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How mimicking Jameis Winston in practice is helping Mitchell Trubisky grow as a QB

The Bears envision Mitchell Trubisky as, one day, being as good (or better) as the likes of Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers. But for now, his job is to imitate those guys in practice. 

This week’s acting gig is a natural fit for Trubisky, who gave the Bears’ first-team defense a “look” as Winston. 

“I think he just continues to check back and forth, making sure everything’s set — that was the one main pickup that we had on him,” Trubisky said. “And then also, when the play breaks down, he makes plays. That was a big emphasis and something I have in my game as well. When the pocket collapses, that he’s able to extend plays so the defense is wanting to see a little bit of that this week.”

Members of the Bears’ defense who played in that 36-10 loss at Raymond James Stadium last year know Winston’s ability to extend plays well, which the former No. 1 overall pick did in impressive fashion before finding Freddie Martino for a 43-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. But for a secondary with four starters who didn’t play in that game last year (Marcus Cooper, Eddie Jackson, Quintin Demps and either Kyle Fuller or Prince Amukamara), the look Trubisky can provide is valuable. 

“If he breaks out of the pocket, they may need to cover a little bit longer downfield and continue to pursue the ball,” Trubisky said. “I think that’s something I bring to the table and something that hopefully will help the defense this week.”

This is all part of the development process for Trubisky when the offensive focus is on Mike Glennon during the regular season. Trubisky still has to be ready to run the Bears’ offense in case of an emergency, but during practice, he’s constantly testing himself against the No. 1 defense. Even if he’s acting as another quarterback while doing it. 

“It’s giving a good look to the defense, and then it’s me continuing to work on my own craft and things I need to do,” Trubisky said. “My drop, timing. And then going against the No. 1 defense, the windows are tighter, so it’s just seeing where I can fit the ball in and where I need to check it down. Continuing to work on my accuracy and footwork in the pocket and then extending plays when I can. 

“It’s really all parts of my game but you’ve got to make the most of every opportunity that you get, and this is the opportunity I have right now so I’m just trying to get better at it.”