Mitch Trubisky has worked since January on taking snaps under center, something he rarely did during his time at North Carolina. While he said last week that transition is going smoothly, the offensive structure in which he’ll begin to work with the Bears could create a softer landing for the No. 2 overall pick.
The Bears in 2016 ran a higher percentage of plays out of the shotgun (63 percent) than from under center (37 percent). When averaging the percentage of shotgun snaps ran by all 32 NFL teams, the average NFL team last year ran 63 percent of its snaps from the gun. Or, to put it another way: The Bears’ offense, in terms of snapping from the shotgun, was the NFL average last year.
Trubisky, of course, will still have to work under center even if Dowell Loggains’ offense is malleable if and when the former Tar Heel takes over. So the work on taking snaps from under center and going through three-, five- and seven-step drops is certainly important.
"It's been a seamless transition," Trubisky said. "I feel like working under center has helped me become even more consistent with my footwork and I felt like (the Bears) were impressed and saw everything they needed to see, so I feel like being athletic is going to help that transition and continue to improve my feet."
But North Carolina did have Trubisky process routes and go through progressions, which isn’t always the case for college spread offenses. Bears general manager Ryan Pace pointed to Trubisky’s "ability to process and see the whole field," which is an important to note, seeing as it’s an area in which he may not need as much development as some of the other quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
"All these top quarterbacks, it’s just their ability to quickly process defenses, process coverage, find open targets, not panic under pressure, deliver accurate throws when there’s a noisy pocket and things are collapsing," Pace said. "Those guys all have those traits."
UNC quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf was effusive in his praise of Trubisky, but when asked what his pitch to the Bears was regarding his former pupil, that ability to process was one of his main talking points.
"(He's) guy who’s really accurate, a guy who’s really smart and who can process information," Heckendorf said. "And I think those two traits will carry over and will help this transition to the next level probably more than any two other ones that he has."