Bears’ coach­ing staff will be scru­ti­niz­ing ev­ery prac­tice throw be­fore de­cid­ing on start­ing QB

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - pfin­ley@sun­ | @patrick­fin­ley BEARS BEAT PATRICK FIN­LEY

The Bears held their last padded train­ing-camp prac­tice Wed­nes­day and will go through a light one Thurs­day be­fore head­ing home to wait for cut day on Satur­day.

The coaches, mean­while, will be­gin the con­clave.

Coach Matt Nagy, of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Bill La­zor, quar­ter­backs coach John DeFilippo and oth­ers will gather in­side Halas Hall this week to try to pick the start­ing quar­ter­back: Mitch Tru­bisky or Nick Foles.

“It is not easy,” Nagy said Wed­nes­day. “It’s not clear-cut.”

The Bears had hoped it would be. In the best-case sce­nario, the starter would have been ap­par­ent at least a week ago and al­lowed to in­crease his snap count ac­cord­ingly. As it is, the Bears spent all of train­ing camp try­ing to give Tru­bisky and Foles the same num­ber of snaps on the same types of plays.

Per­haps the prover­bial white smoke will rush out of the Halas Hall chim­ney Sun­day, when the Bears re­con­vene for a short prac­tice and weight-lift­ing ses­sion. Maybe it will come a day later.

When­ever it does, it will be the re­sult of up­com­ing marathon film ses­sions. Coaches will watch — and de­bate — cut-ups of ev­ery sin­gle prac­tice throw Tru­bisky and Foles made dur­ing the trun­cated camp.

“We’re not just go­ing to say, ‘Was it complete or was it in­com­plete?’ ’’ Nagy said. “We’re go­ing to dig re­ally hard into the why. And then we’re go­ing to look at sit­u­a­tional foot­ball. And then we’re go­ing to look at what’s around him: Is it 1 v. 2, 2 v. 1?

“And we’re go­ing to just shut the door. We’re go­ing to have our own opin­ions. And in the end, we’re go­ing to make a de­ci­sion.”

Not hav­ing to plan or run prac­tices Fri­day and Satur­day will help coaches clear their minds, Nagy said.

“We all have our own opin­ions of where we’re at,” Nagy said. “But you have these daily sched­ules and these daily script­ings that we’re do­ing just to get the next day ready. And so now what we can do as an of­fen­sive coach­ing staff is we can pull back. We get through [Thurs­day], and we’ll ba­si­cally take ev­ery clip of ev­ery snap of both quar­ter­backs.”

Nagy rat­tled off ar­eas in which both men have im­proved. Tru­bisky, he said, is stay­ing in the pocket more to open up mid­dle-of-the-field throws and keep­ing his vi­sion down­field be­fore check­ing the ball down. Foles, he said, has been re­cep­tive to the Bears’ play­book while also con­tribut­ing some of his own ideas. He has car­ried him­self as a leader, in and out of the hud­dle.

Still, if ei­ther quar­ter­back had stood out, the Bears’ de­ci­sion would have been made by now.

“We now have a li­brary of film that we can eval­u­ate and cri­tique and judge and make de­ci­sions,” Nagy said. “That’s what we’re go­ing to do. And then we’re go­ing to make that de­ci­sion. We’re go­ing to move for­ward.

“Some­one is go­ing to get the job, and some­one is not go­ing to get the job. And they’re both go­ing to have to han­dle that the right way be­cause it’s a long sea­son.”

Then, Nagy said, it’s the Bears’ job to make it work.

He knows the say­ing that hav­ing two quar­ter­backs means you don’t have any but claimed the fran­chise is com­fort­able with ei­ther man.

“We know what we have in these guys,” he said. ‘‘We feel re­ally good about both of them. Be­ing as bru­tally hon­est as I could be, it’s dif­fi­cult . . . .

‘‘We’re at a point now where we can start ham­mer­ing through where we’re at as a coach­ing staff. I think that’s what you guys are all wait­ing for. That’s what we’re wait­ing for.

“But it’s not easy, for sure.”

Mitch Tru­bisky


Nick Foles

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