It’s difficult to do something profoundly pointless within the context of the already mostly pointless preseason games, but Matt Nagy found a way Thursday.
On a night when he sat a dozen starters against the Panthers, he made quarterback Mitch Trubisky endure the hassle of putting on shoulder pads and play for one riveting series before giving him earpiece duty the rest of the game.
Trubisky took the field deep in his own end and took three snaps. He handed off to Mike Davis three times, one being an impressive 12-yard gain, and exited on a fourth-and-one at his own 14-yard line. From there, it was Chase Daniel until halftime and Tyler Bray in the second half.
There’s no way Trubisky gained much from that, and neither did anyone watching.
“It’s mentally preparing himself,” Nagy said. “I just think it’s so important for some guys, and it could be good for Mitch, too, to stay mentally prepared, [go through] pregame warmups, then you get out there and get underneath the lights and take snaps from center.
“Even though it was just a couple handoffs, I feel like that part is good for him.”
The whole city is watching for any clues that Trubisky will make the leap the Bears need, but the maddening wait will last until the season starts. Nagy even went so far as to suggest his next live-action pass could be in the Sept. 5 opener against the Packers.
He believes the real work is taking place on the practice field.
Those results haven’t been amazing so far. Nagy and Trubisky have openly discussed the offense’s struggles in Bourbonnais. But Nagy isn’t worried and doesn’t think you should be. He sees Trubisky right on track.
“Yeah, no doubt,” he said. “I feel really good about where he’s at.”
While Trubisky will probably play a little more next week at the Giants and in the third preseason game at the Colts, that action won’t reveal much, either.
As Bears fans await a Super-Bowl-or-bust season that seems like it’ll tilt on Trubisky’s progress, they’ll have to hold their breath a little longer and ponder the future based on what they’ve seen thus far. How much optimism did Trubisky spark in a choppy season last year? But more importantly, how much trust has Nagy earned?
At this point, it should be a lot.
That credibility won’t last forever, but Nagy made almost every right move in his first season. If the man who led the Bears out of a seven-year playoff drought says Trubisky is on schedule, he deserves to have the benefit of the doubt.
There’s plenty for Trubisky to work on, but he won’t be doing much of it in these games. After Saturday’s final open practice in Bourbonnais, he won’t be doing it in public view at all.
Nagy doesn’t care about being proven right in a meaningless game in early August. His priority is to make sure one blindside hit or awkward step doesn’t derail the whole thing before Trubisky gets the chance to prove him right when it matters.