Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy promised Saturday to keep his starting quarterback a secret prior to the Sept. 13 opener against the host Detroit Lions.
Nagy indicated on a Zoom call with reporters that the identity of the starter — either Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles — will be highly guarded information.
“That won’t be happening before that game,” Nagy said of declaring a starting signal caller.
Trubisky and Foles have been locked in a competitive battle for the job throughout training camp.
The lack of preseason games means it isn’t easy for outsiders to determine which quarterback holds an edge.
“For us, we like where they are at, but that’s an internal question for our coaches,” Nagy said of the battle. “That’s more gamesmanship than anything. But we know there can definitely be improvement for both of them. They are making good decisions. There are times they are making good throws. There are times they are making throws they’d like to have back.
“I’ll put it this way: Intentionally, I’m not going to give you any direction right now.”
Foles was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March to push Trubisky, who was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft.
The 31-year-old Foles owns a Super Bowl ring as he took over for injured Carson Wentz late in the 2017 season and guided the Philadelphia Eagles to the title. He was named Super Bowl MVP.
Foles threw for just 736 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in four games (all starts) for the Jaguars last season. He broke his left collarbone in the season opener and then-rookie Gardner Minshew took over as the main quarterback and started 12 of Jacksonville’s 16 games.
Overall, Foles has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 11,901 yards, 71 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in 58 games (48 starts) during eight NFL seasons with the Eagles (2012-14, 2017-18), the then-St. Louis Rams (2015), Chiefs (2016), and Jaguars.
Quizzed about the competition on Saturday, Foles said he hasn’t asked the coaches where it stands.
“I’m not even thinking about it,” Foles told reporters. “I’m just thinking about being the best player I can be for this team. With that, that’s where the coaches know I stand. That’s how I’ve been throughout my career. And so why would I change right now and all of a sudden let this thing overtake me?”
Trubisky gave similar responses and said he is in the dark concerning the battle.
“I’m not exactly sure,” Trubisky said. “I think that’d be a good conversation to have with coach probably Sunday, see how we did after the scrimmage, go back and watch some film and then have one more big week of practice before I would say they probably make a decision. But they really haven’t told us where we’re at or when the deadline is.”
Trubisky, who turned 26 on Aug. 20, finished last season with a tenuous hold on the starting gig. He completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Trubisky, entering his fourth NFL season, has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 8,554 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions in 41 games (all starts).
Earlier this year, Chicago declined his fifth-year option worth $24.84 million for 2021.
–Field Level Media