Finale vs. Vikings will provide Bears’ Mitch Trubisky a progress report on 2017

SHARE Finale vs. Vikings will provide Bears’ Mitch Trubisky a progress report on 2017

Mitch Trubisky is learning the Bears’ new offense. (AP)

Mitch Trubisky smiled broadly Wednesday when told that he wouldn’t have to conduct another news conference anytime soon.

“You guys won’t find me anywhere,” he said good-naturedly.

Trubisky might be tired of answering questions — it’s been a long season for everybody at Halas Hall — but with regard to every other aspect of playing quarterback for the Bears, he is raring to go. This season can’t end soon enough for most of the Bears, but if there was a Week 18 on the regular-season schedule — or Week 25 or 30, for that matter — he’d be ready.


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“I feel great. I’m not going to hit the wall,” Trubisky said. “I could play another season.”

An excited Trubisky and the prospect of better days ahead with the second overall draft pick at quarterback is the biggest bright spot in a dreadful season for the Bears. In 11 starts, Trubisky hasn’t exactly been a revelation. But he has shown enough tangible and intangible qualities to believe he can take a significant leap in 2018.

“I feel good about it,” Trubisky said. “I just go back to two words, growth and development. Try to get better every day.

“I had a lot of fun. It’s awesome to come to this organization. I appreciate all my teammates for their hard work and dedication — just allowing me to be part of this team and kind of develop into a leadership role.

‘‘I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot. I love playing this game. And I’m glad I get to do it here in Chicago.”

Since accuracy became an issue when he bottomed out at 52.8 percent following a 31-3 loss to the Eagles on Nov. 26, Trubisky has responded with four solid games that have displayed incremental improvement. He completed 82 of 116 passes (70.7 percent) with three touchdowns, three interceptions and a 90.4 passer rating in that span.

His season stats — 59.9 percent completions, 6.9 yards per attempt, 78.5 rating — are comparable to the rookie seasons of the Rams’ Jared Goff (54.6, 5.3, 63.6) and even the Eagles’ Carson Wentz (62.4, 6.2, 79.3). Trubisky is convinced he has laid a foundation for takeoff.

“Definitely. Definitely,” Trubisky said. “I expect to make a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2. The experience I’ve gotten this year, I’m definitely going to carry that with me into the offseason . . . and expect to have a lot of momentum and a full head of steam going into next year.”

Sunday’s game against the Vikings and their top-ranked defense will give Trubisky a progress report to finish the season. Trubisky made his debut against these same Vikings in Week 5, with a modest but credible performance marred by a fourth-quarter interception by crafty safety Harrison Smith that led to the Vikings’ winning field goal with 12 seconds left. Trubisky completed 12 of 25 passes for 128 yards, one touchdown — a 20-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller that tied the game early in the fourth quarter — and the one interception for a 60.1 rating.

Trubisky said he has grown “in every area” since that debut: “Leadership, reading defenses, preparation, how to carry yourself like a pro . . . just letting the game slow down and just playing instead of thinking.”

No doubt he is eager for the next step and unfazed by the possibility it might be with a new coach.

“Block it out,” Trubisky said when asked about the speculation about coach John Fox’s future. “I don’t really listen to anything. It’s not up to me. It is what it is.”

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