LAKE FOREST – He knows a little something about attention in just his third season in the National Football League.
Mitchell Trubisky opened his career on Monday Night Football in 2017. He also began his first full season as the Bears’ starter on Sunday Night Football against the team’s biggest rival.
The quarterback also led the Bears’ offense onto the field during their first playoff game in eight years in January.
Trubisky is used to having the spotlight, but it may never be brighter than it will be on Thursday night. That’s when the Bears open the NFL’s 100th season with a night contest against the Packers. It not only begins the centennial season but also one of the more anticipated seasons for the franchise since their last Super Bowl title in 1985.
All the feelings will be in play on what figures to be an electric night at Soldier Field as the rival Packers visit town. Hence the quarterback is well aware of his need to keep the proper mindset as the season begins.
“That’s gonna be a big part of it,” said Trubisky of keeping the adrenaline down before and during the game. “I can look at last year’s game and take some lessons from that. It really doesn’t matter; all the hoopla of kicking off the NFL season, the 100th season. It really doesn’t matter when you get between those white lines, everybody’s got to go out there, we’ve got to our job and just execute the play at hand.”
Trubisky did that well in the opener in 2018 and helped the Bears’ offense to a first drive touchdown as the team took a 20-0 halftime lead against the Packers at Lambeau Field. The offense struggled after that along with the defense in a gut-wrenching 24-23 defeat in which he finished 23-of-35 with 171 yards passing with a rushing touchdown.
In the playoff game against the Eagles, it was the opposite, with Trubisky playing inconsistently till the fourth quarter, when he arguably played his best football in a Bears’ uniform. He led the team downfield for a go-ahead touchdown, then after Philadelphia got the lead, got his team in position for a potential game-winning field goal.
Fans already know what happened with that attempt, and while it didn’t work it, those experiences under the light have Trubisky ready for this challenge on Thursday night.
“I think for me it’s just keeping perspective, having that mindset ahead of time that all I need to do is go in there and do my job,” said Trubisky. “Stay relaxed, do exactly what I would do in practice. Do what I would do in the middle of the season last year; just create rhythm for the offense, doing my job, getting the ball to the playmakers and just playing within the moment.”
What a moment it will be when he steps on the field Thursday for the first time in 2019.