Bears

Q&A: Bears QB Mitch Trubisky on the Jordan Howard trade, Game of Thrones and much more

9-8mitchtrubisky.jpg
USA Today

Q&A: Bears QB Mitch Trubisky on the Jordan Howard trade, Game of Thrones and much more

NBC Sports Chicago had a chance to chat Saturday morning across from Wrigley Field with Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who was there for Gone Rogue Protein Chips. Heading into his second year in Matt Nagy’s offense, Trubisky covered his thoughts on the Jordan Howard trade, how much better this team can be and a number of other topics (like MarioKart and Game of Thrones). 

JJ Stankevitz: Alright Mitch, so you went Zero Dark Ten last year, no social media, you’re now back on social media and are here for Gone Rogue. What about the Gone Rogue brand brought you to this partnership?

Mitch Trubisky: Yeah, it’s an awesome brand, awesome new product. It’s going to be the best new snack out there. Chicago-based company so I’m happy to be teamed up with them. Excited for their launch. It’s a healthy snack — it’s basically a piece of chicken that’s been sliced, baked, smoked and flavored and it’s got the texture and consistency of a chip, but it’s healthy like beef jerky. 17 grams of protein per bag. It’s the healthy snack that you need in between great meals. I’ve been using it in my offseason for training before workouts, after workouts just to get that healthy snack in between meals. And it tastes really good as well. People gotta check it out and see what it’s all about because I know people love chips, but you need the healthy substitute and this is perfect for you guys. 

Speaking of unhealthy food, you mention chips, but you caused kind of a stir on social media on Friday by saying you put ketchup on your hotdogs. But let me give you an opportunity for an out: Have you had a Chicago-style beef sandwich yet?

I have not had a Chicago-style beef sandwich yet. I actually haven’t had a Chicago-style hot dog. I should’ve led with I haven’t had an actual hot dog in three to four years, the last time I had one I was probably a little kid or in high school and had ketchup on it. So I need to get it out there and clear it up so people aren’t mad at me for the hot dog answer. 

What was your reaction to the trade of Jordan Howard and bringing in David Montgomery?

The addition of David is going to be great for our offense but it’s always tough to see one of your great teammates and someone I consider a brother in Jordan Howard, we got really close the first two years and I really learned a lot from him. He carried our offense and just him being a great dude and a great teammate, it’s hard to see him go. But I always wish him the best and then it’s the next guy up mentality. So we got David in the draft and we’re excited about what he can do for this offense and I can’t wait to work with him and see where this thing takes us. We’re just trying to be more explosive on offense this year. 

Do you have a favorite character in MarioKart or Super Smash Brothers that you always play with?

Yoshi. 

I guessed you were a Yoshi guy! Why are you a Yoshi guy?

I don’t know. I just didn’t want to — it seems like everyone picks Mario and Luigi so I wanted to go for someone that nobody ever picks. 

Matt Nagy’s talked so much about Year 2 in this offense and how much growth there can be. Do you have a sense of how much better this offense can be now that you have a full year of experience in it?

Yeah, definitely. I think throughout last year, you saw kind of flashes of what this offense could be, and now we’re just looking for that consistency every drive, every snap, every play that I know exactly where to go with the football, guys are in the right places at the right time and we’re just keeping the defense off balance and continue the creativeness on this side of the ball and use all of our playmakers. We got even more of them this year and when everyone’s healthy, back and we’re rolling, the execution has to be there across the board because we’re another year in this offense, we’re way more experienced, it’s my Year 3 and we’re Year 2 in this offense. So there’s no excuse for this offense to not be high flying, high powered and one of the best in the league. 

You’ve got people lined up who’ve been waiting to see you since midnight over there (on Clark Street). 

No way. 

Yeah! Do you have a sense of your profile in this city? Are you able to come out and enjoy Chicago without having to deal with throngs of people constantly coming up to you and trying to talk to you?

Yeah, I like to — I haven’t been able to do it as much as I’d like to because I live north out by the facility. But it’s awesome coming downtown. I don’t think I fully understand the profile of my position but I’m blessed and privileged to be where I am, and I love the city of Chicago and how big of a sports town it is and how everybody embraces it. But I love meeting people, I love talking to them as long as they’re not — as long as they treat me like a person, because I’m just like everyone else. I’m just like everyone else. I want to spend time, go out to to eat, hang out with my family, and I love talking to and meeting new people. But I’m just a person. I’m not some figure, I’m not bigger or more special than anybody else, but I’m definitely blessed to be in the position I am and I’m embracing it and embracing this city, because I love it. 

As a normal person, then: Do you watch Game of Thrones?

I do. I actually — so my position’s a little different, I just finished Season 7. I was like, the new season’s coming out and I didn’t watch it, but I started about a month and a half ago. When I was done with training throughout the day I would just rip Game of Thrones episodes, got through the seventh season and I gotta watch the three new episodes from this last season and then I’ll be ready for Sunday, the new episode coming out.

So you’ve avoided spoilers?

I’ve avoided spoilers. I’ve heard it’s all good. Even the guys on the team, when we get into the locker room they’ll be talking about it, and I’m like yo, can’t talk about it around me. I’m just now getting into it. I’m a little behind but I’ll be ready for this Sunday. 

Has there been a more shocking moment in your career than the Red Wedding?

No. That was heartbreaking. That was up there with the playoff loss last year for sure. 

How much better can Anthony Miller be?

He can be scary good. There’s no limit on how good he could be, just how he runs routes, how he separates, and another year in this offense is going to help him along with everyone else just knowing where he needs to be and when, staying on my timing, and really setting up his routes and knowing when he can get the ball and when he’s going to open someone else up with his routes. The way he runs routes and how strong his hands are, he’s such a tough guy to cover. We just gotta continue to find ways to get him the ball and he’s going to make a lot of big plays and score a lot of touchdowns in this offense. 

Akiem Hicks said you were his favorite to win his (charity softball) home run derby, obviously excluding himself because he thinks he’s going to win it. How good a baseball player are you?

I haven’t played in a while. I got a pretty good swing. I was taking some batting practice this summer with Eloy (Jimenez) from the White Sox — he’s in our agency so we kind of share the same agents. I haven’t swung a bat in a while. I think I could surprise some people. I think I’m the favorite for the home run derby for sure. 

So Akiem Hicks said he and (defensive line coach) Jay Rodgers go together like Jack and Coke. What do you and Matt Nagy go together like?

Peanut butter and jelly. It’s gotta be peanut butter and jelly. There’s no better combination. 

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.