Confident Mitchell Trubisky Rides Momentum into Opener

The Bears won't be second-guessing their decision at quarterback says coach Matt Nagy, who says Mitchell Trubisky has his complete confidence
Author:
Publish date:

Having won the starting quarterback job, Mitchell Trubisky now must prove he should keep it.

The last thing coach Matt Nagy wants to think about is replacing Trubisky with Nick Foles in the opener at Detroit. So he's not. 

If the past holds true to the future, Nagy shouldn't need to because the Lions have been one team Trubisky never has trouble beating.

"We feel really good with our decision," Nagy said. "We like where we’re at. Again, the way that like I said the other day when we were here talking is that we don’t even go to that point (of benching anyone). We start making plans and having what-ifs before we get to this start right now.

"But then we want to think positive. We want to score touchdowns and do everything we can. And then if that time ever comes down the road, it comes. But our focus isn’t there."

Beating up on a familiar punching bag would be a good place to start. Trubisky's nine touchdown passes in three straight wins over the Lions under Matt Nagy cause optimism he can do something similar Sunday when the Bears travel to Ford Field for a noon game. His passer rating is 132.39 in those three wins over Detroit.

It didn't take facing the Lions to give Trubisky confidence, though. He arrived at Halas Hall with it, and it's part of the reason why he won the job.

"I think I just found my confidence this offseason when I figured out it was going to be a competition," Trubisky said. "I mean, something had to change from last year to this year. I think it was getting healthy (from his shoulder injury, how I trained this offseason; how I approached it mentally. Just talking to my support cast and family and friends and reaching out for advice, I just found my confidence again.

"At the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself for your teammates and other people to believe in you. So I just came in here with a different attitude and mindset and how I'm gonna approach this season. There's gonna be no regrets. I'm not even worried about outcomes. I'm just worried about putting my best foot forward and staying in that mindset to allow you to play really good football."

Running back Tarik Cohen said other players have noticed this since arriving at Halas Hall in late July, if not before while running pass patterns in the offseason on their own for Trubisky.

"It's really showing that he's up to the competition," Cohen said. "He had his back against the wall with the Bears not picking up his (contract) option and them bringing in another quarterback. That made him have to pick up his "A" game and he took that head on.

"So he's not afraid to stay after and call out the running backs like 'let's work on this route' after practice. One day it might be the receivers, 'Let's work on this route.' He just wants to be a perfectionist. And he already had that about himself but you can just feel that he's taking it to another level."

Keeping his momentum with a strong game against the Lions is going to require something different. 

Detroit has a new defensive coordinator, former Eagles assistant Corey Undlin, although coach Matt Patricia's biggest influence on the team is from the defensive side. Undlin has never been a defensive coordinator, so this could be a new approach the Bears face with what basically is an unscouted look.

"As far as being different, I have no idea," Nagy said. "It's always, you get through a couple games and you start to see the identity of what these teams are."

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwarz ran a 4-3 with a "wide-nine" look to the defensive end. It's not quite like the Patriots defense the Lions ran under Patricia for two years, so there could be some differences to detect.

"There's some stuff there," Nagy said. "We won't know that really until you're a couple quarters in and you can get a sense of what their plan is and it's the same for us with them. That part is a little bit harder for us to understand.

"I just think for our guys right now, without the preseason games that we had, you just don't know, so you kind of have to decide what you want to look at and how you're going to attack it."

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven