One day after quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s strange claim that he’d been told not to talk about the most disappointing game of his career, Bears coach Matt Nagy said he was given no such instructions by the coaching staff.
“Let me just tell you this — it didn’t come from me,” Nagy said.
Rather, Nagy hinted that Trubisky took behind-the-scenes talking points for his news conference too literally.
“What I’m trying to say is that I think the message that was being portrayed to him was, ‘Listen, we’re on to the next deal,’ ” Nagy said. “And it probably came out different than how he wanted it to come out.”
Nagy recalled a moment on training camp move-in day in July, when Trubisky received quizzical looks from reporters when he listed the little things he wanted to improve, starting with “cleaning up in the locker room.” He was referencing the notion of “sweeping the shed” — leaving things better than you found them — from “Legacy,” a book Nagy quoted to his players at length.
“See? He’s very honed in to when he hears something,” Nagy said. “To me, that’s how I took it.”
The fact that Nagy was forced to tamp down the tempest speaks to the pressure surrounding Trubisky after the Bears’ 10-3 loss to the Packers. After playing three preseason snaps, Trubisky looked out of sorts in the season opener, posting a 62.1 passer rating in an offense that never found its rhythm.
Trubisky’s every word has been parsed since — immediately after the game and again Wednesday, when the quarterback looked at a public-relations staffer before saying he “was told not to talk about the last game.”
Trubisky eventually discussed the loss, but the clumsy exchange opened the quarterback up to questions about his ability to process a tough outing — and the franchise to concerns that it was overly protective of the 25-year-old, third-year player. At the least, it added an unnecessary layer, one other quarterbacks didn’t have to deal with, to a crucial week for Trubisky.
Nagy painted the picture of a passer who was more upbeat in practice Wednesday than behind the podium.
“He’s out there smiling and giggling out at practice and having a good time and that, to me, is what’s important,” Nagy said. “We’re gonna be focused in meetings, and there’s going to be times where you really got to zone in and make sure you’re extremely focused — as long as you’re not letting it affect your practices. And [Wednesday] I didn’t see that at all with him.”
Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, who has talked openly about Trubisky being hard on himself, said coaches monitor the quarterback’s mindset each week.
“You’re always playing that role: the psychoanalysis of maybe being too confident when [it] really wasn’t maybe a play that you made, versus a situation like this,” he said. “That’s something you deal with at every level, forever, at that position.”
When an NBA team loses, he said, it often has only 24 hours until the next game.
“We have to wait 10 days and let it sour,” Helfrich said. “That might be a good thing, too.”
But only to a point. The Broncos await Sunday.
“The message within our building — not just to [Trubisky] but to everybody — is, ‘We’re moving on,’” Nagy said. “We’ve got to worry about what’s up next.’ ”