Mack: Bears will win with Foles or Tru­bisky

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON LIESER, STAFF RE­PORTER jlieser@sun­times.com | @Ja­sonLieser

The Bears’ big­gest star and their new quar­ter­back hit it off quite nicely when they first met up at Halas Hall. It was typ­i­cal of new-team­mate ex­changes, with Khalil Mack and Nick Foles rem­i­nisc­ing about the hand­ful of times they’ve faced each other.

The most re­cent of those was when Foles foiled the Bears’ Su­per Bowl hopes in Jan­uary 2019 by help­ing the Ea­gles eke out a play­off win at Sol­dier Field. Even though Foles got the bet­ter of that matchup, he’s the one re­lieved to no longer have to worry about Mack charg­ing him in the back­field.

Nonethe­less, Mack couldn’t say enough about how much Foles has im­pressed him in their month or so to­gether.

“Know­ing what [the Ea­gles] did, and not only that, but just see­ing the type of guy he is — be­cause he’s a hell of a guy,” Mack said. “You just got the right type of guy. That’s what Nick is. He can play and talk and com­mu­ni­cate.”

Like the rest of the Bears, Mack has steered clear from weigh­ing in on the po­si­tion bat­tle be­tween Foles and Mitch Tru­bisky. He’s more con­cerned with the Bears’ de­fense stay­ing at an elite level any­way.

“All in all, man, just know­ing the two guys that are up for the job, what­ever they de­cide to go with, we’re go­ing to be ready,” Mack said. “We’re go­ing to be ready to win a lot

of ball­games, and I can’t wait. Whether it’s [Foles] or [Tru­bisky], we’re go­ing to win.”

That phi­los­o­phy proved true in 2018, when Tru­bisky was a mid­dle-of-the-pack quar­ter­back and the de­fense was over­whelm­ing. The Bears fin­ished with a 12-4 record and an NFC North ti­tle.

Last sea­son, though, Tru­bisky was a disas­ter, and the de­fense, de­spite rank­ing fourth in fewest points al­lowed, wasn’t enough to off­set that.

QB bat­tle drags on

It’s a good thing Mack is so at ease with the Bears be­ing un­de­cided at quar­ter­back be­cause it’s go­ing to stay that way for a while.

With two weeks un­til the Bears be­gin their first game week, coach Matt Nagy is still split­ting snaps be­tween Foles and Tru­bisky. He has no timetable for try­ing to nail down a starter and do­ing him the fa­vor of giv­ing him the bulk of the first-string reps.

“I can tell y’all just to save you from the ques­tions down the road here: It’s not go­ing to hap­pen soon,” Nagy said Sun­day. “We’re go­ing to take our time with it.

“I un­der­stand that we all want to know right away. We do, too. But we want to use — it’s al­ready a short train­ing camp — as many reps as we can with them.”

Lin­ger­ing in­juries

The Bears con­tin­ued to prac­tice with­out two of their best play­ers: wide re­ceiver Allen Robinson and de­fen­sive line­man Akiem Hicks.

Robinson missed his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day with an an­kle in­jury, and Hicks has been out of three prac­tices since hurt­ing his quadri­ceps mus­cle. Nagy brushed off both is­sues as mi­nor.

“There’s no con­cern,” he said. “It’s just more so, ‘Is it worth it right now to put them out there with where they’re at?’ I just don’t think it is.”

Robinson was the Bears’ lead­ing re­ceiver the last two sea­sons; Hicks is ar­guably their best de­fen­sive player af­ter Mack.

The Bears also lost vet­eran of­fen­sive tackle Ja­son Spriggs to a knee in­jury Satur­day. Nagy had no up­date other than that Spriggs was un­able to prac­tice Sun­day.

JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES, MICHAEL PEREZ/AP (RIGHT)

Bears out­side line­backer Khalil Mack faced quar­ter­back Nick Foles in an NFC wild-card game in Jan­uary 2019 (above) and in a reg­u­lar-sea­son game in De­cem­ber 2017 (right).

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