Joniak's Journal: Bears Gauging How Much Trubisky Can Digest

"He’s where I thought he would be at," Matt Nagy says of Trubisky.

Jeff Joniak
September 26, 2018 - 6:52 pm
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(WBBM Newsradio) The Bears (2-1) on Wednesday were preparing for a matchup against the Buccaneers (2-1) this Sunday at Soldier Field. Here are the notes and observations of the day.

First impression

Most of Bears coach Matt Nagy's media session Wednesday focused on starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky, a second-year pro.  This is nothing new. Every day there are questions about Trubisky's pre- and post-snap decision-making, fundamentals, route progressions and mental capacity as it relates to the volume of the playbook and more.

"He's doing well," Nagy said. "He’s where I thought he would be at. What I’m doing now is understanding what those plays are that he’s doing well. With that, (it) might have been different with me in the past. There are concepts that weren’t as good to us in Kansas City that are good here, that are working, and so I’m learning that and now those are the ones that I am going to start to go to."

Presumably, they're those like Trubisky’s 25-yard corner route strike in stride to Trey Burton and over the top of Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes and underneath closing safety Tre Boston on Sunday.

"It’s one of the one’s I’ve repped a lot," Trubisky said. "You don’t have to think as much on that play. You know where the guys are going to be at, and you can just let your instincts take over. And that’s kind of what I expect as a player and a quarterback to make those kinds of throws."

Nagy called the throw "special" and one that not many quarterbacks in the league can make. Critics are suggesting they have yet to see special from Trubisky. 

"I’ll take that as special," Nagy said. "All he needs to worry about is what my special is, and so I am happy where he’s at.

"I know he’s going to just keep growing."

Second thought 

Nagy is realistic and honest about where Trubisky and the other 10 players on the field are at in the offense. He's also aware where he's at in trying to determine the best play calls for the unit as a first-year head coach and full-time play caller. 

"I don’t think I need to defend him because he’s a big boy, he understands it, he gets it," Nagy said. "The kid is very mature, very smart. He’s mentally strong. This kid is very mentally strong. What I like to do is make sure that I’m there to help him through any of these times, and it would be the same way if we were the No. 1 offense in the NFL. It would be the reverse of that. It would be, 'Hey, it’s only been three games, three games.'"

Nagy is determined to find solutions to the problems that crop up in the course of a game or a week of preparation, but it's a process.

Third degree

How much is too much for an offense to digest, not think and just react? It's not an easy question to answer, and Nagy and Trubisky are working to find those answers right now.

"If they feel like we got to pull back this week or next week or whatever it is and just simplify so we can play faster, they are going to do what’s best for this offense and what they believe," Trubisky said.  "My job is just come here, work every day and whatever they ask me to do, do it to the best of my ability."

Nagy will keep calling for shots down the field.

"We’re not going to stop being aggressive when we can," Nagy said. "It’s teaching moments. How did we miss it? Was it the throw, was it the route, was it the release, was it protection? There are a lot of variables that go into a successful play."

Fourth-and-short

As expected, Bears cornerbacks Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and Marcus Cooper (groin) missed practice with injuries, while receiver Anthony Miller was out with a sore shoulder. Defensively, the Bears secondary is bracing for three of the top performing receivers in the league after three weeks. The big-play weapon DeSean Jackson, the physically imposing Mike Evans and the sure-handed and underrated Chris Godwin of the Bucs are a handful. Bears nickel defender Bryce Callahan is looming large in this matchup.

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