Bears

How is Mitch Trubisky maximizing his OTA work with the Bears?

How is Mitch Trubisky maximizing his OTA work with the Bears?

Mitch Trubisky has focused his attention during OTAs on learning Dowell Loggains’ offensive verbiage, improving his footwork and developing his pre-snap responsibilities. What he’s not focused on: Under-center snaps, progressions and contracts.

Trubisky is the only Bears draft pick yet to sign, but that’s not something the North Carolina product seemed to particularly care about in early June. 

“That's not really for me to worry about,” Trubisky said. “I’m going to be out here at practice everyday. My agent and the Bears organization is going to handle that. But I'm not really sure how that stuff works. I'm here to play football, I'm not worried about contracts.”

The Bears completed their eighth of 10 OTAs on Tuesday, then have next week’s veteran minicamp as the last part of their offseason program before the team reports to training camp July 26. The laid-back nature of OTAs have allowed Trubisky an opportunity to see what’s necessary to succeed both on and off the field in the NFL. 

Trubisky expected to increase his time commitment to football, but now has an idea of how much time is necessary to study “all day, all night” and take care of his body with training camp a month and a half away. 

“It's all about how much time you want to put in,” Trubisky said. “So for me it's been a huge focus, block out everything else and just come here and do my job. It's been nice the only thing I have to worry about is football, so it's been a lot of fun.”

The Bears made it clear after drafting Trubisky that Mike Glennon would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2017, and Glennon’s forceful affirmation of that last month likely helped foster a good working atmosphere. Trubisky said the Bears have a “great” quarterback room between Glennon, Connor Shaw, Mark Sanchez and position coach Dave Ragone, which is the kind of drama-free relationship John Fox would want. 

Within that quarterback room, Trubisky isn’t having to spend valuable time working on all of the most basic parts of playing the position. He’s smoothly transitioned to taking snaps under center, and the offense he ran at North Carolina had him go through progressions — something that’s not always the case for up-tempo, shotgun-spread college offenses. 

There’s plenty to work on, of course, but Trubisky sounds like someone who’s right where he should be at this stage of his development. 

“I can throw the football and do all the stuff that comes natural,” Trubisky said. “It’s just mastering the offense and being in charge at the helm of the offense. That’s where I need to continue to grow. That takes time. So I just keep coming out here and working on it and try to lead every day.”

Trey Lance to the Bears? This 2021 mock draft thinks so

Trey Lance to the Bears? This 2021 mock draft thinks so

Barring some kind of career-year from Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles, the 2021 NFL Draft will likely center around quarterback for the Chicago Bears. And while that's not necessarily good news for Bears fans, it could be worse. Next year's draft class will have a handful of quality quarterbacks with first-round grades.

In the latest mock draft from The Draft Wire, the Bears spend their first-round pick on North Dakota State darling, Trey Lance. The FCS standout is the apple of Draft Twitter's eye during the first wave of summer scouting, with some respected draft analysts like The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranking him ahead of Ohio State star, Justin Fields.

The Bears use the 12th overall pick in this mock on Lance. By the time April rolls around, and assuming Lance stacks another productive season on top of his remarkable 2019 performance, it's unlikely he'll be around outside the top 10.

Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and a remarkable ZERO interceptions in his first full season starting for the Bison. But that's not all; he ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns, too.

At an estimated 6-3 and 224 pounds, Lance checks all the early boxes for a franchise quarterback prospect. If he does end up leapfrogging Fields for QB2, he'll be a top-five pick.

But here's the catch: we just don't know enough about him yet. His 2019 season was fantastic, but it's the only one he has on film. And it was against FCS competition, which makes his projection to the NFL more difficult. It's a slippery slope to use Carson Wentz as an example to support Lance's ability to make the jump to the pros. Players like Wentz are the exception; they're few and far between.

It's only July, and the mock draft landscape will change multiple times between now and April. But if Trubisky and Foles fail to deliver in 2020, all mock drafts will have the Bears picking a quarterback. The only question is how high will the Bears be picking in Round 1, and which quarterback (if any) falls to their selection.

Cody Whitehair says he's excited to begin training camp at center

Cody Whitehair says he's excited to begin training camp at center

Cody Whitehair is comfortable and excited about playing center in 2020, a position that isn't new for him but also wasn't deemed his full-time home until midway through last season.

With 2020 training camp scheduled to begin in two weeks, Whitehair is feeling good about his season outlook now that he's back to being the quarterback of the offensive line.

"That's where I feel the most comfortable," Whitehair said on Bears All-Access. "Obviously I'm a team guy and I'll do whatever they ask me to do. If it happens to be where they need me to play a different position, whether that be July 28 when we come in the building or, you know, whenever that may be, you know I'm always down for it."

Whitehair has always been a team-first guy since joining the Bears as a second-round pick in 2016. The former collegiate tackle began his career at center before flipping to guard and then back to center last season. He played 561 snaps at center and 508 at left guard in 2019.

"But you know just being comfortable at that position and being played there for as long as I have in the NFL it's really exciting to be able to be there to start the season again," Whitehair said.

Whitehair will be counted on to keep the offensive line in sync and on task, especially in the run game.

"You want your offense to be able to count on that run and especially in obvious situations," Whitehair said. "You know, that's where an offensive lineman has really got to be, you know, at his best whether that be obvious pass or obvious run.

"So it's something we take pride in and in the run game everything starts up there upfront and making sure we can get a hole open for those guys in the backfield because when we do that we're going to be dangerous."

The Bears' offensive line was recently ranked 22nd in the league by Pro Football Focus with the caveat that they could become one of the NFL's 10-best units if it returns to the level of play we saw in 2018. Whitehair was a big reason for that productive season, and he logged all 1,139 of his snaps at center that year.