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Training Camp Report

Bears won't announce starting QB before opener


The winner of the Bears' quarterback competition will remain a mystery until their regular season opener two weeks from Sunday in Detroit.

Coach Matt Nagy revealed Saturday that he wouldn't announce whether Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles will start against the Lions prior to kickoff.

"That won't be happening before that game," Nagy told reporters on a video call after the Bears held a two-hour scripted scrimmage at Soldier Field.

Trubisky and Foles have battled for the No. 1 job since the start of training camp. The competition has been held on a level playing field, with the two quarterbacks receiving equal reps with the first-team offense. The two will continue to alternate Monday when the Bears begin their third and final week of camp at Halas Hall.

It didn't appear that either quarterback outperformed the other during Saturday's scrimmage, which featured the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense and the No. 2 offense versus the No. 1 defense. It was a padded practice, but there was no live tackling. Both quarterbacks were fairly consistent on short and intermediate throws, but overthrew receivers on a couple of deep passes.

Asked by a reporter whether he feels there's a clear leader in the competition, Nagy politely declined to say.

"I have so much respect for everybody on this call," Nagy said. "For us, we like where we're at. But that's an internal question for our coaches to kind of say where we're at right now. That's more gamesmanship than anything. It's no disrespect to you guys. I hope you know that.

"We know there certainly can be improvement with both of them. But they're making good decisions. There's times they're making good throws. There's times they're making throws they wish they had back. But I'm going to put it this way: Intentionally, I'm not going to give a direction right now."

Nagy already knows what he would do if the competition ended in a dead heat.

"Well, I can tell you we're definitely not going to toss a coin," he said with a smile. "We've had those discussions before this camp even started. We've hit every scenario possible. I think it's a very valid question because you don't know. You don't know how it's going to go.

"You have a guy in Mitch who's been in this offense for two years. You have a guy with Nick that has been a part of this offense in the past at different levels. What I would do in that situation is make sure that I'm listening to the coaches on our staff, and then whatever decision it is, if it is that close, we go with and we're open and honest with them and tell them the 'why' part.

"But yeah, in certain situations, it could come to that. But we'll do it together. We'll make the decision together. In the end, it's going to end up being my decision as the head coach. But we all do it collectively, which I think will be the good part."

As Trubisky battles to retain the starting job he's held since the fifth game of his rookie season in 2017, he feels he's improved in key areas of his game this summer.

"I think overall, just showing that I've improved throwing the ball downfield in situations with the team and one-on-ones and routes," Trubisky said, "just showing I can make better decisions with the football for the offense and throwing the ball downfield and being more accurate, especially out and to the left and outside the numbers. I think I've shown that I can make those throws and I've done better with my footwork, and then just being able to lead and run this offense. I feel like I've had a good camp and [I'm] just trying to get better every day."

Asked where he'd like to get better moving forward, Trubisky said: "I would like to show the coaches that I can create more explosive plays of offense on the ball downfield and just make great decisions overall and run the offense. But really get on the same page with coach and just figure out where we're at and see what in his eyes I can continue to improve to either separate myself or get a good chance to lead this team.

"I'm going to have to talk with him to see what I can focus on throughout the week, but for me, it would be just showing I can make the explosive pass plays downfield and make great decisions within this offense."

Acquired in an offseason trade with the Jaguars, Foles is getting more familiar with the offense and his new teammates with each passing practice.

"I'd say each and every day I'm getting more and more comfortable," Foles said, "the more we rep plays, the more we talk through them and just the more I get comfortable with the guys out there. I'd say that's happening every single day."

As the competition approaches the finish line, Foles will continue to focus on executing the offense rather than winning the starting job.

"I've got to just be myself and go out there and play," Foles said. "When we go out there and practice, when [coach Nagy] calls a play or whatever plays during that period, I need to execute that play, and if for some reason the defense covers it, I need to be smart and move around, and then there was a couple times just throwing the ball away.

"I know they're looking at all our decision-making because it's a team sport, but as for right now, I've just got to be myself. I know everyone wants an answer to what it takes, but it just takes being myself and going out there and playing and letting them decide who's the best to lead the team, and no matter what happens, we're all a part of the Chicago Bears."

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