10 Bears questions: On Mitch Trubisky as Jameis, rookie QBs & more
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Mitch Trubisky spent the week being Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, mimicking his presnap mannerisms to get the Bears’ defense used to his rhythms.
It didn’t take long for the Bears’ No. 2 overall pick to nail the former No. 1 pick’s main gesture: moving his head from side-to-side.
“He just continues to check back and forth, making sure everything’s set,” Trubisky said Friday. “That was the one main pickup that we had on him. And then also, when the play breaks down, he makes plays.”
While we wonder how many Winston will make Sunday, here are 10 more Bears questions:
1. How else can Trubisky act like Winston?
“When the pocket collapses, he’s able to extend plays — so the defense is wanting to see a little bit of that this week,” Trubisky said. “If he breaks out of the pocket, they may need to cover a little bit longer downfield and continue to pursue the ball.
“I think that’s something I bring to the table and something that hopefully will help the defense this week.”
2. How proud is Trubisky of the rookie quarterbacks that have started?
The Texans’ Deshaun Watson won his first start Thursday, while the Browns’ DeShone Kizer was the only Week 1 rookie starter.
“They said our rookie class was going to be weak as quarterbacks, so I like to see those guys succeed,” Trubisky said. “Hopefully I can have some success in the future as well.”
3. Wanna bet?
The Buccaneers have covered the point spread three times in their last 10 home games, including a 1-1 record against the Bears.
4. Will the Bears wear all-navy in Tampa?
No. They’ll pair navy jerseys with white pants while the Buccaneers wear white jerseys in 90-degree weather. Coach John Fox said he “particularly liked” the season-opening all-navy look, though.
5. Anything’s better than orange?
“I feel like that’s all I’ve been wearing since I’ve been here,” wide receiver Markus Wheaton said of the ‘no-contact’ practice jersey he’s been wearing while recovering from left pinkie surgery. “I’m so tired of it. But it is what it is. Hopefully I’ll be in blue pretty soon.”
6. Where’d the Bucs go early this week?
With Hurricane Irma heading toward Tampa, Florida, Buccaneers ownership chartered flights for 130 players, coaches and staffers to Charlotte, North Carolina, to wait out the storm.
Some players went elsewhere: Winston to Alabama, and Mike Evans to Galveston, Texas. When they reported to practice Wednesday, some players’ homes were still without power.
“We wanted to play the first game but it didn’t happen, so that’s out the window,” Evans said. “We just want our families and our homes to be safe, and most people came out pretty clean.”
7. But it could have been worse?
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Tampa was “very lucky” to avoid the brunt of the storm. He hopes to focus his team.
“You’ve gotta adjust, improvise and move on, and hopefully we’ll able to do that successfully,” he said. “We won’t know that until Sunday.”
8. Who’s the pride of Naperville?
Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate, who had 57 catches for 660 yards last season, went to Naperville Central before attending Harvard, where he was two years ahead of Bears practice-squad tight end Ben Braunecker.
Braunecker said Brate didn’t necessarily give him hope he’d play in the NFL, too — “Just because someone makes it from the school doesn’t mean you’re going to do the same,” he said — he was proud of his friend.
“He’s doing a great job for himself right now,” Braunecker said.
9. Why did Tom Compton walk out for the coin flip Sunday?
Josh Sitton told his fellow guard to go instead because Compton played for the Falcons last year.
“It was a good gesture on Josh’s part,” Fox said.
10. Will Kyle Long return to the scene of the crime?
The guard’s season-ending ankle injury happened at Raymond James Stadium last year. It’d be fitting for him to return there. Long was more focused on Week 1
“But now we’re here and it is Tampa,” he said. “I got carted off there last year, which is no fun.”
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.