Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky brought a rarely-seen edge with him when he met with reporters at Halas Hall on Wednesday. It's obvious the sour taste of Week 7's loss to the New Orleans Saints, one that he was largely responsible for, has created a chip on his shoulder that could be exactly what the young quarterback needs moving forward.
Great athletes, regardless of the sport, buck up when their talent is questioned. For the first time in the Trubisky era, we're seeing the guy who is the franchise's most important player carry himself with some abrasive confidence even if his play doesn't warrant it.
"You guys good? I could not be here, that'd be easier for me," Trubisky said as his opening remarks. He didn't let the first question finish before saying he's feeling good and looking forward to Sunday's game against the Chargers; he established a more dominant posture behind the podium, something we haven't seen from No. 10 in nearly three seasons.
Was he rude? A little abrasive? Yes, but it was fantastic. It's the kind of moxie players like Aaron Rodgers and even Tom Brady have displayed in the past. It's good to know that fire is in Trubisky's belly, even if took the worst game of his career to light it.
Sometimes, it takes hitting rock bottom before a player — and a team — can reach their expected heights.
"The guys in the locker room, we got a great attitude. Not everyone's happy about it because we shouldn't be, but we got a good opportunity to fix it and I think we have the right mindset to get back on track."
As for Trubisky, he has a shortlist of personal goals moving forward.
"Just getting back comfortable in the pocket and doing the right drops and making the right decisions for my team."
Trubisky, who said he's trying to be a pass-first guy this season, took ownership of his mistakes against the Saints. He said missing a few weeks with his shoulder injury and the bye impacted his game.
"I wasn't as comfortable as I usually am in the pocket, and a couple times I did the wrong drop and sometimes there was happy feet, sometimes moving looking for that run when I didn't need to and they did a good job of just keeping me in the pocket and not letting me get outside or find those running lanes.
"I was doing too much with my feet. Just calm them down this week, really drilled, get a lot of footwork on the drops and make sure I'm going to the right place with the football."
As far as Trubisky's role as a leader on this team, he didn't appear concerned that his poor play will impact his status.
"Just be the same person I've always [been]. I think my teammates respect the way I come to work every day, how I'm the same person, how I push them, how I care about this team and this offense. They know how much work I put into this."
The Bears offense hasn't been the beacon of balance this season. Sunday's loss to the Saints was the most glaring example when the team attempted 54 passes compared to just seven runs. Trubisky, who said communication between players and coaches inside Halas Hall is strong and transparent when it comes to voicing opinions on what direction the offense should be taking, is choosing to focus on something much simpler.
"Just control what I can control. My attitude, my work ethic, how I carry myself and how I lead these guys," he said. "The results and the statistics don't show it, and we're losing games and that's frustrating, you gotta believe that you're growing in some areas, if it's not as a player if it's as a person and we just battle through this adversity. You just stick to that process and keep going."
Trubisky said the Bears offense has to play free and forget the expectations. The pressure, potentially, is causing fundamentals to slip. He wants his team to get back to the right mindset and points will come.
The one thing he isn't worried about is the confidence Matt Nagy has in him.
"Nagy's always got my back, no matter what," he said. "The fact that we have each other's backs and we're going to do it our way, it gives me a lot of confidence. It's one of the reasons it makes coming to work every day still fun."
Speculation about what the Bears will do at quarterback if Trubisky's struggles continue has been all over the football map. Will they trade for a veteran before the deadline? Sign a replacement in free agency? Maybe draft a prospect in the second round? Who knows, and we're a long way from any of those scenarios becoming reality.
But Trubisky, who said he's always played with a sense of urgency, is also self-aware. He has to improve for this team to have any chance at meeting those burdensome expectations in 2019.
"I know I can do better, my team deserves better."