Not much has changed in the last several weeks when it comes to the bromance between quarterback Mitch Trubisky and tight end Adam Shaheen.
The Bears’ first- and second-round picks have been living in the same hotel since rookie minicamp began in May. And Trubisky still is coming home late, while Shaheen is asleep.
“He’s still getting after it,” Shaheen said Thursday.
Trubisky’s extra work at Halas Hall not only has resulted in a successful preseason for him, but seemingly a change of plans for the Bears. Trubisky has played well enough — and Mike Glennon poor enough — to force the Bears’ hand on his own development plan.
The Bears have taken snaps with the starters away from Glennon this week in practice, and they’ll do so Sunday against the Titans in the second half.
While it’s thought that Trubisky’s first-team work could elicit better play from Glennon, what really matters is what Trubisky does with it. It’s an opportunity for both players to respond.
Trubisky could thrive in the spotlight with better players, or he could fail.
At this point, though, the latter would be surprising. Those close to Trubisky haven’t sensed a change in his approach or mannerisms, though his excitement is apparent.
“He’s going to be just fine,” Shaheen said. “He’s a humble guy. It shows up not just on the field but in the locker room and stuff. He’s a good guy. I think he handles it well. He carries himself very highly.”
Undrafted rookie receiver Tanner Gentry emerged as a go-up-and-get-it threat for Trubisky on the field in Bourbonnais — “I like the trust,” Gentry said — but he also became a new friend off it.
“He’ll be just fine,” Gentry said. “I don’t think this is too big for him at all. He’s played in big games in college. I don’t think he’s going to worry too much if he’s with the starters or with the backups. I don’t think that matters to him. I think he knows what he does well and knows his strengths, and he’ll go out there and perform.”
That’s just not a friend talking, either.
Gentry can point to actual on-the-field changes in Trubisky. For example, his huddles have become “more calm,” Gentry said. Trubisky still might be learning on the job, but he’s not overwhelmed.
“At first, he was kind of tense in the huddle, trying to make sure he was calling the play right and knowing all of his assignments,” Gentry said. “You can tell he’s definitely getting more comfortable in the offense.”
Receivers also know when they’re playing with someone special.
“[It’s] just the way he plays, man,” said veteran Victor Cruz, who spent six seasons with Giants quarterback Eli Manning. “There are certain throws and certain plays that he makes that you see like, ‘OK, that’s different. That’s not a guy that’s a free agent or anything like that.’ He’s a guy that put it together and was drafted highly as we know, and his skill set proves it.”
Again, Cruz would know. He has played extensively with Trubisky and the third-team offense since training camp started. In the preseason opener against the Broncos, Trubisky targeted Cruz six times and connected for three catches and a two-yard touchdown.
“[Trubisky is] just growing every day,” Cruz said. “You can tell he’s getting more and more comfortable with the playbook, and that allows him to play freely.”
In other words, it sounds as if Trubisky is in a good place heading into Sunday.
“[He] is really playing freely and has a good grasp of the offense right now,” Cruz said. “And he’s just leading the show.”
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