Joniak: Nagy Seeks 'Steady, Incremental Improvement' In Trubisky

Jeff Joniak
October 24, 2019 - 6:54 pm

LAKE FOREST (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Jeff Joniak filed these observations from Halas Hall Thursday:

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--Decoding Head Coach Matt Nagy and his opinions about the development and current effectiveness of Mitch Trubisky at quarterback is a daily occurrence at Halas Hall.

--Nagy feels there is a good sample size of big plays by his quarterback from the pocket. “When you see those plays and you see him going through the highs of this offense you understand it’s there,” Nagy said. “Now, we need to get more of that consistently. We need less of the grey and more of the highs.”

--Nagy admits time is of the essence: “That’s the whole balance of the patience, the instant gratification, in all we want the steady incremental improvement to be going up right now. That’s what our goal is to do with him.”

--Trubisky is not ejecting the pocket and running with the ball, at least not like he did in 2018. “ I try not to over-coach that and say, 'Look to run,' because when you do that then you miss a progression. Instinctually, if a progression is not there or if the play is not there that we thought was going to be there that’s where I think you see a little bit more scrambling and ad-libbing, but that hasn’t been happening this year.”

--Why it is not happening is a complex answer. “I just think it comes down to natural instincts. I just want to be careful of saying, 'Become a runner,' because I don’t think you become a quarterback.”

--When Nagy threw it out there Monday that he is curious to see where the leadership comes from this week, it felt like a curious statement. We can call name the leaders, or so we thought.  

--Nagy named receiver Allen Robinson and running back Tarik Cohen . “Allen is a naturally introverted person, but he’s one of those guys you get him on the field and he speaks through his play. Those guys, they know that whenever it’s time for them to lead in a certain way they will, and those are the two that kind of jump out to me.”

--Defensively, it is inside linebacker Danny Trevathan. Period. End of story. Nagy admits to talking to Trevathan to get his points across to the rest of the team. Nagy called him a natural born leader, and he feels players like Trevathan are leaders who create leaders.

--Roquan Smith is playing a slightly different role in Chuck Pagano’s defense as the Jack or weakside linebacker. There is not a significant difference in what he did last season, but there are some minor adjustments of playing in space more, seeing the run game is a little bit different, in terms of sightlines. Pagano said there is more coverage responsibilities as well, but Smith excelled in coverage at Georgia.

--Pagano is not concerned about Smith’s performance in the last two games. “Roquan is going to be fine," he said. While he didn’t play as many snaps as he is used to playing, there were personnel adjustments geared towards stopping the run that Pagano implemented against the Saints after what the Raiders did to the Bears in London resulting in Smith being replaced by an extra defensive lineman.

--Rookie running back David Montgomery is far from a “me” guy. He is by definition a “we” guy. It was his reputation at Iowa State, where he helped changed the program’s culture over four years. He is selfless. So, listening to him answer questions about his low rush total through six games was impressive.

--When asked how he feels about a game that resulted in only seven rush attempts, he said: “I can care less about the rushing yards or I can care less about running the ball a lot in a game. I just want to do whatever I can for my teammates and the small things to get a win.”

--Montgomery did admit to trying to do too much when he fumbled against the Saints. “I took myself out of character. I wasn’t paying attention to the details. I rarely fumble, but in that situation I was trying to go outside when the play was designed to go inside.” 

--Montgomery admits he did not play his best game. That kind of accountability is exactly what the locker room needs right now. Nagy said Montgomery is extremely passionate about how he plays. He will be harder on himself than anybody. “I know he cares.”

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.