The second-year quarterback that Matt Nagy mentored into one of the league’s most intriguing prospects will play Saturday at Soldier Field.
Mitch Trubisky will be there, too.
Before Nagy was hired to build an offense around Trubisky, he taught his scheme to rookie Patrick Mahomes, who the Chiefs drafted No. 10 overall last year, eight spots behind Trubisky. Nagy did such a good job grooming him that the Chiefs traded starter Alex Smith this offseason and handed the keys of the offense to the rocket-armed 22-year-old.
One reason the Bears hired Nagy was because he had experience on both fronts last year, coaching the veteran Smith, but also teaching a rookie how to adjust to the NFL. Nagy has said that doing both “made me a better person and a better coach.”
Both players will be linked through Nagy for the rest of their NFL careers, and by fans debating which among them and the Texans’ Deshaun Watson was the cream of the 2017 quarterbacking class.
Trubisky started 12 games last season, while Mahomes was limited to one — in Week 17 when the Chiefs had clinched their playoff spot. He went 22-for-34 for 284 yards.
The two are different in how they act, Nagy said, but not how they think.
“One of the neat things about . . . the quarterback position in general is there are so many guys that are different in regards to how they handle themselves,” Nagy said. “Patrick’s more of a guy that’s going to show more of his competitiveness out on the field. It’s going to show in a good way. He has a great balance of understanding the confidence that he has not only in himself, but in his teammates and his coaches. So he obviously has a live arm, he’s more mobile than what people think, he’s a tough kid and he’s a gamer.”
Nagy said Trubisky is more introverted on the field.
“It’s the same thing with Mitch,” Nagy said. “See, Mitch is just as competitive. It’s just a different way of how he handles it.”
Trubisky and the former Texas Tech quarterback got to know each other during the draft process.
“He’s got that gunslinger mentality as well — he likes to sling it all over the field, and he’s a competitor,” Trubisky said. “Pat’s a really good dude. I got to know him a little bit, but yeah he’s been with coach Nagy before and we both run similar offenses. It’s kind of cool to see.”
Tyler Bray, the Bears’ third-string quarterback, has played alongside both. He said Nagy excelled in helping Mahomes and Trubisky by customizing his style to their strengths.
“They’re both great teammates,” he said. “They obviously are passionate about football. They’re going to go out and give it their all every day. And they both know how to win.”
Both teams hope so.
“I think [Nagy] did a great job with both of them,” Bray said. “We’ll see how it works out.”