player safety while con­tin­u­ing to force teams to play Thurs­day nights. But chang­ing the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the rules takes much of the safety out of it. So with­out ad­mit­ting it, the NFL is ad­mit­ting there’s no way to make foot­ball safe. The Choice (and re­mem­ber, death is not an op­tion): The NFL try­ing to leg­is­late a sack or the NFL try­ing to leg­is­late a catch?

Jon Lester has a 1.52 ERA this month, in case you’re won­der­ing why you’ve spent all of Septem­ber say­ing, “That’s why the Cubs signed Jon Lester.”

“The wild-card game can maybe take a cou­ple years off your life,” Kyle Sch­war­ber said, and I’m think­ing, that’s say­ing some­thing for a guy who watches Carl Ed­wards Jr. pitch.

Even when Ed­wards es­capes a jam , by of­fi­cial Of­fi­cial Emo­tional Ter­ror Alert Level still hangs at “Joe Mad­don is just trolling us now.”

What’s up, Mick Kelle­her?

AR­MANDO L. SANCHEZ/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE

Mitch Tru­bisky throws to Benny Cun­ning­ham (30) in the win over the Car­di­nals.

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