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What a difference a year makes for Trubisky


Last summer Mitchell Trubisky arrived at Bears training camp as an untested rookie who sat third on the depth chart behind veterans Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez.

A year later, the 2017 first-round draft pick opens camp in Bourbonnais as the team's undisputed No. 1 quarterback, a respected leader and the potential face of the franchise.

"I feel a lot more comfortable than last year," Trubisky said Thursday. "I know my role. I know exactly what I need to do. I know the offense. I can just go out there and be myself.

"I know everybody on the team. I've earned their respect and trust and I'll continue to do so through my work ethic and how much I care about this team and this game."

Trubisky's comfort level extends to his grasp of a new offense that's being installed by first-year head coach Matt Nagy and new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

"I know exactly what I've got to do day-in and day-out to be prepared for practice and in meetings with the install," Trubisky said. "Taking very detailed notes, continue to go over those notes, asking questions in meetings, just being an active listener and doing what I've got to do to be prepared each day.

"I feel comfortable where I'm at within this offense; definitely way ahead compared to last year. And I think it allows me to play faster and process defenses quicker at the line of scrimmage."

Nagy isn't concerned that he's asking a relatively inexperienced 23-year-old quarterback to do too much because Trubisky is "such a valuable part of the puzzle." The second pick in last year's draft started the final 12 games of his rookie season, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 77.5 passer rating.

"That's our job as coaches to kind of corral that and make sure that we take care of him in certain ways," Nagy said. "We're teachers on that field. We're not yellers and screamers. That's not how we teach that position. We coach them and then we try to teach them on the whys.

"We just want him to control what he can control, listen to what we're teaching him and then go out there and play. The first time we get out there and play a real game in Lambeau, there's going to be hiccups. He's going to learn from that. Then we just continue to grow as the games go by.

"Mitch can handle all of it. He's a very mature kid for that age. We understand that. And he does not want us to pull back on him because of that. He wants us to load him up, see what he can handle, and that's what we've done."

While the Bears' first training camp practice is officially slated for Friday, Trubisky and fellow quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray worked out with the team's rookies in Bourbonnais Monday through Wednesday.

"It was kind of nice to get here a little early, be here with the rookies and some of the vets who were asked to come in and just get a little refresher back in the offense," Trubisky said. "It was nice to have a little break away, but it's good to be back and ready to get to work. For me, it's just to get better every day, master the offense, be good with my footwork, continue to take care of my body and lead this offense like I know how and like I need to."

Nagy has been impressed not only with Trubisky's retention of the system and physical abilities but his intangibles as well.

"He's very driven, very focused," Nagy said. "Those are generic terms, but the kid genuinely cares about the game of football and his position. He wants to be the greatest teammate on this team and he knows that if he does that, he'll make guys around him better."