The lengthy procedure of Bears QB Mitch Trubisky learning Matt Nagy’s offense is not supposed to be seamless or simple – and it hasn’t been. But that’s part of the process, and despite the expected growing pains, some early results are encouraging.
“It’s just knowing that there are going to be bumps in the road and having that mentality that we're getting better every single day,” Trubisky said before Wednesday’s practice. “(It’s) learning from our mistakes, talking to coach (Nagy). Just being on the same page. (It’s) knowing it's part of the plan.”
The Bears are still in the early stages of learning a new offense that has players and coaches excited, even though they realize it’s a complex scheme that will require much more repetition, classroom and film study and fine-tuning.
“We had to lay the foundation, and we did that,” Nagy said. “Then we loaded them up with a bunch of stuff to see what sticks and what's too much for them, so we can have this gauge when we get into the season as to what we can and can't do. In particular, No. 10 (Trubisky), and seeing what he can balance. We pulled back (Tuesday) for the whole offense, and he played fast and you saw completions out there, and that's what it's all about. We're growing, he's growing, and the offense is growing.”
Trubisky took another step Wednesday on Day Two of the three-day mandatory minicamp that concludes Thursday.
“The one thing I told him is (to focus on) his anticipation throws,” Nagy said. “It was one of his better days. Regardless of the result, he’s throwing the ball on time. You don’t really care what happens on the throw, you’re just throwing it on time, and the wide receiver needs to be ready to catch the ball. He had a good card day, a good anticipation day.”
Teammates who were impressed with leadership skills demonstrated by Trubisky last year, even as a rookie, are encouraged to see him continue to mature with his workmanlike approach to mastering the new scheme.
“He’s just learning every day,” said LT Charles Leno, Trubisky’s blindside protector. “He still has those great leadership qualities, telling everybody in the huddle, ‘Focus up. Right here on this play, we gotta do this, execute this,’ whatever it may be. Every day he’s just bringing it.”
Despite the fits and starts, Trubisky is encouraged by the prospects of what the offense will be down the road, and the progress that has been made since the offseason program began.
“We all believe in coach Nagy's plan,” Trubisky said. “And you've seen the progression, from the first day to now, so that gives us confidence as well.”
By design, Nagy has alternated between heaping large amounts of information on the players, knowing that it won’t all be assimilated, and then scaling back to allow everyone to get up to speed.
“What helps with that is just talking to coach Nagy every day,” Trubisky said. “He always goes back to, 'We're going to test you in this offense and see how much you can handle.' And he told us they've installed more over these last OTAs than they have in the past. Even if you make a mistake, it's on film, so we can go back and learn from it, watch it over and over again, and then don't repeat the mistake. So we're just getting better from that.”
Though players have six weeks of “down time” before the start of training camp, it won’t be a vacation for Trubisky.
“The biggest thing for Mitch right now is just trying to digest this offense, and he’ll do that,” Nagy said. “I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to do everything he can these next several weeks to continue to look at what he’s put on tape the last couple months. Mentally, we want to hone that thing in and get that thing right for Week One.”