The Chicago Bears are showing their long-term commitment to quarterback Mitch Trubisky by supplying him with the weapons the team believes he needs to restore the franchise’s honor in the NFC.
Around the team’s Halas Hall facility in Lake Forest, management’s every move seems to be fueled by thoughts of the second-year quarterback and what decisions would appear most likely to expedite his growth.
Take the last few hours before the league’s free agency period recently kicked off, a time the Sun-Times reports the team spent reaching agreements with receiver Allen Robinson, tight end Trey Burton and receiver Taylor Gabriel. No sooner than the ink could dry on the new contracts, the team was busy celebrating the transactions by posting “Happy #TRUSDAY” on its Twitter page.
Mitch Trubisky | Chicago Bears
It’s all aimed at solidifying the Trubisky era and getting the most out of the man the team wheeled-and-dealed its way into having the right to select with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft.
The overall process is thought to have grown by leaps and bounds earlier this offseason when GM Ryan Pace tabbed former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as coach to replace John Fox.
Again, the selling point in closing the deal with Nagy, a former Arena League quarterback, was the potential of Trubisky.
“He has a strong arm; we all know that,” Nagy told the Chicago Tribune. “But it’s being able to trust it. What happens naturally is that (as) the game slows down for you, the more experience you get. So that’s a benefit he has going into this next year. He has game experience and he is not someone who is (only) coming from the classroom. So in just trusting every throw he makes, you can see that from where he started to where he finished, there was big growth.”
The Bears witnessed as much over the 12 games Trubisky started during his rookie season. He threw for at least 270 yards and a touchdown in two of his last four games, finishing the year with 2,193 passing yards and seven scoring tosses. He also ran for scoring touchdowns in two of those games and posted a QB rating of 112.4 in the team’s 33-7 beatdown of the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I can sit back now and be happy we have a guy we feel good about – a young quarterback we want to build around,’’ Pace marveled at the NFL combine recently. “This is his team going forward.’’
And the 23-year-old former North Carolina star doesn’t appear to be shrinking from the spotlight. He is already on record in predicting the team will make the playoffs this season.
“Yeah, I think we’re gonna make the playoffs,’” he told the Sun-Times. “Obviously we know we have a lot of work to do. I don’t want anyone to construe it in a way that it’s a guarantee or anything. But I believe in myself; I believe in my teammates. I know we still have work to do. That’s what it is – I think.”