By Chris Emma—
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – The persistent efforts to block out hype will grow more difficult for Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who energized the fan base with a strong showing in his preseason debut.
The No. 2 overall pick in the draft, the 22-year-old Trubisky is the talk the town after last Thursday’s performance. His picture is all over the covers of sports sections in Chicago. The hype is only beginning around him.
“I don’t know what hype you’re talking about,” Trubisky said Wednesday at Halas Hall.
According to Trubisky, the only buzz he was willing to receive came from a few extra texts messages from family and friends. No television, radio, Twitter or headlines. As for that potential quarterback battle with starter Mike Glennon? Trubisky isn’t touching that thought.
Hype was certainly warranted after the preseason debut – not just because of the 18-of-25, 166-yard, one-touchdown performance but more importantly the readiness he displayed in the process. Trubisky appeared to be comfortable with an NFL offense, commanding the huddle, leading the two-minute drill and giving the Bears a chance.
Trubisky shined in the spotlight, but he’s able to identify mistakes each day through film. There are little aspects he can constantly nitpick.
“It’s just a small step in the right direction,” Trubisky said. “I still got a lot of work to do. I was pleased with how I played, but plenty more mistakes are going on during practice for me that I need to work on and continue to improve in my game and make sure when I go out there that I’m doing my job to help other people do their job.”
This wasn’t just lip service from Trubisky, as he cited taking an incorrect drop-back and failing to identify the “Mike” linebacker. He’s been praised for his accuracy, but there have been interceptions in practice that bring frustration the rest of the day.
Trubisky has to not only read coverages but also identify those blitzes that are coming. Opposing defensive coordinators won’t hold back on a rookie quarterback.
“A lot of it is knowing what we do,” Bears coach John Fox said. “I mean, obviously, knowing your opponent and what they do comes along with that. But primarily, I think as a rookie at any position and in particular quarterback, there is so much they have to know. What the O-line’s doing, where the protection is going, and now that affects the routes, adjusting that. Sometimes we give the quarterback the leeway to change those things. It’s a lot to learn for a young quarterback.”
Trubisky feels the progress since he arrived at Halas Hall and began working in May. That comes from the attention to detail in his preparation.
He keeps blocking out the hype and focusing on what can be improved.
“It’s all about, for me, not making the same mistake twice,” Trubisky said. “So, you can make a mistake and that’s going to happen, especially for rookies, but it’s all about overcoming that, learning from it and don’t let it happen again. And I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.”