Joniak's Journal: Trubisky Opening Eyes Around League

October 17, 2018 - 4:38 pm
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By Jeff Joniak--

LAKE FOREST (WBBM Newsradio) The Bears (3-2) were back at work Wednesday ahead of hosting the Patriots (4-2) on Sunday at Soldier Field. Here are the notes and observations of the day.

First impression

Patriots defensive play-caller and linebacker coach Brian Flores noted that the first impression on the tape of Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is that he throws a good deep ball. In the last two weeks, Trubisky has opened some eyes around the league. He has been a topic on the when national television shows discuss the NFL.

I bring it up only because Trubisky’s stock is rising among analysts and coaches around the league. His throw to a wide open Anthony Miller with four minutes left in the fourth quarter Sunday broke the 21-21 tie on a third-and-9 strike with the Dolphins rushing seven defenders.   

"We’re progressing as an offense," Trubisky said. "We’re getting better. We’re continuing to grow, and that’s one of those clutch plays you have to make as an offense. It was a big moment, and I think a big area of growth for our offense and myself as a quarterback. We’re just going to have to continue to grow and make those types of plays to give ourselves a chance to win every week."

New England’s defense will pepper Trubisky with looks and challenge him mentally. It's the Patriots' way.

Second thought

We will find out how resilient the Bears are Sunday. They're collectively ticked about losing the way they did in Miami and now face Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the aura of the multi-time champion Patriots. It could be one of the games that defines the season and identity of Matt Nagy’s first edition of the Bears.

"Every week feels like the playoffs around here," guard Kyle Long said. "That’s what you play football for. It’s like in high school if you lose one or two games throughout the season, you’re out of the playoffs. We don’t want to lose around here. We’re not used to it right now.  We need to show people that we are a winning team. We’ve proven that to ourselves, and now we got to go do it week in and week out."

Third degree

Passing touchdowns and points hit an all-time high through the first seven weeks of any single season in league history, the NFL said. Defenses are under attack from schemes and officials. Shootouts create significant pressure on players to make the play when the play is there to be made.  

"It’s definitely pressure," Bears safety Eddie Jackson said ."You’ve got to understand when you play against guys like Tom (Brady) and Aaron (Rodgers), they are going to make their plays. It is nothing you are going to do to stop that. You can stop a certain amount of them, but at the end of the day, they are going to make their fair share of plays."

Jackson explained that players simply have to learn how to forget about getting beat, move on and try to stop the next one. At the same time, Jackson added that there's no better place to face Brady this week than in Soldier Field.

I will have more with Jackson in the second hour of WBBM Radio’s Countdown to Kickoff in my Bears pregame Joniak’s Journal around 10:20 a.m. Sunday.

Fourth-and-short

Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack is rarely on an injury report, but that's where he finds himself this week with a right ankle that flared up last Sunday in Miami. The's day-to-day. It's assuring to know Mack hasn't missed any of his 69 NFL starts. It likely was far from simple that he finished the game Sunday. Nagy is admittedly conservative with injuries. He will give Mack all the room he needs to rest the ankle and get it right for this Sunday.

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