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Idle Mitch Trubisky has Packers in his sights

The Bears quarterback is eager but not anxious for real football: ‘‘Thursday night will come around soon enough. We’re going to be ready for it.”

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears
Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky handed off three times, including this one to Mike Davis, in his only preseason appearance, Aug. 8 against the Panthers at Soldier Field. Those three plays are expected to be the extent of Trubisky’s preseason experience in 2019.
David Banks/Getty Images

Coming to grips with the reality that his preseason is over, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky seems to be successfully managing a challenging inner conflict — his passion for playing football vs. his Stepford-like desire to follow coach Matt Nagy’s grand plan of non-contact, bubble-wrap preparation for the season.

Four weeks into training camp, with nothing but reps, reps and more reps to show for it, Trubisky finally can see the Packers game coming. And seemingly with each passing minute, his focus increases on the Sept. 5 opener against Green Bay at Soldier Field. The great 2019 training-camp slog is almost over.

“Yeah, you want to play,” Trubisky said after practice Thursday. “But we get the opportunity in practice, and we know we only have to wait a couple more weeks, and it’s going to fly by and will be here before you know it.

“So for us, it’s just doing what we’ve got to do every day in practice, studying film, keeping an eye on Green Bay and making sure we’re developing and helping the young guys. Thursday night will come around soon enough. We’re going to be ready for it.”

In fact, when asked when his focus shifts fully to the Packers game, Trubisky replied, “It kind of has right now.”

Well, mostly.

“I learn the game plan every week for the preseason game and make sure I’m supporting the other guys,” Trubisky said. “Depending on what Coach has for us, making sure I’m flipping on Green Bay film — watching their games from last year and keeping an eye on what they’re doing [in the] preseason and looking out for the new guys they’ve added and studying as much as I can. So you just got to find that balance, but definitely I have my eye on ’em.’’

After an uneven performance at training camp at Olivet Nazarene, Trubisky and the offense have shown signs of progress in recent practices at Halas Hall. But with the first-team offense getting virtually no game-action snaps in the preseason, its preparedness for the Packers is a bit of an X-factor.

As left tackle Charles Leno said when asked how the offense is doing, “I’ll find out Week 1.”

And even Trubisky acknowledged that his confidence the Bears’ offense will hit the ground running against the Packers after playing only three token snaps in the preseason is based on trust and faith. This has never quite been done before.

“It’s just translating practice to the game,” Trubisky said. “Obviously, practice is different than the game, but you’ve just got to have confidence that the amount of reps that we’ve gone with the [first team] — which is a lot more than last training camp — just trusting that all that preparation and timing and work we’ve put in is going to translate to the game.”

Trubisky knows his role in making that work will be huge.

“Playing with confidence and doing my job,” he said, “playing within myself, within the offense and just trusting that the timing, all the work we’ve put in, is going to pay off. And just believing in my teammates mostly.”

Nagy remains confident in the process, which is expected to yield a more efficient Trubisky and an improved offense. He hasn’t made any bold promises, but he won’t be entering the regular season with a hope and a prayer. He likes what he has seen.

“I don’t think it’s an unknown,” Nagy said when asked if he knows what he’s going to get from Trubisky & Co. in Week 1. “I’m just going off what I see in practice — how do they practice? What do they show me? So many times in practice we simulate drives and we did the mock-scrimmage, and they handled that great. So that’s pretty much what I’m going off of.”