Note: Just as we clicked publish, the Bears injury report was released and Mitch Trubisky is practicing in full. The rest of the post follows as is, but note that we’ll have an update out on Trubisky’s status shortly.
Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy said he felt strongly about Mitch Trubisky playing this Sunday, but it felt important to hear Trubisky co-sign those thoughts – and doing it during his regularly scheduled media appearance carried extra weight.
You see, because Trubisky has been on the injury report in recent weeks, he hasn’t been addressing the media on Wednesday afternoons.
And while an official team injury report is still to come later today (It’s out and he was a full participant today!), seeing Trubisky up there fielding questions is one of the signs pointing to his return. Here are some highlights from that session, alongside some thoughts of my own.
A Positive Progress Report
The head coach can feel strongly about Trubisky playing and we can carry all the good vibes we want. But to hear it from straight from the quarterback’s mouth makes us feel better about the Bears as we collectively march toward Sunday’s showdown.
“Arm feels really good. I’m just throwing as much as they let me and continue to take care of it, get it stronger, do all the rehab treatment I’ve got to do, and just making sure I’m 100 percent when I get back out there. It feels great. I’m right where I need to be and ahead of schedule.”
That hits every note a Bears fan would want to hear. Arm feels good? Check. Throwing, working, rehabbing, and treating the injury in order to get stronger? Yep. Being ahead of schedule? Oh, baby … hook it straight into my veins. That’s the good stuff!
Trubisky said he feels “real close” to being 100 percent when asked about how he felt going into Wednesday’s practice, so we’re left to hope that he’s all the way there by the time kickoff rolls around.
Get Those Reps
Trubisky has often talked about being a rhythm player and that taking as many reps as he can has helped develop his game. It makes sense that a quarterback who was a one-year starter in college and played just 12 games as a rookie would need to build up a lather to get the juices flowing. Fitting enough, Nagy talked about Trubisky needing to show how much better he feels before he could fully commit to the return of QB1. And it sounds like Trubisky is ready to do just that.
“Just go out there and practice, show I can make all the throws, and that I’m 100 percent, and (have) absolutely no reservations in my game. So that’s when I run, when I throw, when I pull it down, anything … (show) I’m just the same guy I was before and even stronger from the treatment and exercises I’ve been doing.”
I’ll admit I’m enamored with the idea of Trubisky being stronger with two weeks of rest for legs that have been running wild all season. And the concept of using rest, treatment, and exercises from the rehabilitation of the injured throwing shoulder makes me think Trubisky can throw that ball over those mountains. Punchlines aside, Trubisky sounds eager to get back into the huddle with his teammates.
On Learning the Value of a Coach-Quarterback Relationship From Jared Goff
In case you missed it, Goff and Trubisky – the first quarterbacks taken in the 2016 and 2017 NFL Drafts – were offseason roommates in California. There, Trubisky and Goff worked with the same trainers and quarterbacks coaches, picked each other’s brains, and enjoyed a relaxing offseason. Must be nice. Trubisky dished a little on what he learned from Goff, including the importance of having a coach you’re comfortable with.
“Any time you have that great relationship with your coach, you’re comfortable to speak your mind, talk about plays you’re comfortable with. Being with a creative offensive mind gives you that much more confidence as a quarterback to just play your game, speak your mind, be in a place you’re comfortable with, and just continue to grow that relationship. I know it’s helped us and it’s helped them as well. You just gotta have that relationship with the head coach and play caller, and being on the same page helps the quarterback because you’re an extension of the coach on the field communicating with your guys.”
Oh, dear. Was that a thinly veiled shot at John Fox?
The comparisons between Goff and Trubisky are inescapable. On top of being the first quarterbacks taken in their respective draft classes, both players suffered through rough rookie seasons while being instructed by old-school, defensive-minded head coaches whose methods hurt the development of the game’s most important position. And both were written off after sub-par statistical seasons. Since hooking up with Sean McVay, Goff’s star has been on the rise for two seasons now as he leads the team with the best record in the NFC. Trubisky is taking the same steps Goff took last season, and it’s evident that he knows the path he is following.
“What I appreciate about Jared is that he’s never really been shaken. A lot of people wrote him off after that first year, but watching him and how he handled himself, he’s very composed, never really rattled. He just believed in himself and has two amazing years since then. You just gotta have confidence in yourself so that your teammates believe in you as well.”
Seriously, all that sounds way too familiar.
You can watch press conferences from Trubisky and Nagy below. Happy viewing!
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 5, 2018