Bears' Trubisky has maintained even-keeled approach
Among the many lessons that rookie Mitch Trubisky has learned in his nine starts as an NFL quarterback is the value of being the same guy all the time - in good times and bad.
"The impressive thing about Mitch and his style is he's very even-keeled," coach John Fox said. "He doesn't get very high, he doesn't get very low. You don't see a lot of expression, which is OK. He's just a guy that attacks his job. He works hard at it. He prepares. He's very early in, very late out of the building."
Trubisky is 27th in passer rating with a modest 80.0, significantly better than the Cleveland Browns' DeShone Kizer's 61.2 but far short of the 103.0 the Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson posted before he was injured. He has had three games with passer ratings over 100.0 and three others at 60.1 or lower. For the most part, Trubisky has remained upbeat but far from giddy.
"At that position, in my opinion, that's a great trait," Fox said. "I watched Peyton Manning for three years and how hard he prepares. He doesn't want any surprises on game day, and I see a little bit of that in the demeanor and the preparation part of it with Mitch."
All about team:
Akiem Hicks has 7 sacks, tying his career-best total of last year, but he has been blanked in the past five games.
"I think I missed about 4 in the last month," Hicks said. "I'm talking about hands on the quarterback and falling off. But in those situations I've set up other guys to be able to finish those sacks off."
As a team, the Bears have 35 sacks, and they're No. 6 in sack percentage, easily the best in the NFC North. Hicks says the team total is what's important.
"As the ultimate goal, I really look at our defense as a whole," he said. "A good defense finishes in the 40s to 50s. So that's our goal, to finish off the season strong."
The Lions' offense is 21st in sacks allowed and has two starting offensive linemen out with injuries Saturday.
One of each:
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was asked what would be at the top of his wish list if he could pick just one: pass rusher, shut-down cornerback, run-stuffer, etc.
"I don't want to say," Fangio said, smiling. "That's a better question for (general manager) Ryan (Pace). But ummm … all of the above."