Chicago Bears

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.”

With return to Tennessee looming, football is fun again for Kendall Wright

8-21kendallwright.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

With return to Tennessee looming, football is fun again for Kendall Wright

Sunday will mark Kendall Wright’s first trip back to Nashville since he not-so-amicably split with the Tennessee Titans after the 2016 season. 

Wright has said he doesn’t want to talk about his time in Tennessee, where injuries and clashes with coaches led to a steady decline in targets and production after a standout 2013 season (139 targets, 94 receptions, 1,079 yards). But it’s easy to compare how he feels practicing with the Bears to how he felt toward the end of his days with the Titans. 

“A fresh start is good,” Wright said. “Football is fun again. 

“If you don’t have fun playing the game, what the use of you playing? And I didn’t really have too much fun the past few years. But when you’re out here playing and doing what you love to do, it’s fun. So you just gotta keep the game fun.”

Wright was a little more forceful earlier this year. 

“What motivates me the most is I probably was the best receiver on the Titans roster last year and I was playing, like, 10 plays a game,” Wright said during OTAs in June. 

But while this weekend’s game against the Titans could seem to be an opportunity for revenge, Wright is more approaching it for what it is — another preseason game to continue to improve with the rest of the first team offense. 

Wright caught a touchdown from  Glennon Saturday night in Arizona (he also was the target on Glennon’s interception, though that looked to be more on the quarterback than the receiver). And he seems to be clearly ahead of Victor Cruz to be the team’s No. 1 slot receiver — Cruz wasn’t targeted against Arizona, while Wright received three targets. 

If the Glennon-led first-team offense is going to have success in the regular season, it needs improvements from every unit — quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and offensive line — based on what we’ve seen during the preseason. Perhaps a motivated, fun-having Wright, playing for the same offensive coordinator under which he had his best season, can be a part of that. 

“The game of football is supposed to be fun,” Wright said. “Don’t take the fun out of it. You just gotta go out there and have fun and make plays. When you’re making plays, it’s even more fun.” 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: John Fox hasn't decided who will get first-team QB reps on Sunday

8-20mitchtrubisky.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: John Fox hasn't decided who will get first-team QB reps on Sunday

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Phil Rogers (MLB.com) and Anthony Herron (670 The Score) join Kap on the panel. 

John Fox hasn’t decided who will get reps with the first-team in Sunday’s all-important third preseason game? Could Mitch Trubisky get a look with the ones?

Javy Baez hustles and scores the winning run for the Cubs. Is his the most entertaining athlete in Chicago? Plus will Nicky Delmonico still be on the White Sox in a few years when they are ready to contend for the postseason?

Listen to the full epidsode here