LAKE FOREST – Maybe fans shouldn’t have been surprised.
He’s was the biggest draft pick of the current general manager, and his failure to be a productive player at the position would reflect poorly on him. No. 10 has been in the Bears’ offense the longest of the two competitors for the quarterback spot, and a short offseason gave the newcomer less of a chance to learn it’s wrinkles.
So seeing the multiple reports on Friday night that Mitchell Trubisky has won the Bears’ quarterback competition over Nick Foles to start the opener on September 13th in Detroit didn’t really come as a shock to many.
Trubisky was the incumbent and with less time than usual to prep for the season and familiarity with the offense, Mitch had a head start. Plus Foles has shown success as a back-up quarterback filling in for the designated starter, especially during his second stint in Philadelphia.
He led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in January and February of 2018 after taking over for Carson Wentz late in the season. After a similar scenario played out that next season, Foles got Philadelphia back to the playoffs and an appearance in the NFC Divisional Round.
Matt Nagy will talk about why he’s decided to go this way during a scheduled news conference on Sunday afternoon at Halas Hall. While he’ll be asked about the factors that went into the decision-making process, the coach might get an inquiry into how long Trubisky has the job.
Naturally, if he succeeds, they’ll be no changes. But in the event he runs into a rut, which has happened at times in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Nagy could make a change quickly. While he stuck with Trubisky in 2019 when he was struggling mightily at times in October and November of last season, he’ll have a much more viable option in Foles this fall.
It’s new territory for Nagy, who could give recommendations in his previous job when it came to positions but was always up to his head coach (mostly Andy Reid) to make the call. The last time the Bears themselves made a quarterback change was back in Week 5 in 2017 when Trubisky was installed as the starting quarterback after four ineffective performances from incumbent starter Mike Glennon.
Perhaps Trubisky will have a chance to get off to a decent start in the first game of the season against the Lions considering his success against them since his first year. Trubisky has thrown for 11 touchdowns compared to four interceptions against Detroit, and has won his last three starts against them (Was injured for the Thanksgiving 2018 victory at Ford Field).
The Giants, Falcons, and Colts await after that before a Thursday night showdown with Tom Brady’s rebuilt Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 8th.
Success in the first four games should give Trubisky a shot to prove himself against one of the greats in NFL history. But if he stumbles before that, Nagy’s patience will be tested with a proven signal caller waiting on the sidelines.