Mitchell Trubisky has no problem with reduced Bears offense
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy might reduce his offense for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
What hasn't been reduced is his support or long-term expectations for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Nagy has Trubisky's back, even as pressure mounts for more offensive production to assist linebacker Khalil Mack and a special defense. Trubisky comes into Sunday's game against Tampa Bay following one of his most inconsistent performances, but maintains full support from Nagy even if it means scaling back the offensive approach to account for inexperience.
"He's had my back and I love coach Nagy for that," Trubisky said. "He's just been very supportive.
"I believe in him and this process that we're going through, and we're going to have a breakthrough. Who knows when? But it's going to come, and I believe in that."
Trubisky starts for the 16th time Sunday, the equivalent of one full NFL season. His passer rating is 77.8, just 0.3 better than during his first 12 games as a rookie under former coach John Fox.
Several ill-advised decisions last Sunday led to suggestions earlier this week Trubisky could need the attack simplified until he understands it better. Nagy didn't dispute this.
"So whatever they decide to put on my plate I have to study, I have to do my job on the field, and if they feel like we have to pull back this week or next week or whatever it is, and just simplify so we can play faster, they're going to do what's best for this offense and what they believe," Trubisky said Wednesday.
Nagy sees a Bears offense still trying to fit better and operate fluidly rather than more deep-seeded personnel problems, including Trubisky.
"He's where I thought he would be at," Nagy said. "What I'm doing now is understanding what the plays are that he's doing well with, that might have been different with me in the past."
Nagy brought in an offense similar to the one he coached as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs.
So far, the offense has reached the end zone four times in three games while experiencing trouble scoring from inside the red zone. They're 27th in red zone touchdown percentage (.400).
Nagy took his share of the blame but said Trubisky isn't the only one learning.
"What's neat is that there are concepts that weren't as good to us in Kansas City that are good here, that are working," Nagy said. "I'm learning that, and now those are the ones I'm going to start to go to because I see that. And vice versa, there's some that we did well in Kansas City that might not be as efficient now.
"So I have to adjust to how I do that, and that's OK."
Trubisky said he understands better through repetition, and believes production will improve as he runs more plays.
"Especially in a new offense, sometimes you have to think about it," Trubisky said. "But when you're playing in an offense for years over and over, you don't have to think about the (passer) drop, you don't have to think about where your guy is about to be.
"You're more just seeing the defense and where you're going with the ball. So those are some of the things I'm working through."
Trubisky called any scoring problems an outgrowth of getting better acquainted with the attack. The suggestion the Bears need to scale back wasn't viewed by Trubisky as a slap at his abilities.
"If a teacher goes, 'Do you guys want an easy test?' you're going to say heck yeah," Trubisky said. "Less you gotta study, I'm gonna ace this test. Maybe that's a comparison you make.
"(If) we're going to pull back this week, do I play faster, do we play better? I guess we're all going to see. I'm going to do whatever they ask me to do to the best of my ability."
As the second pick in the 2017 draft, it's expected Trubisky will be a special player. So far, evidence has been spotty.
"I know this: I know he made a special throw to Trey Burton on the deep cross the other day that not many quarterbacks in this league can make," Nagy said. "And so I'll take that as special."
Nagy argues even special players need to learn an offense with a good deal of volume.
"I know he's going to just continue to keep growing," Nagy said.
NOTES: Starting cornerback Prince Amukamara and backup Marcus Cooper did not practice Wednesday due to hamstring injuries. Bryce Callahan or rookie Kevin Toliver would man the starting right cornerback spot if Amukamara and Cooper cannot play Sunday. . Wide receiver Anthony Miller (shoulder) did not practice, which could mean more playing time for 2015 first-round draft pick Kevin White. . Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson had full practice participation for the first time since suffering forearm and back injuries in preseason. ... The Bears added cornerback John Franklin III to their practice squad.
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