Mitch Trubisky

Trubisky says of NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

USA Today

Trubisky says of NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

The NFC North was recently dubbed the most talented quarterback division in the NFL largely because of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford.

Bears starter Mitch Trubisky may eventually be viewed as an elite quarterback someday, but his average rookie season has created some doubt among analysts about whether he'll ever be that guy.

In a recent sit-down with Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, Trubisky said he isn't concerned with outside opinion, nor is he intimidated by the resumes of his NFC North counterparts.

"I've realized that these people you look up to—watching Aaron Rodgers, watching Tom Brady—they're humans just like I am," Trubisky told Dunne. "They can make mistakes. They're just people. We've all been through similar things to get to where we are now. ... As a competitor, you want the biggest, tallest challenge you can possibly ask for.

"So, yeah, give me the division with Aaron Rodgers, Stafford and Kirk Cousins. Bring 'em on."

Trubisky's confidence has been evident this offseason. There's no doubt who the Bears' leader in the locker room is. Just ask Kyle Long.

Still, he's not without his critics, something he said he doesn't consume himself with.

"Why would I be worried about what anybody has to say on the outside?" he said. "You're sitting in a chair talking into a microphone. I'm in the war. I'm in the middle of the hurricane."

Trubisky's name is consistently mentioned after DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes whenever the 2017 quarterback class is discussed and few -- if any -- experts expect him to be the best of the three.

But none of that matters. All Trubisky has to be is a winner in Chicago, and he certainly has the confidence needed to get there.

"So get ready," he said. "I'm going to be prepared. I'm going to give you everything I've got. Hopefully, I make people eat their words with what they say about me."

Bears dubbed NFL's most underrated team

USA Today

Bears dubbed NFL's most underrated team

It's been a long time since the Chicago Bears were relevant. And while they haven't played a single snap of the 2018 season yet, it appears the team constructed by GM Ryan Pace is ready to compete for a playoff spot in December.

At least, that's what longtime NFL writer Mike Tanier thinks after suggesting the Bears are the league's most underrated team and this year's version of the Philadelphia Eagles:

The Bears' secret weapon this season will be offensive innovation. In a league that cannot wait to give Brian Schottenheimer and Norv Turner types seventh or eighth chances to prove they can produce 20th-ranked offenses, the Bears will gene-splice Doug Pederson brood mate Matt Nagy with Chip Kelly disciple Mark Helfrich to transform Mitchell Trubisky into Carson Wentz and out-Eagles the Eagles.

Expectations don't get much higher than that. The Eagles, in case you've forgotten, enjoyed a miraculous Super Bowl run last year thanks to second-year quarterback Carson Wentz and an offensive-minded head coach from the same coaching tree as Matt Nagy. Chicago could certainly enjoy a similar uptick in offensive production, but whether a more dynamic offense leads to an increase in wins is hard to predict.

The Bears play in a much more competitive division than the Eagles did last year, especially with the Cowboys' regression and the Giants downright awful season. Chicago will face three top-tier quarterbacks in the NFC North with two teams, the Packers and Vikings, potential Super Bowl contenders.

Are the Bears underrated? Yes, it seems they are. And yes, they should outplay expectations this year. However, fans should take a step back and realize it will take time -- maybe a season or two -- before the combination of Trubisky and Nagy are ready to take off.

NFC North named NFL's top QB division

NFC North named NFL's top QB division

The Chicago Bears have been haunted by elite-level quarterbacks in the NFC North for many years. Whether it was Brett Favre, Dante Culpepper or now Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford, it's been decades since the Bears could say they had the best passer in the division.

This season is no exception, especially with Kirk Cousins joining the Vikings. Rodgers, Stafford and Cousins will give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio headaches in at least six games this season, but the Bears have a talented passer of their own who can present a challenge to opposing defenses, too.

When factoring Trubisky to the rest of the established Pro Bowlers in the North, there's no division with a more talented group of quarterbacks, according to

Rodgers is the most talented quarterback in NFL history. I love Green Bay bringing in Jimmy Graham to help in the red zone. Stafford has been fantastic the last few seasons, a true maestro in the clutch. And Detroit improved the offensive line and run game this offseason -- that will provide the 30-year-old quarterback with some needed protection and balance. I think Trubisky will be this year's Jared Goff, taking a major leap forward in Year 2 with a new head coach and more talent around him. Lastly, Cousins swings the pendulum in favor of this division. He's the answer to the franchise-quarterback question for the Vikings.

The Bears have so much riding on Trubisky this season and beyond. He has to prove capable of squaring off against guys like Rodgers and Stafford, quarterbacks he'll do battle with for the next several years. If he doesn't develop into the kind of player who can make timely throws on game-winning drives, Chicago will remain a step behind Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota, all clubs with starting quarterbacks who have more than a few big wins on their resumes. 

All signs point toward Trubisky becoming that guy. His rookie season wasn't perfect, but it was promising. And now that Ryan Pace has surrounded him with skill players who can beat NFL coverage, he should see a big bump in his production. That bump in production will go a long way in helping the Bears win a bunch of games, especially with a defense that returns intact after finishing in the NFL's top 10 last season.