The Chicago Bears’ eagerly anticipated quarterback competition might technically be on hold, but the manner in which incumbent starter Mitchell Trubisky and challenger Nick Foles navigate their way through Chicago’s virtual offseason program could determine the eventual winner.
“There’s no competition going on right now over Zoom, as you know,” Bears coach Matt Nagy conceded on Friday. “I think what those guys are doing right now is they’re all building up their mental capacity within this offense as to what they like.”
The former second overall pick finished 28th in total QBR (39.4), tied for 27th in touchdown passes (17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass attempt (6.1) and 28th in traditional quarterback rating (83.0) — numbers that compelled the Bears to send a fourth-round compensatory draft choice to Jacksonville for Foles, whose restructured contract pays him $12 million in total cash in 2020 and can be voided (by Foles) in 2021.
Put it this way: Had Chicago been satisfied with Trubisky’s development after three NFL seasons, general manager Ryan Pace (the man who traded up to draft Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson) never acquires Foles — the MVP of Super Bowl LII. However, Foles also has experienced plenty of ups and downs over the span of eight seasons with the Eagles (twice), Rams, Chiefs and Jaguars.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap
One thing Foles has going for him as the quarterbacks gear up to battle each other are his bonds with a bunch of Chicago’s new offensive coaches, as well as Nagy himself.
But while Foles was exposed to Andy Reid’s system in Philadelphia and Kansas City, the clear edge for the 25-year-old Trubisky is that he’s already spent two years with Nagy, calling plays in his own variation of Reid’s system.
“I think obviously I have a foundation from when I was in Kansas City and we ran a different version of the offense,” Foles said last month. “And Philadelphia was different than this. But that’s the fun part is you get to bring that information that we did in Philly to Chicago and try to fine-tune it and develop that Bears offense DNA.
“It’s by no means starting over with no knowledge of the offense. Definitely starting out on my two feet –I’m excited to learn more about what they’re doing. It might mean a few different terminologies, a different run game and stuff like that, but I’ll be able to understand it decently well to begin with.”nfl nike jersey cheap
Thus far, the league-mandated virtual offseason prevents players and coaches from congregating under the same roof, but teaching the playbook is fair game.
At 31 and coming off an injury-plagued 2019 season, Foles probably needs the classroom work more than the offseason on-field work. If Foles can report to training camp on equal footing with Trubisky in terms of knowing the offense, then any unfamiliarity between Foles and the receivers/tight ends can be ironed out quickly.
“We always talk about it [Foles learning the offense] like riding a bike,” Nagy said. “He’s been through some different offenses, even from the last time we were together in Kansas City. But what happens is once you present somebody like Nick the playbook and they start looking at it, all of a sudden it just clicks and you start remembering it and you just start retraining your brain from what you knew in the past year or couple years.