Bears Taking the Slow Approach with Mitchell Trubisky
Two months since the end of the NFL season for the Chicago Bears did nothing to diminish the confidence Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy have in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
It just doesn't mean they're willing to commit to the fifth-year option on his contract yet for 2021, but they say they're confident in him.
Speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Bears general manager Ryan Pace on Tuesday said there's nothing unusual about putting off a decision on Trubisky's future at this point.
"I don't think it's uncommon," Pace said. "Those are just things we'll keep inside and internal."
Pace reminded the deadline for this decision to be made isn't until May 30 and he's taking a "chronological" approach to offseason work.
"We believe in Mitch," Pace said. "Mitch knows he needs to be better. We need to be better around him, and that's our goal."
The fifth-year option would be an ultimate indication of confidence in Trubisky, even though it wouldn't necessarily lock them into paying him the $24 million due in his fifth year. The option year isn't guaranteed when it's picked up unless there is an injury involved, but if they refused to pick it up then it would be an obvious sign they're lacking confidence.
It's also possible the new collective bargaining agreement could be signed by players and the proposal before the rank and file guarantees the fifth-year options regardless, but Pace insisted this wouldn't affect the team's thinking on the matter.
The Bears head coach and general manager talked about bringing in competition at all positions to make the team better, but nothing specific in terms of whether it would be an actual challenger for Trubisky's job or a mere backup behind him.
"If you're not creating competition around your whole roster, you're not pushing your own guys," Nagy said. "I want everybody to feel that way. If you don't, you feel content then you play content. You don't have that chip.
"I had a lot of different individual talks with players and I'm not going to get into who they are or where they're at but there's some guys—and they know who they are—that a could play with more of a chip on their shoulder. That's the part for me going into this year I want to see that they have that chip."
Nagy wants Trubisky watching game film now while he can't practice, in an attempt to become the master of defenses that is expected in the coming season.
"You have to get to a point where you're so obsessed that no matter what you're doing you're always watching film," Nagy said.
Once again Pace drew upon his past relationship with Drew Brees, from when he was in the personnel department with the Saints, and they brought in their quarterback from the San Diego Chargers.
"I reflect back and I remember when Drew went through that in 2004 in San Diego, just immersed himself in that," Pace said. "That's Mitch's mindset right now, just being obsessed with learning NFL defenses, mastering our offense and when you do those things it allows you to play faster and with better instincts."
The ultimate goal for Trubisky in the offense in terms of reading defenses might seem far-fetched.
"He needs to know better than me, and that's the goal," Nagy said.