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.”

Matt Nagy, Bears may be facing ironic end to 2020 preseason plans

Matt Nagy, Bears may be facing ironic end to 2020 preseason plans

Just when Matt Nagy actually wants to play his starters in preseason games, there might not be a preseason. 

Ironic, right?  

On Wednesday, Pro Football Talk reported what’s been anticipated for weeks: The NFL will cut its preseason schedule from four to two games. But, per NFL Network, the NFLPA hasn’t signed off on that reduction just yet – potentially because they’re hoping to not play any preseason games at all in 2020. 

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And why would the players want those games? All it’d be is another opportunity for team-to-team transmission of the novel coronavirus that’s still raging across the United States. And the NFL has very little monetary incentive to play these games, too, which would happen in front of empty stadiums and presumably don’t bring in much TV revenue anyway. 

So if playing these games would risk COVID-19 exposure – which is way more important than the next words you’re about to read – and wouldn’t negatively affect anyone’s bottom line, why play them?

Some coaches will argue they’re critical for getting players ready for the regular season. Nagy, up until this year, wasn’t among those coaches. Remember these tweets from last August?

“My biggest thing is I’m trying to do what’s best for the Chicago Bears, and every team is different, and that’s okay,” Nagy said last summer. “… We love where we’re at right now in regards to our starters. We feel really good about it.”

All the NFLPA has to do to argue against preseason games is point to how Nagy – as well as Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay – viewed the importance of those in the past. If teams felt prepared for the regular season without playing their starters in the preseason, why should that change in the midst of a pandemic? 

Nagy has since switched his thinking – this after a truly awful start on offense to the 2019 season – and committed to playing his starters during 2020’s preseason. Not only does Nagy need as many preseason games as possible to evaluate Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, but he needs it for the rest of his offense to find an identity and rhythm quicker than they did last year (if they ever found one at all). 

So that means having Anthony Miller catch passes from both Trubisky and Foles in preseason games. That means getting the interior of the offensive line – whether it includes Germain Ifedi or Rashaad Coward at right guard – reps together in live action. That means getting Cole Kmet’s feet wet before throwing him into the deep end of the “Y” tight end position in September. 

“As we talk, that's one of the things that I look back at from last year that I'm not happy about that I made a decision to do in the preseason," Nagy said on the Waddle & Silvy Show in May. "Number one, I think it's good for them to have it, but number two it sets the mentality. 

“So that's not going to happen this year."

Except it might not happen. And probably shouldn’t. 

 

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Bears' Allen Robinson included in Big 10's All-Decade team

Bears' Allen Robinson included in Big 10's All-Decade team

Here's some fun news for your holiday weekend. 

Bears WR Allen Robinson has been named to the Big 10 All-Decade team: 

A two-time Big 10 receiver of the year, Robinson finished his three-year career at Penn State with 177 catches for 2479 yards and 17 touchdowns. Seven years after he went into the NFL, Robinson's name is still all over the Penn State record board. Currently, he's: 

- 3rd all time in receptions
- 1st in single season receptions (97 in '13)
- 3rd in single game receptions (12)
- 4th in receiving yards
- 1st in single season receiving yards (1432, '13)
- 2nd in single season TD's (11, '12) 

He's also one of two receivers in Nittany Lion history to catch three touchdowns in multiple games. Allen Robinson: underrated in the NFL, but now properly rated by the NCAA.