New Bears offense an eye-opener for QB Mitchell Trubisky
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can see a huge difference after only three days running new coach Matt Nagy’s offense.
There’s more to it than just the system for Trubisky, as the Bears ended their first minicamp under Nagy on Thursday with a greater knowledge of an offense they hope eventually elevates them from the depths of the NFC North.
“Just having a bunch of brilliant offensive minds around me, I’m just getting a lot of information,” Trubisky said. “I’m trying to be a sponge, and it’s been a lot of fun working with those guys and learning as much as I can these last three days.”
It all caused Trubisky to remark: “I feel like these last three days, I’ve been coached more than I ever have.”
The Bears finished 30th on offense and have been ranked in the bottom half of NFL offenses three of the past four seasons. Coach John Fox was fired after going 5-11 in his third season, with Trubisky starting the final 12 games of his rookie year.
Now Trubisky learns from Nagy, who brought along a reputation for offensive innovation after serving as Kansas City offensive coordinator under coach Andy Reid.
“They do a great job teaching it, and it’s not only me — all the other positions know the whys of the offense so everybody will be on the same page,” Trubisky said. “We’ll all have answers and we’ll be able to click as an offense because everybody knows our jobs and what we’re looking for.”
With wide receiver Allen Robinson missing all of minicamp recovering from last year’s torn ACL, Trubisky threw extensively to wide receivers Kevin White, Bennie Fowler and Taylor Gabriel, and new tight end Trey Burton.
Trubisky felt comfortable running an offense emphasizing run-pass options, largely because he ran something similar in college at North Carolina.
“You’ve got the RPO game, the play-action, the quick dropback, getting the ball out quick, stuff I’ve done in my past from high school to North Carolina,” Trubisky said. “And then you’ve got the West Coast, pro-style concepts grooved in with that.
“So I feel like this offense is going to utilize my talents and use what comes natural to me.”
Trubisky is as impressed with the new head coach personally as with his offense.
“Just every day you can feel the excitement and the energy he brings and you can hear the passion in his voice and how he talks about things,” Trubisky said. “I get a really genuine feel when I’m around him. He’s very authentic. He’s real.”
Nagy was no less complimentary describing what he saw from his new quarterback. The two had built a bit of a relationship during the lead-up to the 2017 draft, when Kansas City weighed taking Trubisky.
“I would say that the biggest thing is probably just his immense focus,” Nagy said. “He’s very focused.”
Nagy called focus important for Trubisky because rising expectations can lead to distractions.
“So if you start worrying about expectations other than what your coaches want, you’re in trouble,” Nagy said. “And so he’s just got to understand just come to practice every day, be a leader, lead these guys, and sometimes that’s hard.
“You come in last year as a rookie and you’re asked to lead guys that’s hard deal sometimes. Now it’s year 2, it’s time to make the next step.”
NOTES: Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch suffered an ankle sprain on the second day of minicamp, but Nagy said it shouldn’t cost him much practice time. Lynch began camp lined up with starters because outside linebacker Leonard Floyd is still rehabbing after a knee injury last year. ... Linebacker Danny Trevathan was at Halas Hall, but didn’t practice after missing the start of minicamp for personal reasons.