Bears QB competition still ‘completely open’
Bears coach Matt Nagy reiterated Wednesday that the quarterback competition is wide open and he must create an environment that will test Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky during practices.
The Bears spent the offseason saying that the most fair way to decide on their next starting quarterback would be to judge him in preseason games.
That’s not an option anymore — not after the NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to scrap the games in favor of a strength and conditioning run-up to practice during training camp.
Bears coach Matt Nagy knows he needs to create an environment that will test Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky during practices. And yes, he reiterated Wednesday — the quarterback competition is wide open.
“When we get a chance to go out there, we’re evaluating those quarterbacks with every single play,” he said.” Not just throw, but every single check that they make at the line of scrimmage, every bit of leadership that they show in and out of the huddle, we’re there watching how they react to a specific play in practice.
“That got squeezed down a little bit. But with that said, our coordinators are doing a heck of a job right now, as we sit here, of figuring out ways to maximize those competitive plays and periods. And we feel confident that we believe it’ll all play itself out. It’ll be completely open and we’re just going to take it day by day. And we’re excited to see that happen.”
General manager Ryan Pace said the goal for the competition is “letting it play our naturally, letting it come to us.”
Trubisky spent the offseason in the Chicago area and threw with Bears teammates in his free time. Foles didn’t — but that’s because he and his wife, who live out of state, welcomed a baby boy in mid-June.
Nagy said it will be a “disadvantage” that Foles was unable to throw with teammates in OTAs or during their free time.
“It’s something that he could have had that he doesn’t have,” he said. “But those guys know that. He understands that.”
Nagy said that, on the practice field, Foles will “be hungry to get back out there and just prove it on the field and try to build those relationships up that he lost.”
Offseason work might have given Trubisky a slight edge, but the Bears don’t expect it to be significant.
“They just need to be themselves when they’re out there, play football and let the results take care of themselves,” Nagy said. “They’re both really good people. So in the room, it’s going to be really good there. [Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo] is going to do a great job fundamentally getting them right.”
The team hopes to be so honest with the players, Nagy said, that neither quarterback should be shocked by whomever the Bears pick to start.
“If one of the quarterbacks is stinking it up and he’s playing like crap, we’re going to tell you, ‘You’re playing like crap,’” Nagy said. “And we’re going to tell you that in front of the other one. They’re both going to know when someone’s playing good and someone’s playing good or someone’s playing bad and someone’s playing bad. They’re going to know that. So when the time comes when we inevitably need to make a decision, trust me it’s not going to be a surprise to them.”