Last week Bears veteran guard Josh Sitton relayed a funny story to Green Bay reporters about rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's leadership skills.
"We started to break the huddle early and he said, 'Get the (expletive) back in the huddle, and don't break it until I break it,'" Sitton said during a conference call. "He kind of cussed at all of us linemen and I was like, 'Hell, yeah, I respect the (expletive) out of that.'"
A week later, Trubisky confirmed the authenticity of the anecdote to Chicago reporters, and explained why the nature of the position he plays requires such strong leadership.
"The quarterback position is a role of leadership and I feel just who I am as a person, I bring different types of leadership to the table," Trubisky said. "When I'm in the huddle, it is my huddle, and that's how it needs to operate and that's how we need to be more efficient.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky attempts a pass against the Ravens.
"It starts and stops with me. I just need to direct traffic, get everyone lined up, in and out of the huddle and make sure everything is crisp so that everyone is on the same page, and I'm going to continue to do that. But the most important thing for me right away was to earn the trust of my teammates and to show them how much I care so I can earn their respect in that when I say something in the huddle that it holds weight, and I think it has gotten to that point."
Avoiding sacks: As he prepares to make his sixth NFL start Sunday against the Lions, Trubisky continues to gain valuable experience. So far this season he has completed 51.3 percent of his passes for 809 yards with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a 75.6 passer rating.
The rookie quarterback has also been sacked 16 times, including five times in last Sunday's loss to the Packers. Trubisky is confident that he'll take fewer sacks once he becomes more familiar with the nuances of the system he's operating.
"This is a new offense," he said. "I was in North Carolina's offense for four years; knew it like the back of my hand and could probably throw a check-down without even looking.
"We're putting in new plays every week now, so it's a little different. In my development, I'll have to memorize where everything's at. I'm getting better with that each week, and some plays are better than others. I'm just going through progressions and what I'm comfortable with, so I need to keep doing that. I'll get better and get the ball out of my hands. It'll get better."
Stepping up: Trubisky appeared to develop some cohesiveness with receiver Dontrelle Inman against the Packers. Making his Bears debut two and a half weeks after being acquired in a trade with the Chargers, Inman caught a team-leading six passes for 88 yards.
"He's really smart and he's ball savvy," Trubisky said. "He runs really good routes and he catches the ball. He's getting open for us, creating separation and that makes it easier on me when the receiver's open. He did a good job and he caught the ball when it came his way, so it was good to see."
Trubisky has been working with different receivers seemingly on a weekly basis. While Inman, Kendall Wright and Joshua Bellamy were featured against the Packers, Tre McBride III led the Bears in receiving in their previous game against the Saints.
"It's been a challenge," Trubisky said. "We've also overcome it sometimes and other times it's hurt us. I think we finally figured that room out and who brings what to the table and we continue to get better and grow as a group, and we will. I like what I'm seeing, so we just need to continue to develop that rhythm and timing and keep building that chemistry."
Happy medium: Quarterbacks generally like to wing the ball down the field, but Trubisky insists that it isn't difficult to dump the ball off short if that's what the pass coverage dictates.
"I wouldn't say it's hard at all," he said. "Just take what the defense gives you; I was taught that at a young age. You're not going to throw a deep ball when they're playing soft coverage, and you're not going to force a check-down when you have an open receiver downfield.
"It's probably a happy medium, playing within the offense, within your timing and taking what the defense gives you. Whatever you see out there, just trust your eyes and feet, and that's what I've been doing. Just continue to get to the check-down and stay aggressive and taking the shots downfield as well."