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Trubisky excited to compete for starting job

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Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky

Coach Matt Nagy reiterated Thursday night that Mitchell Trubisky is eager to battle for the Bears' starting quarterback position with Nick Foles.

"It's going to be a good situation for us, and when we talked with Mitch, the excitement and determination and fire he had at knowing that this is going to be an open competition, that's who he is," Nagy said during an appearance on the Bears All-Access radio show on WSCR 670 AM.

Nagy made a similar statement about Trubisky last Friday on a conference call with the media while discussing the open competition the Bears would hold for the quarterback job after acquiring Foles in a trade with the Jaguars.

Nagy said Thursday night that he believes Trubisky will make the biggest jump of his career in what will be his third season in the offense. "Absolutely," Nagy said, "and I think he would tell you the same thing.

"What I love about him is that he stays positive with that. He's hungry to get better. But then on our side, too, we need to make sure that we as coaches are putting these guys—not just the quarterbacks but everybody—in the best position possible so that we can be successful."

To that end, Nagy and his assistant coaches have spent the last couple months dissecting tape of last year's offense, trying to determine why it regressed. The unit ranked 29th in the NFL in both scoring (17.5 points per game) and total yards (296.8) in 2019 after finishing 10th in the league in scoring in 2018 (25.6 points).

"We've spent this whole offseason now looking at scheme evaluation and just taking a look at the 'why' part behind our offense and why it was so sluggish," Nagy said. "It's not just one reason. There are several reasons. The beauty for us is that we think we know what some of those answers are.

"Some of it is players, some of it is scheme, some of it is execution. But what's good for us is that we know that we can get a lot better, and all of us as competitors can't wait to get back out there so that we can do that and show everybody what our plan is. It starts with Mitch and he's excited for that opportunity as I know Nick is as well."

Last season Trubisky completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 3,138 yards with 17 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and an 83.0 passer rating.

He was at his best from Nov. 10-Dec. 5 when he led the Bears to four wins in five games by producing 13 touchdowns (11 passing and two rushing).

In back-to-back victories over the Lions and Cowboys, Trubisky threw three TD passes in both contests while posting stellar passer ratings of 118.1 and 115.5. He displayed mental toughness and resiliency, rebounding from an interception in both games to rally the Bears.

Against Dallas, Trubisky bounced back from an early pick to throw for three touchdowns and run for a fourth, fueling a 31-24 Thursday night win at Soldier Field.

"I can specifically remember Mitch going off to the sideline and it was just one of those dust-it-off-my-shoulder type deals and 'I'm going to come back here and gash 'em,' and that's exactly what he ended up doing," Nagy said. "It was beautiful. It was really neat. You could feel it. You could feel the energy with the crowd. You could feel the energy with our team.

"Those are the happy memories that we have. Those are what we know he can do, and I know he's really excited to go out there and give it everything he has and compete with Nick."

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