Veteran backup Chase Daniel has been around a lot of young quarterbacks, and none of them has picked up a new offense any faster or better than Bears teammate Mitchell Trubisky.
"He's 100 percent there," Daniel said Monday. "He's one of the smarter young guys I've ever been around. You tell him something one time, he gets it and understands it and goes out and does it on the field. That's pretty cool to see. It's not the norm. I've been around a lot of guys who have to hear it multiple times. So as far as Mitch's mental capacity, it's all there."
An excellent resource for Trubisky, Daniel played in similar systems with the Chiefs from 2013-15 when Bears coach Matt Nagy was Kansas City's quarterbacks coach and with the Eagles in 2016 under coach Doug Pederson, who had worked with Nagy with the Chiefs.
Daniel, who has made just two starts in eight NFL seasons, backed up veteran Alex Smith in Kansas City and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees in New Orleans last year. But as far as a young quarterback's grasp of a new offense at this point in training camp, Daniel puts Trubisky at the head of the class.
"Alex and Drew were some of the smarter guys I've been around, but Mitch is right up there with them in terms of regurgitating the offense," Daniel said. "Coach will quiz him all the time during meetings, and he won't miss a beat. He's focused on it. He knows exactly what to say, what to answer, and guys see that in the room. It's not just the quarterback room, it's the whole room. Guys see that and are very impressed. That's how it should be with the quarterback."
Having worked together closely since the start of the offseason program in April, Daniel and Trubisky have developed an excellent rapport.
"We talk all the time," Daniel said. "It's starter and backup. That relationship has to be very strong. In our quarterback room, our bond is very strong. Mitch is starting to trust me and see what I'm seeing and what he's seeing, too. It's going really well. This is the time to work on our relationship because it's going to be big come the season."
Daniel mentored then-rookie quarterback Carson Wentz with the Eagles in 2016 and is applying some of the lessons he learned from that experience to his interactions with Trubisky.
"I have sort of learned when to step in and when not to step in," Daniel said. "Mitch I think wants me to step in a little more because he definitely understands that I've been in this offense a while. It's a little bit different than coach-speak versus on-field player-speak. So he's constantly coming up to me. I'm not trying to step on toes too much, but when he wants it, I'm going to give him advice."
Daniel is especially impressed with how Trubisky has learned and executed the offense given the demands placed on the quarterback in the system.
"It's a quarterback-centric offense," Daniel said. "Nagy puts a lot of stuff on the quarterback, and [Trubisky] hasn't missed a beat. He has exceeded my expectations, and I know he's exceeded the coaches' expectations in that time."