On Sunday afternoon, Matt Nagy, Mitch Trubisky, and Nick Foles all spoke publicly for the first time since news broke that Trubisky would be named the starter 48 hours earlier.
The decision to go with Trubisky was made, as Nagy explained it, because the team felt that he's in a "really great place" and that despite all the attention surrounding training camp's quarterback battle, he "didn’t worry about other competition. What he did is just try to worry about getting better as a quarterback."
They were especially encouraged with how Trubisky ended camp. (A successful two-minute drive with the first team offense earned praise from coaches back on September 1st.) The quarterback's improved footwork and pocket presence had already been well-documented over the last month, but it was his accuracy – especially in red zone situations – that swung the race in favor of Trubisky.
"You could feel the command," Nagy added. "And I think the difference in the command that I felt, and that our coaches felt, was, it’s one where it’s very natural. It wasn’t made up. It wasn’t being told from somebody how to act. It was just very organic. And you can tell that with guys, when they are natural with that. I thought he improved there. For him, when he gets this opportunity, like he has right now, you could just feel it — that he’s ready to get out there and just really play hard for his teammates."
Trubisky explained that at the outset of this competition, he made the 'conscious decision' to frame it as an internal challenge to improve rather than a competition against Nick Foles, per se.
"I believe the way you deal with things is going to determine how it builds you up and it only makes you better in the long run," he said. "I just accepted it as a challenge. It really pushed me every day mentally to want to get better and want to prove everyone wrong and make sure it’s still my team at the end of the day."
And for now, it very much is. Trubisky said that teammates came up to him on Saturday to congratulate him – and to give him some good-natured ribbing – but that the focus on Sunday almost immediately turned to the Detroit Lions. Like his head coach said, the challenge for Trubisky now is proving that he can make those same decisions, and throws, on game day.
"I’m just going to take advantage of the opportunity ahead and it feels good. It’s exciting," he added. "I know we’re all eager to get ready for this year and play this weekend. So it’s time to roll, and we’ve just got to continue this mindset and stay mentally focused in this place to go out there and play great football."