QB Trubisky shrugs off picks, learns nuances of Bears attack
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Not even the interceptions seem to frustrate quarterback Mitchell Trubisky right now. Rather than worry about those picks, he’s busy picking up the nuances of the offense under new coach Matt Nagy.
Trubisky is throwing deeper in training camp more consistently, and any interceptions are all a part of the process as he gets used to a variety of new targets.
“I mean, what’s not to like about this offense?” Trubisky said. “I love it. There’s a lot of options. We throw the ball around a lot and we’re going to balance it with a great running game.”
Trubisky’s passes haven’t always found the target, as Thursday night’s preseason opener with Baltimore in the Hall of Fame Game approaches. For instance, he threw two interceptions in three plays earlier in the week to cornerback Prince Amukamara. Deiondre’ Hall intercepted another pass Friday.
Trubisky, however, feels throwing it deep now to build timing will only make big plays easier later. And he credits Nagy’s practice approach for instilling confidence.
“Lets me go out and play and be myself and not worry about mistakes,” Trubisky said. “But we do go in the film room and correct them.
“There is a big emphasis on not making the same mistake twice. Just go out there and play freely and let your instincts take over. And then when we make mistakes, just go back and learn from it. It allows me to go out there and be myself and play freely,” he said.
Trubisky doesn’t want to convey the impression he’s laughing off practice interceptions.
“I’m always mad when I throw an interception, but at the same time I don’t care what anybody thinks,” Trubisky said. “I know what I’ve got to do. I made a lot of great throws. I made some bad throws and we’re testing and we’re getting better every day.
“Those (practice) mistakes are going to come — as long as we learn from them. It’s not a game, so it doesn’t really matter what everybody thinks and what everybody sees,” he said.
When Trubisky broke into the lineup in Week 5 last year under former coach John Fox, the emphasis was on playing it safe and operating a basic offense. His final yards-per-pass attempt average of 6.6 ranked 45th among all NFL passers.
It’s changing for Trubisky, the second pick in the 2017 draft, as he learns aspects of a more complex passing attack on daily basis.
“We’re throwing so much at these guys, where it almost feels like they’re in a tornado right now,” Nagy said. “There’s so many things being thrown at him.”
Nagy liked the way Trubisky handled making several checks at the line of scrimmage in Friday’s practice.
“He’s adjusting to any negative-type plays, so if there’s an interception, there’s a screw-up in the play call, in the huddle he calls the wrong play, he regroups,” Nagy said.
Trubisky has just 25 starts as a quarterback since he played high school ball, so the inexperience factor must be overcome.
Bears receivers say they’re seeing a passer more composed under pressure than could be expected from someone with little experience.
“He’s not frantic and things like that even when you get zero blitz and he’s throwing to the hot read,” wide receiver Taylor Gabriel said. “I’m impressed and I’m excited.”
There’s plenty to pick up in the attack for everyone.
Many of Trubisky’s targets might line up at a number of positions, further complicating the assignment. Gabriel, running back Tarik Cohen and tight end Trey Burton all have plays from the backfield, split out wide or in the slot.
Burton, a member of last year’s Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, is encouraged by the way Trubisky and the receivers have built a rapport.
“Not as many mental errors as I would expect from my previous offenses,” Burton said.
It’s a relatively slow process overall, nonetheless, and the bulk of the pressure is going to be on Trubisky to be ready for the Sept. 9 opener at Green Bay.
“We’re building this puzzle right now, and each day we’re trying to take one piece of the puzzle and put it up there and then before you know it, at the end of this thing, you have that puzzle put together,” Nagy said.
NOTES: Rookie pass rusher Kylie Fitts missed practice time Friday with an arm injury. ... G Kyle Long was given the day off to rest. ... LB Jonathan Anderson and OL Dejon Allen engaged in the first fight of camp before being separated. ... First-round pick LB Roquan Smith remains unsigned. Former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt visited Bourbonnais for the first time and called Smith’s holdout a selfish act. “For a rookie to hold out because of some of the fine print (in a contract) it’s pretty selfish, I think, from an agent standpoint to do that,” Wannstedt said. “I mean, this kid needs to be here. He needs to be practicing. These are valuable days. They play a preseason game a week from now. And you do not get these days back.”
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