Bears offensive position coaches share thoughts

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Bears position coaches spoke to the media Tuesday at Halas Hall. Here are four of the most interesting nuggets from the team’s offensive assistants:

(1) Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone isn’t worried about Mitchell Trubisky losing his confidence after the Bears failed to score a touchdown in Week 1.

“There’s no blink in terms of that in how I see him,” said Ragone, who has been Trubisky’s position coach since the quarterback joined the Bears in 2017 as a first-round draft pick. “That’s not a concern of mine.”

Trubisky completed 26 of 45 passes for 228 yards with one interception and a 62.1 passer rating in last Thursday night’s 10-3 season-opening loss to the Packers.

“What I go back to is making sure we stay on track,” Ragone said. “Look at the good plays that happened and make sure we continue to work on those things because we want to continue to build on them. The things that weren’t good, [determine] why, and then work on those in practice so those don’t happen again. That’s the best way, in my opinion, to continue to go through the process with him.”

(2) Receivers coach Mike Furrey believes the key factor in Allen Robinson II's impressive performance in the opener is that the veteran is fully healthy.

When Robinson played for the Jaguars in 2017, he tore his ACL in Week 1 and missed the rest of the season. He spent last offseason rehabbing the injury and performed well in his first year with the Bears, catching 55 passes for a team-high 754 yards and four touchdowns. But Robinson really didn’t feel completely healthy until the wild-card playoff loss to the Eagles—and he showed as he caught 10 passes for 143 yards and one TD.

“Coming off the field after that Philly game, I think he felt like he was back and he wanted to keep playing,” Furrey said. “I know that hurt him the fact that he couldn’t. You could tell he was 100 percent. Then all of a sudden the season’s over. He was disappointed.”

After participating in the offseason program and training camp, Robinson picked up against the Packers where he left off in the playoff game, hauling in seven passes for a game-high 102 yards—with several of his receptions coming on contested balls. 

“He’s very confident in his body right now, which is obviously a huge thing,” Furrey said. “He was out there the entire night. He felt great. And obviously he was very productive. It was fun watching him.”

(3) Although all 11 players are involved when the offense gives up a sack, the line takes it personally when the Bears yield five of them like they did against the Packers.

“We know how we’re judged and our performance is critical to the success of the offense,” said offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. “[There are other factors involved in sacks], but the bottom line is it always will come back to what we’re doing. 

“What’s important is that the guys learn from the things that happened in the game and grow—which they are—and that’s the kind of guys we have. There’s not sulking, there’s not finger-pointing. There’s not heads down. It’s just back to work and let’s improve.” 

(4) Tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride is eager to get Trey Burton back into game action after the six-year veteran sat out the season opener with a groin injury.

Asked what Burton brings to the offense, Gilbride said: “What you saw last year, which was the ability to get himself open in zone coverage, and against man, create separation. He’s got good, solid hands. He’s always going to do the right thing, meaning he’s always going to know what to do and how to execute. 

“He brings a lot to the table in the mental aspect of it. He sees a lot of things. And then in the run game it’s not like we want him at the point of attack consistently. But he’s going to put his body in position to at least give himself a chance to win, and then he’s going to execute well on the back side as well.” 

In his first season with the Bears last year, Burton set career highs in all receiving categories with 54 catches, 569 yards and six touchdowns while starting all 16 games. It was evident that he developed a strong bond with Trubisky as the season progressed. 

“I think they have a very good rapport and they work together well,” Gilbride said. “They’ll communicate on how things are going to be done and how Mitchell would like them to be done and how Trey’s going to execute them, and you have to have that between a pass receiver and the quarterback.”

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