Mitch on Monday: Trubisky’s surprise news conference carries weight
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One by one, Bears players left Halas Hall. Some even waved at passing reporters as they drove down the team’s long driveway in Lake Forest.
An extra day of preparation coming off a Saturday game resulted in an altered schedule. It apparently was time to head home, with the team Christmas party at night.
But someone had to the meet the media after coach John Fox did Monday. Someone had to help out the public-relations department.
Enter rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who unsurprisingly was one of the last players to leave the facility. He strolled into the media center, jokingly declared himself an ‘‘early Christmas present’’ and took the podium for five minutes.
With two games left in a four-victory season, Trubisky offered his support for Fox, his beleaguered coach, and Dowell Loggains, his embattled offensive coordinator.
‘‘They just allow me to be who I am as a person [and] as a player,’’ Trubisky said. ‘‘They’ve been patient with me and allowed me to develop. They just truly believe in me and what I can do for this football team moving forward.
“And sometimes it’s tough having a rookie quarterback because there are going to be mistakes and there are going to be bumps in the road. But they’ve stuck by me, and they know it’s a learning process. They’ve taught me a lot throughout this whole year.’’
General manager Ryan Pace ultimately will decide whether Trubisky’s ‘‘learning process’’ results in at least one more season for Fox, Loggains and other Bears coaches.
But the typically tight-lipped Fox has become more expansive when discussing Trubisky. He seemingly wants everyone to know that it’s not easy to win with a rookie quarterback but that he has seen growth and improvement.
In the Bears’ 20-10 loss Saturday to the Lions, Fox said Trubisky ‘‘in a couple of situations’’ corrected his teammates and got them aligned correctly, where ‘‘three or four weeks ago, I’m not sure that happens.’’
‘‘There was really a lot of good,’’ said Fox, who also highlighted Trubisky’s 22-yard pass to receiver Markus Wheaton on third-and-18. ‘‘I know the result is not what everybody wants; I understand that. But as far as his growth and his maturation, I thought [it was] probably his best game as far as just him goes.’’
It must be difficult for Fox to describe Trubisky’s three-interception performance as his ‘‘best game.’’ After all, Mike Glennon lost his starting job because of his turnover problems. But Fox has a job to keep and hope to sell. And no one is more important than Trubisky.
‘‘There’s a lot that goes into [Trubisky’s success] that I think a lot of people don’t see and understand,’’ Fox said.
But Pace should see and understand it.
Fox was asked if he thinks he and his coaches should be afforded more time with Trubisky, given that he is learning as he goes and that he took over in Week 5.
‘‘Well, I know I would,’’ Fox said. ‘‘I can’t speak for all the coaches, but I’ve seen enough to think that Mitchell Trubisky’s going to have a heck of a career.
‘‘I get to see him every day, not just game days, like some people. I get to watch him, how he works, how he studies, the demeanor he has with his teammates. I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him.’’
That might be true. But how long will Fox be part of that future? Pace will make his decision soon.
Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.