Bears rookies: Mitch Trubisky needs to be himself, not a superhero
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Running back Tarik Cohen has four games under his belt, but that’s enough experience to know that putting unrealistic expectations on a fellow rookie doesn’t help matters.
When he saw Mitch Trubisky on Monday, he had advice for the Bears’ new starting quarterback.
“I told him I don’t feel like he needs to be a superhero,” Cohen said. “We’re in this together as a team, and we’re going to be supporting.”
Adam Shaheen, his summertime roommate, told Trubisky to relax — “Don’t let all the media pressure and everybody get to you,” he said — and fellow rookie Eddie Jackson agreed.
“I told him, ‘Be you, man,’ ” Jackson said. “He’s a gamer. He’s a ballplayer, man. He gets out there and sees things differently. He gets under control, and he makes plays. That’s something we look forward to seeing.”
The Bears’ draft class ultimately will be judged by what Trubisky can accomplish, beginning with his first career start Monday. The game against the Vikings will be the first time all year that all active members of the Bears’ 2017 draft class will play in the same game. It’s the manifestation of a promise made to the rookies by LaMar Campbell, the Bears’ player-development director, after they were drafted: They’d have their chance to play, and play well.
“That’s something we talk about among each other,” Jackson said. “We have to play our part. Coach [John] Fox told us, ‘No one is too young to lead.’ We have to show those guys they can depend on us. They can hold us accountable for the things we do on and off the field.”
After putting fifth-round guard Jordan Morgan (shoulder) on injured reserve at the end of camp, the Bears started the season with four healthy members of their draft class.
Jackson, a safety selected in the third round, has started all four games. Cohen, a fourth-rounder, has been a revelation. He’s averaging six yards per carry and has 10 more catches than anyone else on the team, with 24.
The Bears will change with Trubisky under center — think more bootlegs and rollouts — and that could help Shaheen. The team’s second-round pick and third tight end has only one reception, a two-yard touchdown.
The two are close, though Shaheen said he and Trubisky never daydreamed about playing in a game together. If anything, he said, they hoped to get better to put themselves in a position to earn playing time.
Like coaches have done all week, Shaheen stressed that players can make Trubisky’s life easier Monday by doing their jobs well.
“He’s gonna do great,” Shaheen said. “I just told him, ‘Relax, go out there and do you,’ and it’ll happen for you.”
They’ll be watching.
“I told him, ‘Good luck. Be you. You know you’re ready for this. You worked hard for it,’ ” Jackson said. “He’s a humble guy. He sits back, works hard, doesn’t complain about anything. He’s ready to take advantage of his chance, and we’re happy for him.”
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.