Reports out of Chicago Bears training camp have been mixed about Mitchell Trubisky’s development. Facing one of the best defenses in the NFL, the starting quarterback has had some struggle-bus days during camp.
Bears coach Matt Nagy, however, sees it differently. The coach sees a quarterback that is more confident and locked in than a year ago.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday’s night’s NFL Total Access that Nagy told him Trubisky is "way past" where he was last year in terms of how he’s seeing the defense — blitzes, fronts, coverages, things the signal-caller was not always in tune with a year ago because he was so worried about getting the play called. Now the QB is playing off instincts.
Trubisky struggled at times last season reading defenses and getting through his progression. We’ve read similar reports out of Bears camp this season, but those belie Nagy’s belief in a leap from the still-growing quarterback in Year 2 of the system.
One thing that will help Trubisky this season is improved weaponry around him, better suited for Nagy’s offense. Receiver Allen Robinson is looking more like his playmaking self. Anthony Miller, when healthy, provides high upside. Taylor Gabriel continues to be a deep threat. Cordarrelle Patterson is a jack-of-all-trades wild card Nagy can get creative with at any moment. Rookie receiver Riley Ridley could provide playmaking depth. Rookie David Montgomery looks like a do-it-all running back perfect for the system, and an ideal complement to jitterbug Tarik Cohen.
Trubisky knows with the weapons it’s not all on him to create explosive plays.
"[Nagy] just wants me to go out there and be the point guard," Trubisky said, via the team’s official website. "Distribute the ball to our playmakers, and that’s really all I’ve gotta do within this offense. Just stay on top of everything."
It doesn’t sound like we’ll see much of the new Trubisky at all this preseason. The quarterback took three snaps in the opener, all handoffs, and Nagy suggested that could be all Trubisky works this preseason.
"Right now we’re both really happy," Nagy said. "We’re excited, and I think I’m cautiously optimistic about our offense in general and just our team."
Facing Khalil Mack and the vaunted Bears defense every day in practice is a stingy enough test that Trubisky doesn’t need to see bland preseason defenses to prepare for the 2019 campaign.
"We’re definitely getting challenged enough," Trubisky said. "That’s not even a question."
While all the focus in Chicago resides on the kicker competition, the most important player remains the quarterback. Whether he flies high or crashes and burns will determine how Nagy’s second season in the Windy City turns out.
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