The biggest takeaway (non-COVID division) from Matt Nagy’s Sunday press conference was an update regarding the team’s quarterback competition.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t particularly surprising or revelatory:
Bears coach Matt Nagy on QB decision: “It’s not gonna happen soon.”
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 23, 2020
The Chicago Bears are no closer to having a resolution to their quarterback derby than they were at the beginning of the process. And the team won’t come to a decision soon, either. To be clear, that’s not wholly unexpected. But this update needs to be shared for record-keeping purposes. So here we are.
Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles have split reps with the first-team offense. But neither has pulled away from their competition. By all accounts, both have had flashes in practice. Trubisky has always had the athletic edge in this particular competition. And I bet it helps the optics seeing that athleticism teamed with improved mechanics. However, he still makes mistakes that have been problematic for some time. Foles has the advantage in being familiar with the offense, but that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to looking the part of QB1 in practice.
So where do they go from here?
The Bears have had five padded practices. That means there are nine more sessions between Tuesday and September 6 for Chicago’s coaches to evaluate the situation. And as one might expect, there is plenty to dig into before deciding on a QB for Week 1. For instance, Chicago must decide on how to split reps. Trubisky and Foles can’t go 50-50 forever … can they? Coaches must figure out how to script plays. This is a unique challenge since each quarterback does different things well within the system. After that, they’ll have to decide which quarterback is the right fit based on what they’ve seen. So, yeah, it’s a lot. And if the players and coaches aren’t up for it, then the Bears’ offense could be in a world of trouble before the season begins.
At some point, the rubber has to hit the road and the Bears will need to field an offense with a starting quarterback. There has to be an end game with either Trubisky or Foles getting a full week’s worth of practice reps ahead of Week 1. And while I suppose Nagy could trot out Trubisky and Foles at the same time like he did with Trubisky and Chase Daniel* in 2018, I don’t think that’s going to happen in 2020.
*—No, seriously … that was a thing in 2018 that Nagy could unearth again if he really wants to throw us all for a loop: