Call it a “Revenge Game.” Call it a “meaningless preseason display.” Call it whatever you want. Mitchell Trubisky is calling his impressive performance against the Bears on Saturday, “fun.”
“It felt good to come back and perform well, and perform well at Soldier Field,” Trubisky said.
Despite how things ultimately turned out in Chicago, Trubisky seemed genuine when he said earlier this week that he was looking forward to catching up with his former teammates and coaches. He clearly meant it too, as he spent a good portion of warmups hugging and catching up with several guys.
“It was cool, it was fun,” Trubisky said after the game. “It was good to see those guys out there, and I’ll be rooting for them this season and wish them well, and that everyone stays healthy. But it kind of felt like practice back in the day, just going against those guys, talking a little smack and just having fun playing football.”
Most players squaring off against a former team give the stock answer that it’s “just another game,” but not Trubisky. He was honest in saying that it felt good to come back and play well in Chicago. But it didn't come off in a vindictive or resentful sort of way. You could tell he simply enjoyed the opportunity to return and play at a high level.
“I knew people would be talking about it and hyping it up, but it was just important for me to come out here and do my job, and show my teammates that I can play ball.”
Trubisky also went against the typical player press conference soundbite and admitted he was excited for the game. But if there was any extra juice from Trubisky, he did a good job of managing it in the huddle and on the sidelines, because his new Bills teammates didn’t notice anything different.
“Before the game, he didn’t seem any type of way,” said wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. “He was just good ol’ Mitch, just doing his job. He came out there and was just slinging it. He was just on fire.
“He was cool, calm, collected. He just came out and he just threw the ball. He slung it like he knows how to.”
And sling it, he did. Trubisky finished the day completing 20-28 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown. In just one half. On the whole, Trubisky identified the open man and made things look easy on the field. The one time he did look to be in trouble in the backfield, he deftly scrambled for an 11-yard gain, showing he’s still got it with the legs too.
Part of that success comes from Trubisky feeling comfortable in the Bills offense already. And part of the reason Trubisky feels comfortable is because of his new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and his new teammates too.
“Going out there, I feel like every time (Daboll) calls a play it’s going to go out there and work,” Trubisky said. “And you have to give a lot of credit to the other 10 guys on the field out there with me. Everyone’s out there doing their job. Everybody on the same page when we’re breaking the huddle, giving me tons of time to operate and see the defense and then after that, it’s just the O-line doing a great job protecting in the run game and the pass game, and then receivers and playmakers and running backs just making plays on the outside.
“I just feel comfortable and just continue to grow and learn in this offense. And it’s been a lot of fun working with Coach Daboll. I’ve got a lot of trust and faith in him. He’s calling it really well.
“I think for me and him, it’s just building that trust... So I just think his philosophies, his approach on the day-to-day, how he communicates with the quarterbacks and how he calls it, he’s just a great OC and it’s really fun playing for him.”
Even though it likely cost him an opportunity to start with another team now, Trubisky made it clear he wouldn’t change his past, even with all the struggles in Chicago. Although, he also said he doesn’t think about it often.
“I’m grateful for my journey and where I’m at and just how the guys supported me today and how we played in the first half. I’m just super proud of that.
“One day I’ll reflect on the journey, but definitely happier now.”