Unless there’s a seismic shift in Bears coach Matt Nagy’s thinking, starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky won’t throw a single pass in a preseason game.
While the third-year pro would love to step into the huddle Saturday night in Indianapolis or next Thursday night against the Titans, Trubisky understands why he and other starters are being preserved for the regular season.
“You have to keep perspective and we continue to buy into the plan that coach Nagy has for us,” Trubisky said Thursday after practice. “So that’s No. 1 first and foremost.
“As a player and competitor and someone who loves the game, you want to play every opportunity you get. [But] if you don’t get it in the preseason, then come out here at practice and enjoy it as much as possible, put in the work and realize that we’re putting in the work for even bigger games, and that’s the regular season.”
Trubisky started the preseason opener Aug. 8 against the Panthers, but he exited after handing off three straight times on an opening three-and-out possession. He did not play last Saturday night against the Giants and is expected to be held out of the Bears’ final two preseason games.
That means that Trubisky will throw his next pass Sept. 5 in a Thursday night game when the Bears open the NFL’s 100th season by hosting the Packers at Soldier Field.
“You want to play, but we get the opportunity in practice and we know we only have to wait a couple more weeks and it’s going to fly by and it will be here before you know it,” Trubisky said. “So for us it’s just doing what we’ve got to do every day in practice, studying film, keeping an eye on Green Bay and making sure we’re developing and helping the young guys. Thursday night will come around soon enough. We’re going to be ready for it. Until then, we’re just putting in the work.”
Although Trubisky learns the game plan for every preseason contest so he can help fellow quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray prepare and play, the 2017 first-round draft pick is already focusing on the regular-season opener.
“I’m flipping on Green Bay film,” Trubisky said, “watching their games from last year, keeping an eye on what they’re doing in the preseason, looking out for the new guys they’ve added and studying as much as I can. You’ve just got to find that balance, but definitely I have my eye on them.”
While Trubisky and the rest of the No. 1 offense aren’t playing in the preseason, he’s confident that they’ll be able to translate what they’ve done in practice to the field once the regular season kicks off against the Packers.
“You just trust that your preparation has allowed you to go out there and hopefully be in that midseason form Game 1,” Trubisky said. “And so we’re just going to go out there, trust the plan that coach has got for us, trust all the reps and timing and practice that we put in and all the hard work. Just go out there, play loose, play confident and believe that all that work is going to pay off during that first snap for Game 1.”
In addition, the starting offense has benefitted from practicing on a regular basis against a defense that many consider to be the most dominant in the NFL.
“They definitely have made us a lot better,” Trubisky said. “We’ve always got to be on top of our game with our calls with our routes, me with my timing and ball placement because you don’t have much time to throw in the pocket against our defense, and the windows are going to be very small. I think that’s helped us evolve as an offense and me as a quarterback.”