Gatorade came in handy for Mitch Trubisky on Monday.
“Just let me take a sip of this,” the Bears quarterback said, needing a moment to compose himself after being asked about LeBron James leaving his hometown Cavaliers.
“Yeah, it’s tough. It’s tough,” Trubisky said after a deep, audible sigh. “The city of Cleveland, the Cavaliers took a hit [Sunday]. Not much to say. [It was] a personal decision . . . his choice and I’m just excited about the Chicago Bears now. It’s football season as far as I’m concerned. I’m ready to go. I’ll continue to watch LeBron and see what he does. But it’s football season now.”
Trubisky spoke at a Gatorade-sponsored appearance at the
Offense-Defense youth football camp at North Central College in Naperville, advising campers on the importance of staying hydrated during workouts and practices in the summer heat.
He was clearly comfortable in the grass-roots football environment with kids of all shapes and sizes in grades 1-12. But he turned a bit wistful when asked about
LeBron. “I knew this one was coming. I knew it,” he said before taking a moment to respond.
“It is what it is. I was a LeBron fan — wanted him to stay in Cleveland for the hometown team. But he made a decision for his family — I think you’ve got to respect that. It’s a lot different now that I’m a pro athlete, you kind of understand there’s a lot of things that go on behind the scenes and things you’ve got to think about — think about your family, yourself and what’s best for your future. So I’ve gained a new perspective on what other athletes in different sports and our sport have to think about and consider when deciding on their careers.”
Trubisky showed up in Naperville with a new look — a beard that served as an appropriate metaphor for the second-year quarterback: it shows promise after a fast start, but definitely needs some work to become a finished product that will truly be admired by friends and foes.
“Doing a little experimentation,” Trubisky said of the facial hair. “It’s been real busy, so I haven’t gotten around to [shaving] it. But I’ve gotten some compliments, so I think I might keep it going.”
Trubisky has had a busy offseason. Besides the offseason program that ended in early June, he hosted a four-day football camp in his hometown of Mentor, Ohio, with teammates Cody Whitehair and Michael Burton. He also was the keynote speaker at prep sports banquets hosted by the Rockford Register Star, Springfield State Journal-Register and Peoria Journal Star last month.
And though it’s still more than two weeks away, Trubisky is eager for the start of training camp in Bourbonnais. Players report on July 19 and open practice on July 20.
“I’ve been real busy, but I’ve been itching [to start] the whole time,” Trubisky said. “I’m ready to get back. Excited to see all the guys. Got a couple of more days, so just going to continue to lock in on training and make sure I’m ready to go.”
A year ago, Trubisky headed to training camp as the No. 3 quarterback, with no chance to win the starting job. Now he’s the starter, with everybody behind him. The optimism — or at least the enthusiasm — is as great as it has been since at least Marc Trestman’s first year in 2013.
“You can definitely feel it. We’re ready to go,” Trubisky said. “It’s all about execution on the field. All the outside excitement is great, but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t do what we’ve got to do on the field.
“We’re ready to go back to work. I think just our hunger and passion that we’ve had this whole summer is going to roll into training camp. That’s what I’m excited to see.”