Mitch Trubisky did not lose his starting job today. He still might, and very well could, following a competition with Nick Foles before the 2020 season kicks off.
The Bears did not bring in a guy who would immediately out Trubisky at QB1, like Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr (the latter of whom never was actually available). They didn’t bring in a boom-or-bust guy like Cam Newton — who, by the way, was never really on the Bears’ radar.
And they didn’t bring in Andy Dalton, who would’ve accomplished the same as Foles — a competition — while only having a connection to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, not Matt Nagy and quarterbacks coach John DiFilippo (Lazor was Foles' QB coach in 2013, too). That matters amid uncertainty about when teams can return to practice amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But there’s no need for the Bears to do anything with Trubisky right now except reinforce the message they’ve been sending him for weeks.
“One thing that he is able to do is get on to the film on his own and really hammer through what he's looking at,” Nagy said at the combine last month. “… He needs to know (the offense) better than me. And that's the goal.”
Does Foles know the offense better than Nagy? Probably not the wrinkles of it, but from a concept standpoint, he might.
“He processes information fast,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson told the Chicago media on a conference call before the Eagles-Bears wild card game. “He loves to have repeat plays throughout the game where he’s gathering that information.”
And here’s an important snippet of Nagy’s glowing comments on Foles before that ill-fated night in January 2019:
“He’s got a strong arm and he’s football smart,” Nagy said. “So he knows where to go with the football.”
Processing information. Football smarts. Knowing where to go with the football. That's part of the message to Trubisky: We found a guy who can do the things you've struggled with.
This will be a first for Trubisky in the NFL. He was never losing his job to Mike Glennon in 2017 or Chase Daniel in 2018 or 2019. He will lose his job to Foles if he doesn’t do the things Nagy wants — or, maybe more accurately, that Foles can.
So what do the Bears need to do with Trubisky after this trade? Nothing. Keep him on the roster and make sure he's ready to battle not just for his starting job, but his career.
And that message has already been sent.