Bears

In one area, Mitch Trubisky’s transition to NFL offense could be smooth

In one area, Mitch Trubisky’s transition to NFL offense could be smooth

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." 

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.