Bears QB Trubisky out to prove doubters wrong, beat Foles

Fri Jul 31 6:43pm ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

Mitchell Trubisky insists he is one motivated quarterback.

He comes into a make-or-break season locked in a competition with former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles for the Bears' job, knowing his future as a starter in Chicago and maybe anywhere else is on the line.

''For me it's very motivating,'' Trubisky said Friday. ''You're always going to have people writing you off. It's got to light a fire under you, which it has for me, and I'm just trying to prove everybody wrong and prove my teammates right. There is just so much hard work that goes into it. And for people who write you off, I mean, that definitely motivates you in a way that you just want to go out there and play as best you possibly can. So I'm definitely fired up.''

The competition with Foles is kicking into gear with players back at teams' facilities and camps ramping up.

The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out offseason workouts and preseason games. Players won't be in pads until the week of Aug. 17 after the league and union opted to focus on strength and conditioning in the early going.

That means Trubisky and Foles won't have much time to make their case for the No. 1 spot, with the opener scheduled for Sept. 13 at Detroit. Every read in practice, every move in the facility, figures to come under more intense scrutiny from coach Matt Nagy and his staff as they try to decide who should be the starter.

''I think the big thing is just don't focus on winning (the competition),'' Foles said. ''I'd say the big thing is focus on getting to be myself out there on the field and when a play is called, playing to the best of my ability.''

Both quarterbacks have something to prove after disappointing seasons.

Trubisky took a big step back in his third year since the Bears used the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft to take him ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson - a sore spot in Chicago. And the heat on him only intensified last season, as the Bears missed the playoffs at 8-8 after winning the NFC North in 2018.

Trubisky's yards (3,138), completion rate (63.2%), touchdowns (17) and rating (83) all dropped from the previous year. And Chicago's offense ranked among the NFL's worst.

Trubisky played much of last year with his left arm in a sling after partially tearing the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He needed surgery after the season to repair an injury he says has healed ''110%.''

Though there were problems all around the offense, it was no surprise when the Bears decided to bring in a quarterback to push Trubisky.

They acquired Foles, the 2018 Super Bowl MVP with Philadelphia, from Jacksonville in March. About six weeks later, they declined their fifth-year option for 2021 on Trubisky.

''Hopefully this competition just makes our whole quarterback room and our whole offense even better, which I think it will,'' Trubisky said.

Foles went from leaving Philadelphia to sign an $88 million contract with the Jaguars to playing in just four games in an injury-riddled season while losing his starting job to Gardner Minshew. Now, he's trying to beat out Trubisky.

''You know when he makes a great throw, I'm going to be right there to slap him a five and then they'll probably have to like to sanitize our hands, but I'm going to do it,'' Foles said. ''That's part of this thing. It is a competition but we're all on the same team so we're going to push each other every day but there's got to be a healthy way to do it.''

Trubisky spent a big chunk of the offseason poring over video, dissecting what went wrong, and working on his strength and conditioning as well as mechanics. He also stayed in the area and was able to get in some on-field work with his teammates.

That's something Foles, who lives in California, was not able to do. But he knows the system and has strong relationships with Nagy from their time together in Philadelphia and Kansas City as well as several assistants.

Foles said he ''loves'' competitions as long as they don't become ''toxic.'' And he's embracing this one.

''Whoever is the best person at executing this offense, that can help the Chicago Bears win games and lead this team should be the starter,'' Foles said. ''And the other guys will be there to support him.''

Player Notes
Vic Beasley Aug 7 11:53am ET

Tennessee Titans LB Vic Beasley reported for COVID-19 testing Friday, Aug. 7.

From TheHuddle

James Washington Aug 7 11:13am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Aug. 7.

Fantasy Spin: Washington could start opposite of Juju Smith-Schuster, but he'll need to step it up to stave off Chase Claypool. Washington figures to be a WR4 or WR5 in fantasy.

From TheHuddle

Corey Davis Aug 6 7:03pm ET

Updating a previous story, Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis (toe) is on the Physically Unable to Perform list as a result of offseason toe surgery. He's not expected to miss any games.

Fantasy Spin: This would be a greater concern if Davis was actually missing meaningful practices while on the PUP list. There shouldn't be any major concern, and he'll still enter the season as the No. 2 option behind A.J. Brown.

From TheHuddle

M.J. Stewart Aug 6 5:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB M.J. Stewart was released Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Rod Smith Aug 6 5:33pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders RB Rod Smith was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Josh Doctson Aug 6 5:33pm ET

Updating a previous story, New York Jets WR Josh Doctson was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Rashaan Melvin Aug 6 5:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Jacksonville Jaguars DB Rashaan Melvin was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Ricardo Louis Aug 6 5:13pm ET

Free-agent WRs Ricardo Louis (Dolphins) and Chester Rogers (Colts) have been contacted and put through physicals by the Miami Dolphins, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

J.J. Wilcox Aug 6 5:13pm ET

Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) is expected to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons pending COVID-19 testing and a physical, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Shaq Lawson Aug 6 4:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins LB Raekwon Davis, DT Benito Jones, S Brandon Jones, OG Solomon Kindley, DE Shaq Lawson and WR Kirk Merritt were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Zach Sieler Aug 6 4:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins RB Malcolm Perry and DT Zach Sieler were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Robert Woods Aug 6 4:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods said he has had preliminary contract extension talks with the Rams and wants to finish his career with Los Angeles.

Fantasy Spin: Woods has played very well since joining the Rams and has posted at least 1,100 yards in each of the last two seasons. He will be one of the main options in the passing game this season and should be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Leighton Vander Esch Aug 6 1:53pm ET

Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch said he will be playing middle linebacker this season with LB Jaylon Smith moving to weakside linebacker.

From TheHuddle

Clay Matthews Aug 6 12:43pm ET

Free-agent LB Clay Matthews (Rams) and LB Everson Griffen (Vikings) have received interest from the Seattle Seahawks.

From TheHuddle

Tee Higgins Aug 5 8:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Aug 5 8:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Aug 5 8:00pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Aug 5 7:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Aug 5 7:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.

From RotoBaller