He started with flash cards.
In the two weeks after he was selected as the surprise No. 2 draft pick, Mitch Trubisky took the Bears’ playbook and condensed it into 3×5 cards to teach himself formations and phrasing.
“Just hours on hours,” he said. “I pretty much don’t stop studying until I feel comfortable. And then I go to bed, wake up and do it again.”
He got to show his work for the first time Friday.
After meetings Thursday and a short gathering Friday morning, Trubisky took the field at Halas Hall to lead the offense at rookie minicamp.
“When I’m out there, they want to see me run the show,” Trubisky said. “So it’s controlling the huddle, controlling the line of scrimmage, knowing my job and just executing it to a ‘T.’
“So I’m just going out there, trying to be a presence for the guys around me and just show them that I could potentially be the starter one day. Just get better every single play. Learn as much as I can. Be coachable. And be a great leader out here.”
Trubisky has two more days at the helm before ceding to Mike Glennon. The two still have yet to speak, though Trubisky said they’ve texted.
“So I’m looking forward to meeting him,” he said.
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is confident Trubisky will quickly master the basics — “Mentally he can handle anything,” he said — despite not huddling, calling plays or taking snaps under center often at North Carolina.
That inexperience showed. Trubisky bobbled the first snap in drills with running backs and the first snap in 11-on-11 competition. Loggains implored him and the other rookies to speed up the tempo.
“We need Mitch to understand that he’s a leader, he’s got full command out there on the field,” Loggains said. “He needs to feel our expectations for him as a quarterback and as a player.”
Coach John Fox hesitated to make any grand statements about his new quarterback, comparing the first day of practice to the opening of a bank, where every employee has their first day of work at the same time.
“I don’t know that we’re quite ready after one practice to define his career,” Fox quipped, “but obviously I think we put a lot of work into the evaluation and again saw a lot of the reasons [Friday] why we decided to pick him where we did.
“He’s very accurate, very smart. He’s got good football character, as far as transferring things from the meeting room to the field. And I think we saw that.”
The Bears will rework their practice schedule, starting with OTAs, to try to give Glennon and Trubisky ample snaps. Glennon has thrown only 11 passes since 2014, and Trubisky started only 13 games in college.
Unlike his years in Chapel Hill, an entire city will be watching Trubisky and wondering when he’ll become the starter. One example of his newfound spotlight: After recounting how he drove his 1997 Toyota Camry up from college — after taking it to the mechanic at the insistence of his agent and mother — he admitted Chicago car dealers had reached out to him on Twitter seeking endorsement deals.
He hasn’t responded yet.
“I’m just worried about ball right now and focusing on coming out here and doing my job,” he said. “When the time is right, hopefully I’ll upgrade the ride or just take care of my family.”
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