Connor Shaw

What you need to know from Bears camp: Mitch Trubisky steps up

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USA TODAY

What you need to know from Bears camp: Mitch Trubisky steps up

1. Mr. Biscuit Cooks: There are some days it's difficult to differentiate between Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Mitch Trubisky. Friday wasn't one of those. While Glennon took some time to find a rhythm, the rookie was most consistent on a cool, windy day that seemed to emphasize the deep ball early. From a perfectly-placed bomb that went through Deonte Thompson's hands, to a dart while dashing to the sidelines to Tanner Gentry, to a zip through defensive line pressure to find 5-foot-6 Tarik Cohen, Trubisky's physical talents won the day.

2. Shaw Surgery: No, not another season-ender for Connor Shaw, but a follow-up to last summer's surgery on his broken leg. The fourth-string quarterback who's hand difficulty getting any snaps this first week, was experiencing discomfort from the second screw that was inserted in his leg in the operation, so he missed Friday's practice getting it removed. The first screw previously taken out.

3. Shaheen shines at the end: In early team drills Friday, Adam Shaheen couldn't shake Jonathan Anderson on a nice throw from Mark Sanchez, and later was stripped of the ball after a catch. But late in practice, the second-round rookie made a spectacular, falling, one-handed catch on a Mike Glennon throw, despite being covered fairly well by Quintin Demps.

4. What about White? Despite the varying interpretations on the viewing of his collegiate tape earlier in the week, receivers coach Zach Azzanni continues coaching Kevin White hard in individual drills. Not that it's different for Azzanni with everyone else. But on the field, White looks receptive, as he should be. It was a frustrating day for White in matchups when he was targeted. Once, he couldn't shake Prince Amukamara when targeted by Glennon in a seven-on-seven drill. Later, White got behind Marcus Cooper along the right sideline, but Glennon slightly overthrew him.

5. The Hurt Locker: Besides Shaw, Willie Young was just an observer for a second straight day with what John Fox characterized as a sore groin. Kyle Fuller was limited a third consecutive day by a sore calf. Safety Harold Jones-Quartey (ankle), outside linebacker Lamarr Houston, wideout Titus Davis and guard Kyle Long were among those doing work on the side with a trainer. Jeremy Langford remains out of sight with the ankle he rolled over a week ago.

6. Bears-apalooza: Good luck to all the fine folks making their way to Saturday's 3 p.m. Family Fest practice at Soldier Field, with Day 3 of Lollapalooza going on nearby in Grant Park. Build in enough time. What's looked like a promising rookie class to this point gets its first on-field action on the home turf.

How Mark Sanchez’s injury has affected Mitch Trubisky and Connor Shaw

How Mark Sanchez’s injury has affected Mitch Trubisky and Connor Shaw

Connor Shaw was about six hours into his drive to South Carolina on May 30 when Dowell Loggains called him, saying the Bears needed him back.

Shaw was waived that Tuesday morning to make room for wide receiver Victor Cruz, but a few hours later, Mark Sanchez suffered a knee injury that would sideline him until training camp. So the Bears needed another quarterback, and Shaw was the natural choice, even if he had just drove through Lexington, Ky. 

“I had a little bit of a hike back,” Shaw said. “But well worth the drive.”

With Sanchez out for the remainder of the Bears’ offseason program — including next week’s veteran minicamp — Shaw and Mitch Trubisky are receiving more reps, both in terms of number and significance. So Shaw will have a better opportunity to show coaches the same flashes he did last year, while Trubisky was handed the keys to the second-string offense this week. 

Running the second-string offense is an early opportunity for Trubisky to embrace the challenge of taking command of a unit. 

“Instead of the threes, I’m with the twos,” Trubisky said. “So it’s getting the reps, getting comfortable and whoever I’m with, whenever I’m in the huddle, it’s taking command and doing my job.”

While Sanchez may not practice again until late July, Trubisky praised the example set by the former New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys quarterback. 

“He’s a smart guy, he’s seen a lot of offenses,” Trubisky said. “So being around, having that playoff experience and knowing what it takes to get back there, he’s taught me a lot about how to carry yourself not just on the field but off the field as well. I like spending time with him.”

As for Shaw, he always figured a return to the Bears could be a possibility, but he didn’t expect it to happen halfway through his trip leaving Chicago. Shaw is the only quarterback on the Bears’ roster who was here last year, even though he suffered a season-ending injury last August. 

That knowledge has helped Shaw make a smooth return to Halas Hall, even if it came after a whirlwind 24 hours. 

“You’ve just got to refocus your mind,” Shaw said. “You’re got to get back into the routine of things and compete even if I were on a different squad. I’m very fortunate to be here, be a Chicago Bear. But you just go back to second nature when you start playing football.”

With Mark Sanchez injured, Bears will hang on to Connor Shaw

With Mark Sanchez injured, Bears will hang on to Connor Shaw

When the Bears announced they'd waived Connor Shaw Tuesday morning to make room for wide receiver Victor Cruz, it begged a question: Would the door still be open for Shaw to return?

It only took a few hours for that question to be answered.

Mark Sanchez suffered a left leg injury during Tuesday's OTAs and is expected back for training camp in July, though he'll miss the remainder of the Bears' offseason program. That means the Bears would've been down to two quarterbacks for the remainder of their OTAs and June's veteran minicamp. 

So the Bears later Tuesday announced they rescinded the waiver request on Shaw and instead waived undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Jhajuan Seales. Shaw is the only quarterback on the Bears' roster with experience in Dowell Loggains' offensive system, as Sanchez and Mike Glennon were brought in as free agents and Mitch Trubisky was in college a year ago.

Bears coaches have spoken highly of Shaw since he put together an impressive preseason game last year, completing five of six passes for 83 yards and throwing a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. That was the Bears' third preseason game of 2016; in their final preseason game, Shaw suffered a season-ending leg injury. 

"Connor did play well in that Kansas City game and sparked us a little bit," Loggains said. "But he’s the only guy with any experience in the system."