After a longer-than-usual training camp and preseason, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been counting down the days until Sunday night's regular-season opener in Green Bay.
"A lot of anticipation leading up to the first game," Trubisky said Wednesday at Halas Hall. "It seems like it's been a long offseason, preseason and training camp heading into this opportunity, and I know the guys and myself are very eager for this game."
Because they have a first-year coach in Matt Nagy, the Bears started their offseason program two weeks earlier than usual and held an extra minicamp. They also reported to training camp earlier than normal to prepare for the Hall of Fame Game.
Trubisky's anticipation for the regular-season opener was fueled even more after he and most of the Bears starters were held out of the team's final two exhibition contests.
"Sitting out a couple of preseason games has just made this whole process that much more exciting," Trubisky said. "[It] makes me more antsy to get out there and get on the field and just go out there with my guys and try to make plays."
As the Bears' undisputed starting quarterback and a respected team leader, Trubisky enters his second NFL season in a much different position than a year ago when he opened his rookie campaign as Mike Glennon's backup.
"I feel a lot more comfortable in my role," Trubisky said. "I feel a lot more comfortable with the offense and what I need to do, and having more responsibility on my shoulders and just being more of a leader this year and more vocal and having guys look at me.
"I just feel like I know my job and I know what to do and I'm just a lot more comfortable and excited for the opportunity to just go out there and play with my guys. We've been waiting for a long time. Seems like the longest offseason [with] those five preseason games and [starters] not being able to play [a lot]. We're very anxious to get out there and just let loose."
Although Trubisky saw limited preseason action, he's been studying the offense since the offseason program began in early April and feels that he possesses a firm grasp of the playbook.
"I have a really good idea of what this offense looks like and where we're at and how we need to go about our business and execute our plays," Trubisky said. "More of the mystery is what they're going to run on defense."
That's difficult to predict because, just like the Bears offense, the Packers have a new scheme on defense with the arrival of coordinator Mike Pettine, who has spent 14 seasons as an NFL coach with the Ravens, Jets, Bills and Browns.
"I'm sure they haven't shown a lot in the preseason, but we know what the defensive coordinator's done in the past," Trubisky said. "You just try to be prepared as much as possible and then go out there and expect to execute your plays correctly and make the defense adjust to us. That's what we're trying to do, and I feel pretty good where we're at."
Nagy knows there's a pretty good chance the Packers will show Trubisky some looks he's never seen before.
"He's got to play it out in his mind and know our stuff," Nagy said. "So whatever's presented to him, how do you react to that? It's going to be a reactionary game for him, and that's our job as a staff to make sure that he can do that."
While Trubisky is operating an entirely different offense, he no doubt will benefit from the experience he gained last season when he started the Bears' final 12 games.
"There's no substitute for game reps," Trubisky said. "The more reps you see, the more defenses you see, the more and more comfortable [you get] and the game starts to slow down. I feel like everything that I saw and went through last year is going to help make me more comfortable this year."