TOO SOON TO TELL TOO MUCH
Change in Mitch gets one teammate’s attention, but Nagy has adopted a more measured tone
It’s easy to look at return man/receiver/ running back Cordarrelle Patterson’s answer to a simple question — whether quarterback Mitch Trubisky looks different than he did last season — and dream about the Bears.
‘‘He actually looks like a whole new player this year, man,’’ Patterson said after practice Tuesday. ‘‘I just see it in his eyes. Each and every day, he’s got that fire in him. That’s what we need out of our quarterbacks. That competition, it brings the best out of everybody. So I’m excited.’’
It’s far more telling, however, to listen to coach Matt Nagy. And he said something far different when asked whether Trubisky was better this year.
‘‘So far, I think so,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘We don’t have enough right now. I wish I could tell you . . . we had enough, but there’s just not enough with where we’re at. We need to see more. I can’t give you a fair statement or opinion with that.’’
Nagy knows better.
He knows Trubisky always has been a
good practice player — even last season, when he played so poorly on Sundays that the Bears felt obligated to trade for Nick Foles during the offseason.
He knows that attitude, edge and a glint in a quarterback’s eye aren’t indicators of success — but film is.
And right now, the Bears have two whole days of practice film to examine.
‘‘I’m excited to see some more team periods,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘Maybe a little more red-zone, some two-minute, four-minute, situational football to truly say that. I’d ask for a little bit more time on that with him. But, again, the mental side of it, decision-making, where he’s going — so far, so good.’’
Trubisky has looked slightly better than Foles. He had a running start, however, throwing with teammates in his downtime while Foles and his wife awaited a baby in Southern California.
‘‘I think I’m just bringing a little more edge to the offense, a little more sense of urgency,’’ Trubisky said.
He built up his attitude during the offseason. He saw the Bears decline his fifthyear option and trade for Foles. He had surgery to repair his left shoulder and went through training to fix his footwork.
‘‘I think it’s a combination of everything, just realizing this is the last year of my contract,’’ Trubisky said. ‘‘Being hurt last year and not playing up to my own expectations. I think going 8-8, having a quarterback competition and just the desire to want to go out to continue to chase greatness . . . .
‘‘I’m trying to bring that edge. You’re just playing each play like it’s your last. So I think having that sense of urgency and trying to maximize your potential day in and day out, I think that’s where that edge is coming from.’’
In praising Trubisky, Patterson knocked the way he carried himself last season.
‘‘I feel he’s been more of a leader,’’ Patterson said. ‘‘Last year, I didn’t feel like he was that guy. This year, he’s taking over. He wants everybody to know that he’s that guy and we can come to him when we need something.’’
Trubisky’s response was mature. He said he needs to make sure he’s developing relationships with all his teammates.
‘‘I think me and Cordarrelle are a lot closer this year than we were last year,’’ he said. ‘‘As far as leadership, for me, I have to make sure I’m reaching every single guy in this offense.’’
If Trubisky is a whole new player, however, he’ll reach his teammates with a pass.
Until then, Bears fans would be wise to listen to Nagy: Trubisky hasn’t had the time — or the snaps — to show whether he truly has changed.
‘‘HE ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE A WHOLE NEW PLAYER THIS YEAR, MAN. I JUST SEE IT IN HIS EYES. EACH AND EVERY DAY, HE’S GOT THAT FIRE IN HIM. THAT’S WHAT WE NEED OUT OF OUR QUARTERBACKS. THAT COMPETITION, IT BRINGS THE BEST OUT OF EVERYBODY. SO I’M EXCITED.’’ CORDARRELLE PATTERSON, on Mitch Trubisky
Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky says he’s trying to add ‘‘a little more sense of urgency’’ to the offense.
Trubisky says it’s important for him to create relationships with all his teammates.