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  • TIMES STAFF

1. Audit problems

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — When Mike Glennon began his news conference at Halas Hall with an opening statement, it caught some off-guard.

Maybe it was because media members aren’t used to that from a Bears starting quarterback. Or that no one outside Tampa has really heard Glennon speak to the media in the past few years.

It served as a reminder that Glennon is indeed the Bears’ starting quarterback, something GM Ryan Pace confirmed in his news conference. Glennon hasn’t started a game since Nov. 2, 2014, but he is in charge now of the offense, and he wanted to show command from the get-go.

Pace said the first thing Glennon did — after asking to dive into the playbook and get tape downloaded to his iPad — was ask for photos of “everybody in the building” whom Glennon would interact with and the cell phones of “every single player on offense and certain guys on defense.”

“So right away I think that tells you something about a guy when that’s kind of his mindset before he walks in the building,” Pace said.

Glennon has never had this opportunity. He’s never been named a starter so early in the calendar year. He took over the starting job in Week Four of his rookie year after Josh Freeman flamed out, then lost it in 2014 when Lovie Smith came in with Josh McCown, and he remained the backup for 2015 and 2016 behind Jameis Winston.

Now, for the first time since his days at North Carolina State, Glennon has the keys to the offense before the season is underway.

“It’s exciting to go into the season being the starter. Because in the past that hasn’t been the case for me,” he said. “I think it gives you a sense of ownership, that this is … I’m in charge and I’m excited for that opportunity that I really haven’t had before. But it’s something that I’ve worked for and really looked forward to, just ever since I got in the league and finally I have that opportunity.”

Glennon acknowledged “More of a level of comfort and confidence” as a 27-year-old as opposed to having to step into the starting role at the age of 23 in Tampa Bay, and that said that time to grow as a player without actually playing has benefited him.

“I get it, I haven’t played in two-plus years, but I was playing when I was 23, 24. I’m 27 now and I feel like I’m a much better player,” he said. “I’ve grown physically, I’ve grown mentally. I’m more confident in my abilities. I’ve seen more NFL defenses. I’ve been part of way more NFL meetings and overall I feel like I’m a much smarter player. I feel I’ve always thrown the ball well and over the last few years I’ve worked on some things that have made me a better passer that I will show this fall.”

Glennon’s performance Friday in front of the cameras means nothing compared to what he does on the field in September, but he and Pace set the tone. The Bears will still probably draft a quarterback, but for 2017, this is Glennon’s team.

  • By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump mounted a vigorous defense of his presidency Thursday, pushing back against media reports that his campaig…

Today

President-elect Donald Trump said his administration will not move the press briefing room out of the White House into a larger space but will choose the media representatives who go into it, according to an interview with Fox News.

  • Associated Press

History

The last time Donald Trump held a news conference, he was plunging into a heated general election campaign with Hillary Clinton and suggested Russia could help dig up some of his rival's emails.

Today

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona has fixated on the authenticity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate for more than five years, going so far as to send a deputy and member of his volunteer posse to Hawaii to question officials.

1. Scattered showers, patchy fog, mostly cloudy

  • The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in advance of a grand jury de…

  • The Associated Press

Text of President Barack Obama’s news conference Tuesday at the White House, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions: