Mitch Trubisky says Bears made him play 'coaches' game'

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Mitch Trubisky says Bears made him play 'coaches' game' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Mitch Trubisky never stood a chance.

After all the truth and malfeasance revealed itself about the previous Bears' regime behind Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, it's all starting to add up.

Once the pair was fired after last season, the truth was unveiled about Nagy's attitude towards Mitch Trubisky. One team source via The Athletic says, "Mitch never checked the boxes for Nagy from Day 1."

But, according to Trubisky, he feels he did his part for the team.

“We won a lot of games," Trubisky said in an article with Sports Illustrated. (He recorded a winning 29-21 quarterback record while in Chicago.) "I’ve made a lot of big plays, I contributed to those winning teams and I knew I was a leader in those locker rooms. People can say whatever they want about it. I’m proud of my work there.”

Trubisky landed in Chicago after the team traded up to take him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft. The front office notoriously passed up on Deshaun Watson, who was a National champion at Clemson, and Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech.

The North Carolina star sat behind Mike Glennon in his first season with the team as they bridged the gap to him becoming a full-time starter. He put stats up on the board, throwing for a little over 2,000 yards and throwing seven touchdowns.

However, in 2018, he blew up. He helped the team to a 12-4 record on his way to his first and only since Pro-Bowl nod. He threw for around 3,200 yards and 24 touchdowns, while rushing for 421 yards and an additional three touchdowns.

Since that season, everything started going downhill. The team finished with back-to-back .500 records. Trubisky never replicated his performance in 2018 and commanded a below-average offense in the NFL.

Once the end of the 2020 season came, the Bears elected not to re-sign him to the team. In free agency, he landed with the Buffalo Bills as a backup to Josh Allen. But, while playing under Allen and Sean McDermott, he thrived and learned plenty to pair with his game.

“I would say I process quicker now. I know where I want to go with the ball,” Trubisky said. “I’m able to just trust my abilities and play a lot more free, not just go where the coach wants me to go with the football. I think it was a lot along the lines of just having a trust and being on the same page as the offensive coordinator. I felt like being in Buffalo, the quarterback had a lot more free rein to go where he wanted with the reads and go where he wanted with the ball, as opposed to Chicago.

“Even if you got a completion [in Chicago], I felt like sometimes it wasn’t necessarily what the coach wanted. They put you in a box a little bit more than you wanted to be, and I think that restricts you as a player. It’s just different experiences. In the end, we still won games. It’s just different team to team.”

It's no question Nagy misused Trubisky while he was in Chicago. Nagy ran Andy Reid's offense as one of his disciples. In that offense, the quarterback is restricted to the pocket more often than not. However, with a below average offensive line and a quarterback that thrives on the run, that combination of factors doesn't result in success.

But, after spending time in Buffalo and now landing on his feet in Pittsburgh, he's ready to compete. Trubisky, rookie Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph are in a training camp competition for the starting spot in Pittsburgh.

According to reports from Steelers' reporters, he thrived during the first week of training camp and received the most reps with the first team offense. He and Rudolph are exponentially ahead of Pickett, via the same reports.

“I want him to play and have fun,” head coach of the Steelers, Mike Tomlin said. “We hadn’t talked a lot about his experiences prior to getting here, because really in terms of what we’re doing it’s irrelevant. But I assume he’s experienced some negativity and so forth, and so I just want him to have fun. I want him to play fast and free. I don’t want to work with him overly concerned, thinking about making mistakes and things of that nature.”

Trubisky is poised with a second chance to redeem himself as a bona fide starter.

As for Chicago, their at the cusp of a rebuild under a brand new regime. Under head coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles, the Bears are trying to create a new culture and method of operating.

“In Chicago, they wanted me to play the coaches’ game," Trubisky said. "Call it whatever you will, that’s just how it felt to me. That was my experience, from what I saw in Chicago to what I saw in Buffalo.

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