Mitchell Trubisky is pissed. Good.
In an offseason that hasn’t featured a single team practice in over five months, the Bears’ plan to challenge their former No. 2 overall pick appears to be working.
Trubisky’s response to the Bears trading for Nick Foles?
"It was kind of interesting to me. That's the business that we're in. I think I was pissed off in a good way. I've been motivated ever since."
His response to not having his fifth-year option picked up?
“It wasn’t really a big surprise to me, because I kind of felt like I had it coming. I put myself in their shoes … and I feel like the way I played last year didn’t merit that.”
And Trubisky’s plan now?
“Just to go out there and earn my next contract, wherever that is. I want it to be here in Chicago. I’m going to play my heart and soul out for this team and give it everything I’ve got … I think it’s just more fuel to the fire to me, more motivation that I could have done more to get extended.”
For a guy who tends to cling to clichés and deflect criticism, Trubisky said a whole lot Friday in his first conversation with reporters since the 2019 season ended. He came off as incredibly self-aware and brutally honest.
It may just be talk, but it sure seemed genuine. And for a guy whose work ethic has never been questioned, the Bears should be excited that this new pissed off version of Mitchell Trubisky will have better results on the field.
“I just feel like I’m in a good mental space right now,” Trubisky said when asked how his new attitude will manifest itself on the field. “I’m very driven and motivated to do a lot more than I did last year, to push myself in ways I haven’t pushed myself before, in the film room, knowledge of the offense, mechanics and footwork, and holding myself to a whole new level so I can play at a different level, so I can not make mistakes and play the way that I believe I’m capable of playing.”
The offseason started with a challenge from Bears head coach Matt Nagy, urging Trubisky to become “a master of coverages.” The quarterback responded by watching every snap from the 2018 and 2019 seasons in Nagy’s offense.
“Seeing the mistakes, what coverage it actually was versus what I was seeing on the field, and where Coach Nagy thought the ball should’ve went and where it actually went,” Trubisky said. “Just fixing my mistakes in the film study and doing different visualization and communication things with coach to get us on the same page … He challenged me and I fully accepted it as well as knowing the offense really, really well. I’m just watching a lot of film and studying it like the back of my hand. I’m excited to be a lot better in that area this year.”
Trubisky doesn’t have a choice. If he’s not better, he’ll be replaced quickly by a former Super Bowl MVP who already has Nagy’s trust. Because of that, most view Trubisky as the underdog in the competition and there seems to be an assumption that he’s already been replaced.
That is not the case. The Bears’ moves this offseason have been calculated, targeting a very specific quarterback in Nick Foles who they know they can turn to at any moment if needed. But Plan A has been and still is to fix Trubisky. It’s still too early to know what this new version of Mitch will look like on the field, but for a quarterback that tends to overthink and is too slow to make decisions, the hope is that a more confident, pissed off version of the quarterback will lead to better play.
As Trubisky spoke to reporters via a Zoom call Friday afternoon, it was impossible to ignore the famous “The Man in the Arena” quote from Theodore Roosevelt framed on the wall behind the quarterback:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Mitchell Trubisky has one more chance with the Chicago Bears and he’s not caving to Nick Foles yet.
“I still feel like this is my team,” he said.
It is. And it’s up to Trubisky to keep it that way.