Player of the what? Bears QB Mitch Trubisky focused on the ‘process’ not honors
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What NFC Offensive Player of the Week award? What’s that? Who earned it?
Oh, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky did.
But for Trubisky and coach Matt Nagy, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen.
“It wasn’t talked about one time among us,” Nagy said Wednesday. “He didn’t bring it up one time to me. I didn’t bring it up one time to him.
“We talk about ‘poison the noise.’ We talk about earmuffs. We talk about horse blinders. Don’t worry about anything — you just keep playing. If you played a good game, great — now next game. And if you played a bad game — now next game. You just stay straight ahead, and that’s my job and our coaches’ job, to keep him focused. And he makes it easy because he doesn’t care.”
In other words, Trubisky’s outstanding performance in the Bears’ 34-22 victory against the Lions — which included throwing for a career-best 355 yards and accounting for four touchdowns — only was one game in a long season in which the Bears still have much to prove.
Nagy and Trubisky go back to their regular process together, even if Trubisky’s big game quieted some of his most relentless critics.
“You get recognized — it’s cool,” Trubisky said. “But people talked so bad about me last week, so why should this week be any different? So I got recognized for playing well. I expect to play well. Coach Nagy expects [me] to play well. I got better from the week before, so I’m embracing that process, just continuously getting better and better.”
At this point, it’s hard to argue that Trubisky isn’t. His play against the Lions stood out for a variety reasons.
“Just good feet, good eyes, and I just played with conviction,” he said. “I was just in a good [mindset] — just go out there and play confident. My teammates had my back, and it all came down to execution.”
In nine games this season, Trubisky has completed 190 of 290 passes (65.5 percent) for 2,304 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 101.6 passer rating. Since Week 4, his passer rating of 114.8 is fifth-best in the NFL. Overall, he ranks fourth in ESPN’s total QBR rankings.
Trubisky, in general, looks nothing like the quarterback he was the first three weeks of the season. He looks confident and poised, in control and more accurate.
But he doesn’t need the outside praise.
“I’m really not worried about any validation besides what’s in the building,” he said. “[I’m] just trying to earn the respect of my teammates and coaches, and I think I’ve done that by the way I’ve come and prepared every week and the way I work and how I respect my teammates and coaches.”
If anything, the player of the week honor validates Nagy’s process of developing Trubisky in his second season and implementing a complicated, QB-centric offense. It’s also validation of the Bears’ evolution under general manager Ryan Pace, whether it was drafting Trubisky, Anthony Miller and Tarik Cohen, signing Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton in free agency or leading the hiring process that resulted in Nagy.
Something is working for the Bears, or so it seems. They’re 6-3 and face the Vikings’ fourth-ranked defense Sunday night in a battle for first place in the NFC North.
They’re in this position because of linebacker Khalil Mack and outstanding defense, but also because of Trubisky’s emergence under Nagy. It’s working. The results speak for themselves — and the Bears prefer it that way.
“It’s just one week,” Trubisky said. “We’ve got another big week ahead.”