A new head coach, a slew of fresh faces at wide receiver, a modernized offensive playbook, and a sunny disposition regarding the future are among the changes that have taken place this offseason for the Chicago Bears.
And yet, the biggest difference from this season to the last has to do with the vibe surrounding Mitch Trubisky, who may have greater control of everything on the field, now that he’s the undisputed QB1: “He asserted himself a lot last year,” said running back Jordan Howard via Larry Mayer of the Chicago Bears’ official website, “but I definitely feel like a lot more people are listening to him [now]. “He has a lot greater command of the locker room and stuff because he’s the quarterback for sure now.”
It should also come as no surprise that his teammates are more bought in to Trubisky today than they were at this time last year. For starters, I can imagine the difficulty behind buying into a rookie quarterback buried on the depth chart while also showing respect to Mike Glennon (the team’s starter) and Mark Sanchez (the wily vet). And of course, many key players on the Bears offense were on short-term contracts. Kevin White, Joshua Bellamy, Tanner Gentry, and DeMarcus Ayers are the only wide receivers who are returning from last year’s team. And of those four, only Bellamy and Gentry caught passes from Trubisky during the regular season.
Trubisky did everything in his power to assert himself as a rookie last season and it appears as if it has worked out for the better. Arriving in Chicago as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and the first quarterback off the board, Trubisky said all the right things in the media, worked on his craft behind Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez during the summer, and even took extra reps after practice with backup centers and receivers to work on some things he hadn’t quite gotten a grasp of early during training camp.
If it was impossible not to notice this stuff as an observer, it certainly was noted by Trubisky’s teammates who have never been shy about rallying behind him. And now, he’ll have an even bigger voice in the locker room.