Bears

What's changed about Mitch Trubisky? Nothing, and the Bears are thrilled

What's changed about Mitch Trubisky? Nothing, and the Bears are thrilled

Guess they weren’t lying after all.

All year, the Bears have been telling us that Mitch Trubisky’s as even-keeled as they come. It’s about the only sound bite that comes up every Sunday, regardless of the outcome.

“It's confidence. Mitch is confident back there,” Taylor Gabriel said back in June. “So I feel like, like I said, it's just a drastic change from last year.”

Six months later, and Trubisky would have every reason, and then some, to be having a crisis of confidence. The Bears – then presumptive NFC favorites – kicked off the NFL’s 100th birthday party by scoring three points at home. He then sprained his shoulder in Week 4, ending the game in a sling on the sideline as he watched backup Chase Daniel once again look more comfortable operating the offense. Things got even WORSE when he came back, and the Bears’ historically-bad offense was booed early and often during their midseason four-game losing streak.

People called for Cam Newton, and Andy Dalton. People even called for Eli Manning! The city of Chicago 'Irish Goodbyed' the Bears’ franchise quarterback and it didn’t change him for a second. At least, not from where the head coach is sitting.  

“You know, even within our team and our offense, you can go through some struggles,” Matt Nagy said on Wednesday. “And you feel that – and confidence is a part of that. Whether it’s individually how you’re playing, same thing.”

So has there been any change in his demeanor, now that a thousand Daves from Winnetka aren’t constantly on-the-line yelling for his replacement?

“Not really, no,” added Nagy. “It hasn’t.”

Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone acknowledged the expectations facing Trubisky and pointed to his knack for playing well late in the game, or in important moments. To Ragone, it's the sign of a quarterback who has the skillset to make it as, as he calls it, a “Top Gun.” Trubisky will only be 25 when his fourth NFL training camp begins next July, and the Bears are thrilled with the leadership qualities they’ve seen from the 13th-youngest player on their roster.

“Obviously your play on the field is hugely important to you continuing to be the face of a franchise, but there’s a lot more that goes into playing quarterback in the National Football League than just throwing a slant route on time,” Ragone said. “Hopefully you can grow into it, and I think you see as a kid who came in here when he was 22, and is now 25, he’s maturing not just as a player, but as a person.”

As for Trubisky himself, the quarterback mentioned that if this season has taught him anything, it’s how to better stay unaffected by the media narratives he was so infamously hearing around Halas Hall. Like, for instance, when Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams talked about how the Packers’ plan to beat the Bears in Week 1 mainly involved “forcing [Trubisky] to play quarterback.” Trubisky was unspectacular (26-45, 228 yards) in that loss, and on Wednesday, if you can believe it, mostly (mostly) wasn’t biting on the Revenge Game narrative – just like the Bears like it.

“I got enough motivation from the outside, and I guess that’s even more motivation,” he said. “I didn’t hear that. I don’t really care.”

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Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned when speculation about where New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could play in 2020. The Bears are the most quarterback-needy club that also has a chance to make a Super Bowl run with a player like Brady under center, so it's logical to assume the soon-to-be free agent will at least entertain the idea of playing home games at Soldier Field next year.

Much of what happens with Brady will come down to how the Patriots view the 42-year-old (he'll be 43 at the start of next season). If all things are equal, and New England makes him a fair offer to come back, it's likely Brady would return to the only franchise he's ever played for. And if owner Robert Kraft's recent comments are sincere, it's more than likely that he will.

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Kraft, who was in New York City on Tuesday, was asked by TMZ reporters whether the Patriots will re-sign Brady this offseason. His response? 

"We plan to," Kraft said.

Well, there you have it, right? If the Patriots plan to re-sign Brady, then the Patriots are going to re-sign Brady; assuming, of course, you believe what Kraft is saying in January before New England's decision-makers have had enough time to assess their quarterback situation with, and maybe without, No. 12 under center.

Brady is coming off of one of his worst seasons as a pro, which is saying something considering he's been playing for two decades. His completion percentage was the lowest it's been in six years, his yardage total was the second-lowest in the last 10 years, and his 24 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown in a season since 2006. 

It's natural to wonder whether Father Time has finally caught up to him. Maybe, however, his down year was a result of lacking talent at wide receiver and tight end. Regardless of the reason, his 2019 campaign has called into question where he'll be in 2020.

But there are those three words Kraft said — 'we plan to' — that can't be ignored. At the very least, Bears fans can't get their hopes up. The Patriots tend to get what they want, and if they want Brady back in 2020, they'll have him.

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Add Dayton tight end Adam Trautman  to the growing list of tight ends the Bears have met with at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

After confirming Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney spent time with Bears scouts (in the case of Pinkney, nearly 35 minutes), Trautman told NFL.com's Chase Goodbread that Chicago's scouts have expressed a strong interest in his skill set.

"They're interested in me," Trautman said of the Bears. "They tell me they like what they see."

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of 2020 NFL offseason

Trautman had one of the best lines of the week when he said he prefers driving opposing defenders into the ground against their will over scoring touchdowns, and at a well-built 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, he has the perfect physical makeup to project as a guy who will do that on the next level. He needs development in that area of his game (run blocker), but his 'want-to' is half the battle.

Trautman wasn't the best tight end this week, but he was far from the worst. He's been consistent, and for a team like the Bears who are searching for a tight end who can be relied on as a second-level target for whoever is playing quarterback in Matt Nagy's offense, Trautman's consistency will be viewed as a plus.

Trautman had 916 yards and 14 touchdowns for Dayton in 2019. Scouts wanted to see whether he could handle the jump in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he's answered that question with a resounding yes.

He projects as a Day 3 pick with upside to develop into a starting quality tight end.