Mitch Trubisky had zero interest on Wednesday in fielding a line of questions about his high school nickname, which was bestowed upon him thanks to a comparison to a certain former Green Bay Packers quarterback. The days of him being “Favre” are, as he put it, in the past.
“I’m done with that nickname,” Trubisky said. “No one calls me that anymore. I’m just focused on playing this week and doing my job.”
Trubisky clearly wasn’t thrilled with that line of questioning, and Matt Nagy didn’t entertain it, either. This is a Bears team with far more important things ahead of them as they stare down a game against the Green Bay Packers in which they can accomplish two season-defining things: First, clinching the NFC North; and second, effectively eliminating the Packers from playoff contention.
Trubisky was sharply critical of himself after Sunday’s 15-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams, a game in which the Bears won but he had, by passer rating, the worst game of his career (33.3). He emerged Wednesday with a clear head about his bad game, citing sloppy footwork and an over-eagerness to be back on the field for the first time since Nov. 18.
Rust from that layoff, Trubisky said, was not a factor.
“I think that's just making excuses, saying that I could be rusty,” Trubisky said. “Bottom line is I just came out and I didn't make the throws that I needed to make. I didn't do my job necessary when my team needed me to do my job and I know that I can play better.”
The more specific root of Trubisky’s problem, he said, was trying to do too much against a Wade Philips defense that deployed plenty of zone coverage. That took away the opportunities for Trubisky to make a big play, but he tried anyway, sailing two throws for interceptions while getting picked off on an aggressive third-and-10 throw, too.
Along those lines, too — the primetime Sunday Night Football stage wasn’t why he tried to do too much. It goes back to an over-exuberance for being back on the field for the first time in three weeks.
“I should have just had a more focused mindset of, OK, I just need to do my job,” Trubisky said. “I just need to find completions. I just need to catch the snap, do my footwork and get the ball to my playmakers rather than being too amped up about being out there with my guys and trying to make all-world plays. I just need to go out there and do my job.”
This is about as encouraging of an explanation from Trubisky as possible, in a few ways. The issues had something to do with his layoff, but not necessarily rust. And they didn’t happen because the moment was too big for a guy who will play in a few more big moments come January.
The word “shoulder” was also not mentioned during Trubisky’s media session, too.
While Trubisky was clearly frustrated with play against the Rams, he made sure to note the most important thing from Sunday was the Bears emerging with a win. Adding to that, Nagy said Trubisky’s positive attitude didn’t waver on the sidelines, which is important to note.
“He's the leader of this offense and the guys look to him for any frustration, any type of ability of him to not show leadership or any of that, we don't want it,” Nagy said. “He hasn't done it.”
The lasting impression from Trubisky’s media session on Wednesday was this: Focus. He came across as willing to not only engage in self-criticism, but willing to be specific about it (which, it should be said, is not uncommon for him this year). But anything general, or about a topic he didn’t think was relevant for this weekend’s game against the Packers? He didn’t have time for that.
And, at least publicly, that presents as a quarterback frustrated with what he showed against the Rams, but focused on exactly what he needs to do to be better on Sunday against the Packers.
The Favre thing is one example. How he answered a question about Aaron Rodgers — and what he might admire about him — is another.
“I don't know, I haven't really watched much on him this year,” Trubisky said. “I’m really just focused on continuing to learn this offense and focused on what I got to do and my job this year. So just continue to learn and master this offense and focus on myself and my teammates. Obviously he's had a lot of success, but I'm just focused on what I got to do for my team this year right now.”