BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Sometimes the best love on the gridiron is the tough kind.
Judging by Mitchell Trubisky’s comments at training camp on Monday, that’s kinda how it’s been with the Bears’ “family” during the 2019 season.
Every day, the offense and defense face-off during scrimmage work that allows each side to flex their muscles. There might be a mutual desire to help the other side get better, but getting the best of the opposite side is still the goals.
“Brothers compete. It’s competitive out here, and we’re trying to win every single drill,” said Trubisky of the defense.
When his other brother is a No. 1 NFL defense, that can make for some really tough love. That’s been the case in training camp, where the defense has made its fair share of plays against the offense as they continue to improve an already strong unit under new coordinator Chuck Pagano.
“It’s part of it. You get frustrated because you’re so competitive and you want to win every drill,” said Trubisky of the times the defense gets the best of the offense. “It’s not realistic to win every drill, but that’s what you strive for, especially against our defense. They create a great challenge every day.”
Do they make the offense better?
Fans won’t be able to tell for sure until the opener against the Packers on Sept. 5, with little pieces of evidence coming in four preseason games, starting with Thursday night’s contest with the Panthers.
Trubisky was asked specifically what he’s seen during this camp improve with the offense thanks, in part, to the defense’s pressure to which they apply during practice.
“A lot of situational growth,” said Trubisky. “We’ve been in a lot of situations this camp that we haven’t even seen over the last couple years or in practices and these situations come up, especially with the defense that we’re going against; that maybe we get a call that we fixed or we pick up a first down or done something situationally that we haven’t done in the past.
“I think that’s where we’re growing and coming together as a team and we’re just seeing a lot of different looks and we’re adjusting off that. That’s allowed us to grow and just communicate and stay on the same page.”
The entire team will do the same thing in about a month, but for now, the brotherly competition will continue on both sides during training camp.
“But you’ve got to believe that’s making us stronger and better, and we go on film, and we watch, and it seems like we have a frustrating day, but you go watch the film and it’s like ‘Alright, we go better here, here, and there,’ and you’ve just got to keep making those plays and keep being competitive and not back down,” said Trubisky. “That’s what we’re doing, and they’re pushing us, and we’re pushing them, and we’ve just got to keep going at it.
“We know how good they are, but we’re going to compete with them and stick with them every day.”
Nothing like a little “brotherly love” in the name of progression.