Bears

Mitchell Trubisky explains why Walter Payton was his favorite player growing up

Mitchell Trubisky explains why Walter Payton was his favorite player growing up

Mitchell Trubsiky endeared himself to Bears fans when he revealed the late Walter Payton was his favorite NFL player growing up.

While it may be a bit puzzling as to how Trubisky came to idolize the Bears legend considering Payton passed away in 1999 and the new Bears quarterback was only five-years-old at the time, Trubisky explained why during his introductory press conference at Halas Hall on Friday.

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"Growing up my favorite player of all time was Walter Payton so I know that about the Bears," Trubisky said. "It started in elementary school. The book I read from the library was a biography on Walter Payton.

"I just loved learning about his life and how he was as a football player on and off the field and what be brought to this special organization. I'm looking forward to wearing a Bears jersey like he did."

Check out what else Trubisky had to say about Payton and see his message to Bears fans in the video above.

Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings: Camaraderie building, Mitch Trubisky progressing, the REAL defensive stopper

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USA TODAY

Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings: Camaraderie building, Mitch Trubisky progressing, the REAL defensive stopper

A short week between games also means condensed timeframe for looking both back at what just transpired in the Bears 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and ahead to what those things might foreshadow in Thursday’s rematch in Detroit with the Lions.

The Bears are averaging 3.5 touchdowns per game this season, approaching double the 1.9 per game last year. So it figures that their celebrations of those scores should step up appropriately.

Team chemistry/unity/personality/whatever is always easier to detect when said team is winning. But the touchdown celebrations orchestrated (literally and figuratively) by wide receiver Anthony Miller and safety Eddie Jackson are worth a footnote.

Not so much for the amusing creativity of Miller’s “boys in the boat” rowing team, or Jackson’s musical-conductor performance with the assembled defense. More for, as more than a few folks noted on Monday, the fact that the whole team jumped into the skits. These were not look-at-me, solo-showboating exercises by the player scoring the touchdown; they were the kind of group endeavors that teams do.

The Bears can be excused for being a bit out of practice celebrating touchdowns after their miseries of the last five years. Now that it’s happening with increasing frequency, the performances figure to step up in style.

Matt Nagy has set the tone for more than just offensive schemes, remarking, “If you’re not enjoying the moment, then why are you playing?... I like our players to have fun when they play.”

Duly noted

Besides being his 22nd consecutive start and moving him ahead of Rex Grossman on the consecutive-start list, the win over the Minnesota Vikings got Mitchell Trubisky to .500 as a starting quarterback (11-11).

Much is usually made about an offense distributing the football among an array of receivers. Matt Nagy and the Bears offense went a different direction with six different ball carriers against the Vikings, and got those six the football in the first half alone.

The Bears may have opened as four-point favorites over the Lions for Thursday’s game, but the Lions have beaten the Bears four of the last five times the teams met on Thanksgiving Day.

How much more accurate has Mitchell Trubisky become from last year to this? He wasn’t happy with his performance against the Vikings (20-for-31 passing) but Trubisky had just four of his 12 starts in 2017 in which he posted a completion percentage higher than 60. Of his 10 starts in 2018 he has just two starts in which his success rate was BELOW 60 percent.

THE defensive stopper

Take a quick read of another outstanding piece by NFL.com reporter Jim Trotter if you want a glimpse at one of the stories behind the big story of the 2018 Bears defense.

JT, a longtime pal dating back to a chance meeting too many years ago while waiting together to chat with Terrell Davis after a Denver Super Bowl win, is simply one of the best covering this league and was in town for Bears-Vikings.

What he delivered out of Sunday night was a look at how important it was that the Bears retained Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator, which wasn’t a done deal after the shakeup that ended the tenure of John Fox. Fangio was interviewed but never a serious candidate for the head-coaching job, but his retention was pivotal to some of the linchpins of what has become a contender for title of the best defense in the NFL.

"When we didn't know if Vic was going to be back or not, and then we found out that he was going to be here, there was so much enthusiasm with all the guys," defensive lineman Akiem Hicks told JT. "We were texting each other and we were excited about having that opportunity to have that same defense again, because it makes it easier on you as a player. So it was big, huge, monumental. We would not be here without that. Not even possible."

 

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This video of Mitch Trubisky's pregame speech will get you fired up

This video of Mitch Trubisky's pregame speech will get you fired up

You may have seen that hilarious video of Kirk Cousins hyping up the Vikings make the rounds over the last month and think to yourself 'wow, the NFC North's most hype quarterback is clearly Kirk Cousins, now I am sure.'

You'd of course be wrong, because the NFC North's most hype quarterback is bearded, orange-jersey wearin' Mitch Tubisky. In a 6-minute montage of Akiem Hicks mic'd up, one shot catches Trubisky giving the Bears his best Coach Taylor speech: 

He's ... doing ok?! I'm kinda here for preaching Mitch Trubisky if we're being honest. 

The whole video is worth a watch, because mic'd up videos literally always are - though this one is particularly great, because Akiem Hicks is particularly great.