All things considered, it's been a relatively quiet first two days of the Bears' quarterback competition. Nick Foles looked a bit better on Monday, and Tuesday belonged to Trubisky. It's either too early to say that Mitch Trubisky's a "whole different player" or it's extremely not, depending on who you ask.
The focus has understandably revolved around Trubisky, but Foles has plenty of doubts to dispose of as well. Staying healthy's the priority, but proving his subpar performance in Jacksonville was a fluke comes in a close second. He already knows the bones of Nagy's offense, but getting up to speed with a new team – in any season – is a difficult process. As Foles put it, there are a lot of similarities between Nagy and Andy Reid or Doug Peterson, but there are a lot of differences.
"You want to know why the coach is calling the plays, and coaches have different coaching points everywhere I’ve been," he said. "Sometimes there are similar plays you run, but each coach has different points that he makes on a play how he wants it run. So then it’s calibrated in your mind so that when you play, ‘OK, this is what we’re thinking here.” And then when it comes to players, I’m getting used to how different guys run their routes, how they catch the ball, what they like, what they don’t like. That’s something that I’m learning every single day."
For his part, Nagy said that improvement was coming along "slowly but surely," though everyone's been pleased with what they've seen from Foles already.
"For Nick, he’s the one that hasn’t had the time, for instance, with Allen Robinson, so there are some specific routes where you can see he is throwing to spots on time, he’s anticipating," he said. "That’s a strength of Nick’s. He’s nice and tall in the pocket, so he is able to see over the defensive line ... "
Tuesday was the first padded practice that primarily featured Foles operating the first team offense, and the coaching staff's emphasized tempo – "both in and out of the huddle" – through the first two sessions. Going fast early doubles as a way to get more reps on tape, a clever way to make the most out of the time the team has to work with. Right now, the focus is on Foles' footwork and timing. "It's not as simple as just dropping back and trying to find the open guy," Nagy added.
Though his reputation as a plug-and-play QB precedes him, these first two days have been a soft reminder that nothing happens overnight. In a normal year, these types of practices would get lost in the blackhole that is mid-May NFL web traffic. Instead, two days into real practice – and with 26 more until Week 1 – Foles has to play catch up. Then he has to win a QB competition.
"You want to be there right at the beginning," he added. "That’s not how it works. I feel good out there but I want to be better when we come out there on Thursday and I want to be better on Friday but I want to learn from the day before."