Allen Robinson II, the team's leading receiver last season, describes a palpable change in the atmosphere around the team.
"I even felt a little bit of difference in myself going into the 10-10-10 practice we had on Sunday," said Robinson. "Just as far as for myself, I could feel the focus really start to hone in and really start to zero in on the scheme that we're running, things that I'm looking at pre-snap, even how I'm seeing the ball and everything like that."
Robinson is locked in as he prepares to enter a new season with a revamped offensive staff and a whirlwind of outside events hovering over the NFL: the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing Black Lives Matter protests and a contentious presidential election.
"As athletes, we have the ability, I feel—most guys do—to be able to really lock in with certain things like that," said Robinson. "This is what we live for. We live to play the game, we live to play on Sundays, and we're blessed to be able to do that."
Robinson isn't describing a complete change in trajectory. Anthony Miller, primed to take a larger role in his third season with the team, says that Robinson has been sharp the entire offseason.
"ARob's always been focused," said Miller. "I haven't seen a change in his mindset at all. He's always been the same ARob. And he's been getting better each and every day, just like I have and all receivers [have]. He's been a big contribution to this offense, and we're glad to have him."
Robinson says his younger teammate Miller has matured in the offseason, particularly when receiving coaching. Miller battled inconsistency in 2019 but came on strong in the final stretch of the season.
"Whether it's coming from coach [Matt] Nagy or coming from [Bill] Lazor or coming from coach [Mike] Furrey, he's being able to apply that very soon," said Robinson. "Whether it's how to run a specific route or something to see, he's able to really adjust to that and take that coaching and get it done expeditiously. I think that's something in this league that you want to be able to do. You want to be able to correct small little things that may make the play be better right then when you can do it."
The receiving corps received a little more certainty about the offense this weekend when Mitchell Trubisky was named the team's starting quarterback over offseason acquisition Nick Foles. Robinson felt that the competition played out evenly.
"I wasn't scrutinizing the quarterback competition too much at all," said Robinson. "I know the biggest thing for myself was just focusing on how I can be a better player and be a better receiver and also how I can lead the group. At the same time, it was nothing that would have told me to lean one way or the other."
Miller believes that Trubisky improved over the offseason.
"With Trubisky being the starter, we've been getting better this camp," said Miller. "I've been seeing changes in him that I've never seen before. We're just eager to get to the season. We're ready to play the Lions."
Miller cited Trubisky's improvement with his footwork and decision-making as the principal changes he saw in the fourth-year quarterback. Robinson believes that Trubisky's work ethic and determination won him the job.
"Training with Mitch early in the spring and leading up into training camp," said Robinson, "I was out there all those days with him when he was putting in the work. Constantly. Some days there may just be a couple of us out there. I mean, to see him start is not surprising at all. When you put in the work, you get the results."