Bears

Mitchell Trubisky ‘surprised’ to be picked by the Bears

Mitchell Trubisky ‘surprised’ to be picked by the Bears

Deshaun Watson told ESPN it would be a "slap in the face" if he wasn't the first quarterback picked in this year's NFL Draft. So while he was probably stunned to see Mitchell Trubisky picked No. 2 by the Bears, so was Trubisky. 

The Bears traded up one spot to land Trubisky, committing the franchise’s highest draft pick since 1972 to a guy they hadn’t spent a whole lot of face-to-face time with over the last few months. 

“I had one workout with them, and then, after that it was just pretty much silence,” Trubisky said. “That’s why I’m surprised to hear my name called because we didn’t have a lot of contact.”

That one workout came around North Carolina’s Pro Day, which took place in March a few days after the combine in Indianapolis. During that private workout with the Bears, Trubisky said he did individual drills and threw routes to his receivers, as well as going through some more detailed work. 

“I guess they just wanted to see how I was progressing under center and if I could make all the NFL throws,” Trubisky said. “I think they were impressed with the day I had.”

The Bears appeared to scout Watson and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer heavier than Trubisky, though. That was no secret to Trubisky, which gave the 6-foot-2, 222 pound former Tarheel reason to not expect what went down Thursday night. 

“I’m glad they came up and got me at No. 2,” Trubisky said. “I think it shows that they believe in me. And I believe in what Ryan Pace and coach (John) Fox are doing in Chicago, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Can Trubisky handle the Vikings defense?

11-7mitchtrubisky.jpg
USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Can Trubisky handle the Vikings defense?

Hub Arkush, Mark Carman and Gabe Ramirez join Kap on the panel.

0:00- 3 days away from the huge NFC North showdown. Can Mitch Trubisky handle the Vikings defense? Will the Bears defense disrupt Kirk Cousins? And did practicing a Soldier Field help Cody Parkey?

16:00- Christian Yelich is the NL MVP. Javy Baez finishes second. Can he perform at a MVP again next season? And what position will he play? Plus the guys discusses Bryce Harper’s latest name dropping of Chicago. 

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

Subscribe:

Next step for Mitchell Trubisky: Becoming a closer

trubisky-1115.jpg
USA TODAY

Next step for Mitchell Trubisky: Becoming a closer

The leadership qualities of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky have taken shape and root through the Bears’ 6-3 start, one that has included two three-game win streaks. Nothing succeeds at making believers like success. 

But beyond specific developmental steps the second-year quarterback has made, is making and will make in an evolving offense, and beyond coaches’ and teammates’ believing in him, is a crucial next step that the elites at the position take:

Becoming a closer. In fourth quarters.

The Bears are 5-2 when leading after three quarters, but only 1-1 when trailing after three. In his 21 games, Trubisky has delivered two late game-winning drives – for a winning field goal in overtime last year at Baltimore, and for a winning field goal at Arizona this year.

But in the Bears’ three 2018 losses, irrespective of defensive failures, Trubisky and the offense managed just three points in the fourth quarter at Green Bay, and one fourth-quarter touchdown each in the losses to Miami and New England. The Bears were outscored in the fourth quarters against Detroit and Tampa Bay but were already sufficiently far ahead (35-3 vs. the Buccaneers, 34-10 vs. the Lions) that late scores weren’t really necessary.

Trubisky is clear on the situational needs: “Coming out with a positive drive starter, no negative plays and then have an explosive play,” he said. “And then usually that results in good plays for us. So we can get that and keep getting better and finish in the end zone or finish with points, whatever the situation is, that’s what we need to do.”

Trubisky has been significantly better this year in fourth quarters than he was in 2017, in every quarter, actually: 64.4 percent completion percentage, 8.03 yards per attempt, a 97.7 passer rating, ahead of Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith and Case Keenum, among others.

The problem is that his level of play ranks just 20th among fourth-quarter passers. Minnesota will come to Soldier Field on Sunday behind Kirk Cousins, the No. 5 crunch-time passer, with a 1.1-percent interception rate, compared to Trubisky’s 3.4.

A focus this week has been third-down efficiency, against a Minnesota defense ranked No. 1 in fewest third-down conversions (25.7 percent). Trubisky ranks 13th in third-down passing, with a 99.0 rating.

But a blowout is unlikely, meaning that sometime late Sunday evening, the Bears and Trubisky will have the football in a situation needing a finishing kick. At that time, they will be pressed to answer some of Matt Nagy’s core questions.

“When you’re winning in a game, how do you finish?” Nagy said. “When you’re losing in a game, how do you come back? All those are occurring to us.

“You’re seeing that when you put together a team of good people, that responds to adversity, it helps you. We’re drilling to these guys aggressive, aggressive, aggressive, finish, finish, finish. If we don’t do that as coaches, then what are we teaching?”