LAKE FOREST – During a very uncertain OTA period where everything was a bit of a mystery, one thing was clear to Matt Nagy: The decision-making process with his 2020 quarterback wasn’t going to begin with a virtual meeting
“There is no competition going on right now over Zoom,” said Nagy on May 15th when asked about Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles.
It’s pretty safe to assume that’s the case.
Speaking out in a meeting isn’t exactly going to give the head coach enough confidence to pick a front runner for his Week 1 starter this fall. But it does present the thought of whether one of the players has an edge due to an OTA with no on-field work.
One could think that Trubisky, the incombant who lost his job after a poor 2019 season, has a slight edge since he has been with the Bears the last two seasons.
Mitch might concur, but he’s not letting it get to his head.
“I think because its a small sample size, I think that advantage goes to me just because I’ve been a starter here the last two years. These are my guys, my teammates, and guys I’ve built super strong relationships over the last two years,” said Trubisky when asked if the unusual offseason gives him an advantage in the competition. “But at the end of the day, it comes down to on-field performance. I think we both know that, the coaches know that, and our teammates know that.
“So when it comes down to getting on the field in training camp and competing against our defense, we just want to go out there an be a better offense, and I’ve just to make sure the offense is better when I’m on the field, doing my job to the best I possibly can, and make sure I’m giving the Chicago Bears a great chance to win heading into the season.”
Being in this position at all is truly uncharted territory for Trubisky, whose never had a competition like this since being drafted in 2017. He wasn’t considered in the running his rookie year since Mike Glennon was the anointed starter when he signed in March of that year.
He lasted just four games, and Trubisky has been the unquestioned starter since, even when there were some calls for a switch when he struggled in 2019. Those issues from last fall forced general manager Ryan Pace’s hand, and he made the trade for Foles this March, opening up a full out battle for the quarterback spot.
Friday was the first time that Trubisky has spoken to reporters since the trade went down, and he didn’t back down from any inquiries. He admitted being upset about the pickup of Foles – “Pissed off in a good way” is how he put it, while also vowing to do right by the team.
Trubisky couldn’t blame Pace for not giving him a fifth-year option, and the quarterback understands he now has to earn it. No longer is it assumed that he’ll be the franchise signal caller as his boss had hoped three years ago.
“I’m gonna handle it the way I know how, and that’s to show everybody who I am,” said Trubisky of the competition. “Go out there, compete, being myself, being the competitive person I am, and prove to my teammates and to coach Nagy that I deserve to be the starter for this team and I am still a leader of this team, and I give us the best chance to go out there and win games.
“So I’m very confident about where I’m at right now and what I can still do for this team, and me and coach have had great conversations about how we can just fix the problems of what happened last year and how we can get better for this year.”
If it doesn’t happen in 2020, unlike past years, it will mean the end of the Trubisky era in Chicago. Things have changed quite a bit for the quarterback, and he’s ready for the career-defining competition ahead.