Mitch Trubisky found himself rattling off names of the offensive contributors he’ll be targeting in 2018 and was so excited, he almost forgot to mention Allen Robinson.
Once Trubisky was done naming the who’s who of whom he’ll be throwing to, the Chicago Bears quarterback shared an interesting thought: “I believe we’ve got more playmakers than the defense has guys that can account for them,” Trubisky said during his meeting with the media on Wednesday. “So we’ve just got to utilize those guys and get them the ball, believe in the plan, and execute the plays.”
Indeed, the Bears have 13 wide receivers (including nine players who weren’t in the organization last year) and six tight ends in camp, so there’s a lot for Trubisky to be excited about regarding the new era of offense Chicago is about to embark on.
You can watch Trubisky’s full press conference here. Or, for now, you can check out some highlights, along some of my own thoughts, below.
On the Defense Being Ahead of the Offense:
“It is what it is. We kind of expect that with Coach (Vic) Fangio being here in the past and having a lot of returners back on defense but it’s good for us. It’s just gonna make us better on offense and as a competitor, you just take that to heart and come out here and compete in every single drill. At the end of the day, we’re brothers, we’re family. Iron sharpens iron, but we need to just know we’re in this together.”
Matt Nagy’s first win with the Bears came when he was able to retain Fangio as the team’s defensive coordinator in January. And while the defense will benefit from the continuity Fangio’s return brings, a hidden positive is that a unit that returns its starting secondary and five other starters should provide a test for Trubisky during practice. If the Bears are going to be better in 2018, it will start with Trubisky moving the ball against good defenses. What better defense to set the tone and provide the first challenge than one run by one of the game’s best defensive minds?
On What Trubisky is Prioritizing:
“Definitely sticking together as a team. Playing together. Playing hard. Being obsessed, that mantra coach has brought into here. Just working hard every day and just leading these guys out here. Keeping everyone together, making sure everyone’s buying into coach’s plan, having fun, and just enjoying the game.”
Clichés are clichés because there is a hint of truth in them, and that’s worthwhile when thinking about how Trubisky is making it a priority to get everyone on the same page. The Bears’ offense was fighting a two-front battle, one that was difficult to win because of what was at stake. They had the head coach trying to win games by limiting potential mistakes from the rookie quarterback, while the offensive coordinator was tasked with building up his young quarterback. Those two paths didn’t intersect often, hence, a discombobulated offensive look for much of the year. With everyone pulling from the same side of the rope, the Bears are in a better position to grow now because everyone is following the same script.
On Building Team Chemistry:
“It’s all about everyone learning the offense, building that chemistry together, and getting better every day. It’s coming along well. It’s just that the more reps we can get, the better off we can be. I just feel like the guys who have been out here going through their reps, we’ve gotten a lot better from day one already, so we’re making progress for sure.”
Team Chemistry™ doesn’t come easy and isn’t going to happen overnight. Trubisky absolutely nailed it when he says the more reps the team gets, the better off it will be. The on-field chemistry we see in games starting in September will be built during minicamps, OTAs, and practices that lead up to it. If Trubisky is successful in prioritizing togetherness on the practice field, then we’ll eventually see the result of the progress that has been made when games start.
So, This is What Progress Looks Like at This Point in OTAs:
“Getting better every day. Learning a new offense, just grooving it. Making mistakes and trying not to make the same mistakes twice, and just progressing every day. Trying to come out here with energy and lead the guys out here. We’re having fun, we’re competing, the defense is looking really good as well. It’s just great to come out here and compete every day against them because we’re making each other better on both sides.”
The philosophies of the two head coaches Trubisky has worked under couldn’t be more different. John Fox did everything in his power to keep Trubisky out of situations where he could make mistakes. That’s something that helped the Bears’ short-term out-look, but it kept Trubisky from building a risk calculus as a rookie during a time when he probably should have been pushing the envelope. So while no coach wants mistakes, Nagy seems to encourage them because it allows for teachable moments on the practice field and in film room. This is where growth is going to happen for the Bears. Make mistakes, but learn from them. Have fun, but know what’s at stake. The Bears haven’t been much fun in recent years, but it feels like things are about to change.