Judging Bears QB Battle No Simple Matter for Matt Nagy

Gene Chamberlain

Gauging the battle for starting Chicago Bears quarterback will be a complex matter.

To fans, determining a winner in the quarterback derby between Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky might seem as simple as looking at stat sheets and the scoring column in preseason or scrimmages.

It's not, said Bears coach Matt Nagy during a conference call with media.

Nagy will have plenty of ways to measure success in this quarterback derby not involving statistics.

"To me, you can sense it, you feel it, the efficiency, the productivity within the special situations that you have," Nagy said. "Is it base first or second down? Are you making the correct adjustments at the line of scrimmage to pick up a blitz? How accurate are you on specific throws? Are you playing smart in the red zone? What's your mentality, what's your communication like at the line of scrimmage with the wide receivers when you're going two-minute, no huddle? And then how are you handling the coaching, right?"

The two quarterbacks were to speak with media on Thursday, the first interview session for Trubisky with media since the Bears decided against picking up his fifth-year contract option and also since they traded for Nick Foles. Actually, it was slated to be Trubisky's first press conference since the 2019 regular season.

However, the press conference has been canceled with a promise by Bears media to make the players available during the offseason program later in the month. The emotional week of work at Halas Hall in the wake of national racial strife was cited.

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept the team from holding regularly scheduled organized team activity work, which includes offense against the defense without pads. 

As a result, Nagy said one of the key criteria for judging the quarterbacks is being removed from the equation to an extent. In particular, this affects Trubisky.

"And then the next part, and this is probably the most challenging part with where we're at with losing out on the offseason is, is there improvement? You know?" Nagy said. "There's going to be a bad day. Shoot, everybody has bad days. But do you respond to that, or are these bad days, are there three bad days in a row whereas somebody else has three good days in a row? So that’s how you’ll do that."

The remainder of the plan might seem less vague.

"Like I said, preseason games, reps, playing more, creating more reps, having the ability to have both those quarterbacks play with the same wide receivers and tight ends against the same defenses, that's going to be important," Nagy said. "I do believe it'll naturally happen.

"I feel good with that. We have a good plan. And they understand it."

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

Comments (4)
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I disagree. Matt Nagy is actually one of the more transparent coaches in the NFL. As much as we'd like to know the nitty-gritty details exactly what his plans are, you have to be thankful that he's giving you any details at all! Our last head coach was John Fox who basically gave no details about what his plans were. I'll take Nagy over that any day of the week! The only reason why we are all craving for these nitty-gritty details is because we've had no sports for so long. But this is actually the way Nagy talks. It's not coach speak, he's telling you exactly what he's going to do. I say give the man a chance to execute his job. He's obviously never been in this situation before and he's telling you the best that he knows right now. Let's just leave it at that and wait and see.


This sounds like nothing more than coachspeak from Nagy. He needs to spell it out better