VR technology for new Bears QBs? It’s a virtual hit

Mike Glennon and Kevin White high-fived as they jogged back to the Bears‘ huddle early on the first day of training camp, satisfied they had just taken a baby step forward in the offense’s evolution.

Glennon had zipped a pass smoothly over the middle. White was open and caught it in stride, just as the coaches drew it up. It was the type of play the Bears need to make more often to pull the parachute cord on their NFL plummet.

And they now have a new tool in that quest.

Ten yards behind the line of scrimmage for that play and most others this summer, there’s a 360-degree video camera perched atop a skinny, 8-foot pole.

That addition to Bears practices this year marks their entry into the realm of virtual reality. As the latest NFL team to invest in the burgeoning video technology, it could help thrust them upward as they start a chapter defined by their quarterback overhaul.

The Bears mainly hope it will help them overcome the shortage of practice repetitions for Glennon, second-overall pick Mitch Trubisky and veteran Mark Sanchez. There’s also an evaluative component that’s different from conventional overhead video.

Trubisky, for example, can strap on a VR headset in the comfort of a classroom and see and hear exactly what Glennon did as he dropped back on that crisp completion Thursday.

“I’m really surprised what that technology has allowed us to do,” Trubisky said. “Especially calling plays in the huddle — I call the play, go out and practice it, and Coach can see on the screen where my eyes are going. So it has helped me with progression and timing without actually going onto the field and having to do it.”

General manager Ryan Pace began exploring the use of VR in 2016 as part of his priority to push the Bears into fledgling areas of sports science and technology. The clarity and processing time in VR technology has continued to…

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