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Game Recap: Trubisky appreciates every rep in finale

Posted Aug 31, 2017

Mitchell Trubisky threw just five passes Thursday night, but the Bears rookie quarterback was happy to be on the field for both the beginning and end of the preseason finale.

Mitchell Trubisky threw just five passes Thursday night, but the Bears rookie quarterback was happy to be on the field for both the beginning and end of the preseason finale.

The second overall pick in the draft played the first four series, exiting a 25-0 loss to the Browns midway through the second quarter after completing 2 of 4 passes for 10 yards.

But Trubisky re-entered the game late in the fourth quarter on two separate occasions after his replacement, Connor Shaw, exited with injuries. Trubisky failed to complete his only pass attempt and was sacked on fourth-and-four from the Cleveland 9 as time expired. 

“It kind of took me back to my North Carolina days, redshirt freshman, redshirt sophomore year, helmet comes off or quarterback in front of you goes down,” Trubisky said. “Just come off the bench cold and play football. That’s about it. Just go in there, try to do my job and lead the offense. I wish we would have scored. It was kind of disappointing.”

The Bears started Trubisky against the Browns because they felt the chance to get more live game reps will aid his development.

Asked what he gained Thursday night, Trubisky said: “Just more snaps, more film to watch and some rookie mistakes that I need to improve. Reps are never a bad thing in my opinion. The more you can get, the better off you will be. It was good in the short term.” 

Trubisky opened the game with nine straight handoffs—three each on three consecutive three-and-outs—before throwing four passes on his fourth possession. His two incompletions came on passes that were dropped by running back Josh Rounds and tight end Adam Shaheen

On the same drive, Trubisky also scrambled for one yard and was shoved in the back a few feet out of bounds by linebacker Deon King, who drew a 15-yard penalty. To the relief of the Soldier Field crowd, Trubisky jumped to his feet and jogged back to the huddle. 

Trubisky said that Thursday night was the first time he had ever handed the ball off on nine straight plays in a game.

With the regular-season opener against the Falcons looming a week from Sunday and Mike Glennon entrenched as the Bears starting quarterback, it’s unclear when Trubisky will play again. But the rookie vows that he’ll be ready when needed. 

“I want to be mentally and physically prepared and make sure my body is at 110 percent,” Trubisky said. “I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done on a weekly basis as far as studying film and body preparation. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’ll be ready to do it.”

In four preseason games, Trubisky completed 67.9 percent of his passes (36 of 53) for 364 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 106.2 passer rating.

The Browns took a 7-0 lead Thursday night on quarterback Cody Kessler’s back-shoulder pass to receiver Rannell Hall, who spun away from cornerback Rashaad Reynolds for a 27-yard touchdown with 2:34 left in the first half. 

Cleveland blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Bears 12-0 to increase its lead to 19-0. Zane Gonzalez booted a 53-yard field goal, safety Calvin Pryor and defensive end Karter Schult combined to sack Shaw in the end zone for a safety and Kevin Hogan threw a 51-yard TD pass to uncovered tight end Randall Telfer.

The Browns made it 25-0 early in the fourth quarter on Hogan’s 21-yard TD pass to receiver Jordan Leslie, who beat cornerback Johnthan Banks. Gonzalez missed the extra point attempt, hitting the right upright.