How is Mitch Trubisky maximizing his OTA work with the Bears?

How is Mitch Trubisky maximizing his OTA work with the Bears?

Mitch Trubisky has focused his attention during OTAs on learning Dowell Loggains’ offensive verbiage, improving his footwork and developing his pre-snap responsibilities. What he’s not focused on: Under-center snaps, progressions and contracts.

Trubisky is the only Bears draft pick yet to sign, but that’s not something the North Carolina product seemed to particularly care about in early June. 

“That's not really for me to worry about,” Trubisky said. “I’m going to be out here at practice everyday. My agent and the Bears organization is going to handle that. But I'm not really sure how that stuff works. I'm here to play football, I'm not worried about contracts.”

The Bears completed their eighth of 10 OTAs on Tuesday, then have next week’s veteran minicamp as the last part of their offseason program before the team reports to training camp July 26. The laid-back nature of OTAs have allowed Trubisky an opportunity to see what’s necessary to succeed both on and off the field in the NFL. 

Trubisky expected to increase his time commitment to football, but now has an idea of how much time is necessary to study “all day, all night” and take care of his body with training camp a month and a half away. 

“It's all about how much time you want to put in,” Trubisky said. “So for me it's been a huge focus, block out everything else and just come here and do my job. It's been nice the only thing I have to worry about is football, so it's been a lot of fun.”

The Bears made it clear after drafting Trubisky that Mike Glennon would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2017, and Glennon’s forceful affirmation of that last month likely helped foster a good working atmosphere. Trubisky said the Bears have a “great” quarterback room between Glennon, Connor Shaw, Mark Sanchez and position coach Dave Ragone, which is the kind of drama-free relationship John Fox would want. 

Within that quarterback room, Trubisky isn’t having to spend valuable time working on all of the most basic parts of playing the position. He’s smoothly transitioned to taking snaps under center, and the offense he ran at North Carolina had him go through progressions — something that’s not always the case for up-tempo, shotgun-spread college offenses. 

There’s plenty to work on, of course, but Trubisky sounds like someone who’s right where he should be at this stage of his development. 

“I can throw the football and do all the stuff that comes natural,” Trubisky said. “It’s just mastering the offense and being in charge at the helm of the offense. That’s where I need to continue to grow. That takes time. So I just keep coming out here and working on it and try to lead every day.”

Can Deiondre' Hall overcome on- and off-field hurdles to make an impact with Bears?

Can Deiondre' Hall overcome on- and off-field hurdles to make an impact with Bears?

Rookie Deiondre' Hall flashed in the preseason a year ago, leading the Bears coaching staff and fans to believe they found something amidst their trio of 2016 fourth round draft picks. 

He’s hoping to do the same this August after overcoming one physical hurdle, while waiting to see if he can get past a legal hurdle he created for himself.

Let’s start on the field, where, just days after his first NFL interception in the fourth game last season, he sustained an ankle injury in practice, sidelining him for two months. Once his walking boot and scooter were finally put away, he was active for the final four games. But what progress he’d been making on the field was difficult to recapture.

“Just coming off the injury, there was a little rust here and there, but the training staff here’s great and I had to push through it,” Hall said at last week’s minicamp in Lake Forest after he was one of numerous Bears hit by the injury bug, but not one of the 19 who wound up on Injured Reserve. “(I was) getting comfortable with the defense and in myself playing with those guys out there, getting the opportunity in the red zone and making plays. But the injury kinda sucked because I haven’t really had an opportunity to play since Week 5, so I’m not necessarily starting fresh.”

As the offseason unfolded, Hall was informed the coaching staff was going to try him at safety, if not permanently, then as an option for the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Northern Iowa product. 

But Hall’s not totally foreign to the position. He was a free safety his first year in college, then transitioned to outside linebacker/nickel as a sophomore, moved to cornerback as a junior before breaking his hand his senior year, playing through it back where he started at safety. So the decision wasn’t a big deal, especially if it enhances his chances to get on the field. But his preference?

“Defense. Opportunity,” Hall responded. “You get in where you fit in and the more you can do, the better it is for the team. If opportunity presents itself at corner, then I’m at corner. But right now at safety, I’m making strides (there) and keep pushing for that.”

“We’re gonna float him back and forth,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said last month, after the Bears signed free agent cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in the off-season, while Bryce Callahan and Cre’Von LeBlanc are expected to battle for slot duty and former first-rounder Kyle Fuller and veterans Johnthan Banks and B.W. Webb hope to impress. “He (Hall) had some experience there in college. When it comes down to picking your team and you’re taking nine or 10 DBs, if someone’s got versatility to play both of those spots, that helps, so we’re gonna see if he’s one of those guys.”

But before Hall gets back to work in Bourbonnais, he’ll find out if he has some other dues to pay. Hall was back at his alma mater’s Cedar Falls campus March 26th when he and a former UNI teammate were arrested outside a bar called Sharky’s. Police had responded to a call, and by the time all was said and done, Hall needed to be tased before being arrested on charges of public intoxication, interference (with an arrest), and disorderly conduct. 

The case was continued late last month and Hall’s jury trial is scheduled for July 11th. Pending the outcome, he could face disciplinary action from the team and the NFL. He’s told his side of the story to Bears management and while expressing remorse for putting himself in the situation, Hall says it wasn’t in character and feels confident in what the outcome will be.

“People make mistakes and the truth always comes out,” the 23-year-old said, adding the situation isn’t weighing on his mind or affected his preparation in off-season workouts. “You gotta let people make their own mistakes. I won’t shed light but the truth always comes out, and (I’ve learned) just don’t take anything for granted.”

“My main focus is football and keep pushing to make strides to become good, and great.”

Bears announce training camp schedule

Bears announce training camp schedule

The Bears released their official training camp schedule Thursday morning. After reporting to Olivet Nazarene on Wednesday, July 26, the first of ten practices open to the public will take place the following day. The Bears will be based out of Bourbonnais for the 16th straight season. Training camp will go through Sunday, Aug. 13 before the Bears break camp and finish the preseason in Lake Forest. 

All practices are tentatively scheduled to start at various times during the 11 a.m. hour with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 13, which starts at 12:05 p.m. Those times are subject to change based on weather, and a varying set of schedules that John Fox and his coaching staff have set up, as they adjust to player and training staff preferences in hopes of reducing injuries. 

Also, new this season, fans wanting to attend practices must order free tickets in advance through the Bears website. Fans will not be allowed in without a ticket, and the first 1,000 fans each day will be given various souvenirs. The practice campus will be open to the public with tickets from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Here is the full training camp schedule: