Chicago Bears fans were looking forward to (or perhaps dreading) the training camp competition between quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the recently acquired Nick Foles. Trubisky struggled last season, and Foles could bring some much-needed stability to an underperforming roster. Initially, it seemed like the job was Foles’ to lose.
Then COVID-19 happened. Without any offseason programs or preseason games, having a competition of any kind got tougher. The Bears want their quarterbacks to compete, but during a conference call Wednesday, head coach Matt Nagy acknowledged that Foles may not get a fair shake in the early going.
Nick Foles is at a ‘disadvantage’ in QB competition
Foles and Trubisky are bound to be rusty after an offseason with no official programming, but it hurts Foles more. Trubisky knows the Bears’ system, most of the players and the coach. Foles is coming in cold, which will make it harder for him to win that starting job.
"I think for sure it's an absolute more of a disadvantage not having what he could've had, building the relationship and more specifically the timing with the wide receivers that you get in the OTAs, where you can route after route after route after route," Nagy said of Foles, via NFL.com. "You get to see and feel how guys time up their motions. For sure that would be a disadvantage. It's something that he could've had that he doesn't have. But those guys know that. He understands that.”
Nagy said Foles and Trubisky will be under a different kind of scrutiny. With no preseason games, they’ll be evaluated on every single practice rep.
"We need to be creative within these drills and make sure that the time that's given to us in practice, that we're using it as much as we can with competitive periods," Nagy said. "It's hard to do that in walk-throughs. It's hard to do that in meetings, even if they're in person. When we get a chance to go out there, we're evaluating those quarterbacks with every single play. Not just throw, but every single check that they make at the line of scrimmage, every bit of leadership that they show in and out of the huddle. We're there watching how they react to a specific play in practice.”
It seems like Trubisky has the advantage with all of his institutional knowledge and the total lack of preseason games. With limited ways for the two QBs to compete, it’s possible that Foles is on the sideline Week 1 while Trubisky starts. That might be distressing for Bears fans, but they can take solace in this: if the 2019 version of Trubisky shows up, Foles is almost waiting to take over.
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