Bears coach Matt Nagy inspired 1,000 blogs and 10,000 snarky tweets this winter when he detailed what he wanted to see from Mitch Trubisky in 2020:
"Number one is going to be--we talked about decision-making, but I want him to be a master at understanding coverages, you know?" Nagy said at the team's end-of-season press conference on December 31st. "So when these defensive coordinators, they have different ways of showing different coverages, and they're good at it. Our first year here, I thought Mitch did a really good job of understanding the importance of getting in and out of the huddle with the verbiage that we have.
"We've also learned, not just with him but with our players, how to use that. The next step, we talked about it last year, was level 202, right? Now, how do you see the defense? Is that front, stunts, blitzes? Is that first Y vision with a shift in the mike, a rotation? Let's now put that all together and understand how defenses are going to try to trick you, and let's not get tricked."
The 'master of understanding coverages' grabbed headlines – both serious and extremely not – for the next few news cycles, and in hindsight was clearly the starting gun in the team's coming quarterback comeptition. On Friday afternoon, both quarterbacks in said competition talked to the media for the first time during 2020's "training camp," and Trubisky spoke to what he thinks becoming a 'master of coverages' entails. And while those around Halas Hall have always had laudatory things to say about Trubisky's work ethic in the film room, this summer's given the QB a chance to reevaluate how he's watching film.
"I think it's just being more detailed," he said. "How you're studying film, how you're labeling coverages as an offense and really as a whole staff. How we're talking through plays, getting guys on the same page and we're all thinking like one mind. When we're seeing something as a defense, we're all reacting the same way and we're identifying it the same way and communicating it the same way as well so we're able to play faster. Seeing a lot of different coverages and making sure everyone is seeing the same thing."
Skepticism regarding how much that'll translate on the field is fair, and Trubisky will be the first one to admit that. But outside of hanging with his girlfriend and the occasional round of golf, the Bears' QB has spent his summer – like everyone else – holed up at home in Chicago. That's a lot of time spent watching a lot of unflattering tape.
"So I watched a lot of ball over this past year and over the summer and you see the mistakes," he said. "You see really good plays. You see some really bad plays. And you see just some dumb things that just shouldn't happen. But I think everyone just being on the same page and doing their jobs and me making smart decisions, that's where you see a lot of the good plays happen. And so I think all the bad mistakes, they're easily correctable, and I think you just talk through those things to be on the same page with your guys."