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Matt Nagy Says QB Isn't Only Bears Concern

Mitchell Trubisky's blame for fourth straight loss no greater than other players says Bears coach Matt Nagy

As the Bears hit the season's midpoint mired in a four-game losing streak, coach Matt Nagy sought to shield Mitchell Trubisky somewhat from some of the blame coming his way.

It's going to take a big shield.

"We look at it as a whole unit," Nagy said Monday at Halas Hall. "You go back and look at yesterday’s game, offensively, there’s a lot more than just one person just to keep it really, really simple."

Nagy called it natural for Trubisky to absorb the brunt of criticism.

"He gets it, but there's a lot of people involved here that we really believe in that it didn't happen (for) yesterday," Nagy said. "That's the part that's really frustrating."

Trubisky played the whole game in six of the eight Bears games and attained a passer rating of 75.1 or lower in four of his six games. Although he has kept his interception total down at just three, Trubisky also is not putting it in the end zone. He has five touchdown passes and on Sunday for the first time his completion percentage began to dramatically nosedive.

In the 22-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Trubisky completed 10 of 21 for 125 yards.

Despite Trubisky's failures, Nagy thinks the rest of the team is staying away from finger pointing and has confidence in their quarterback.

"That's the part that's frustrating, is Mitch knows and I know and we all know that it goes to him," Nagy said. "He gets it. But there's a lot of people involved here that we really believe in that it didn’t happen yesterday. That's the part that's really frustrating."

Among players Nagy said who had troubles Sunday were Tarik Cohen and center James Daniels. In Daniels' case, it would have been more surprising if he had a good day considering he was often trying to help block Philadelphia's standout defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

"There's times that, no matter who you are at center, that that's going to happen," Nagy said. "Fletcher Cox has been doing that for a long time. He's an All-Pro. And there's plays that James is going to want back. James knows he's better in certain areas than some of his plays, so we've just got to stay positive with him and realize that he's young and that we can keep working with him."

Daniels moved to center this year after playing guard as a rookie last year.

"I think that right now, all in all, he's learning the position," Nagy said. "We could all be better. I think all of them — that’s been some of the part there with us a lot of it goes on the running back and the quarterback and the offensive line, it’s to each their own.

"We're learning with that process. The communication thing is big, we want to keep growing in that area, but he's working hard."

Cohen is averaging a career-low 5.7 yards a reception and Sunday matched a season low with two receptions. He actually has three more receptions than last year at the midpoint, with 34. However, he has only 193 yards and one touchdown. Last year when he had 31 receptions he had 406 yards and three TDs.

Of course, it might help to use him correctly. On Sunday, they tried throwing a jump ball pass to the 5-foot-6 Cohen, and tried to use him as a running back between the tackles in a goal-to-go from the 1.

"His numbers are down and I'm aware of that," Nagy said. "He's a play maker and we need to do a better job of getting him the ball and doing different things with him. So it is down.

"I think like anything with any sport, when you're in a position where there's a lull in play, sometimes then when you get a chance to make a play you overdo it and you want to make something happen and it ends up backfiring on you. So I have ultimate confidence and trust in 29. I know he's a heck of a play maker and we want to continue to just find ways to get him the ball."

The offensive failures are leaving the defense exposed on the field for too long.

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"Just communicating with them, and offensively, the physical side of it, you gotta go out and get points on the board," Nagy said. "That'll help them with the burnout factor. You put points on the board offensively."

Besides, Nagy said the defense prides itself on getting the job done even when the offense is struggling.

"Just all in all, the whole unit, they feed off of that, so I have confidence they won't get burnout," Nagy said.

Then again, the defense did have problems getting off the field Sunday on third down plays, leading to an 8:14, 16-play drive in the fourth quarter when the Bears needed the ball.

"They can help themselves out on certain third downs, getting off the field," Nagy said. "That was a little bit of a struggle. But I'd be crazy to put blame on them for some of that because they've been out there a while."