What Bears QB Mitch Trubisky is working on as he prepares to lead team

Updated 3/8/2018 6:22 AM
  • Chicago Bears' quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is training in California and totally focused on the season: "I have to let my teammates know that I'm on top of everything going into Year Two,"

    Chicago Bears' quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is training in California and totally focused on the season: "I have to let my teammates know that I'm on top of everything going into Year Two," Mark Black | Staff Photographer/file

Maybe it's a lot of pressure for a 23-year-old, but the 2018 Bears have made no secret that they're all in on quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

"It's going to be good for him to kind of take the reins," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "This is his team."

And that's fine with Trubisky, who seems more ready for the responsibility than someone who has started just 25 football games since high school -- 12 last year as a rookie and 13 in his final season at North Carolina.

"It's really no pressure except the pressure I put on myself, and just the goals that I have in mind for myself and this team," Trubisky said Tuesday night on WSCR's "Bears All Access" radio show. "I love the responsibility. I think that's been earned through hard work and dedication."

Trubisky was speaking from California, where he has been training. he Bears' offseason program begins in early April. Despite his Instagram pictures of sunsets and beaches, last year's second overall draft pick says he's on a mission to fulfill the faith the Bears have bestowed upon him.

"I have to let my teammates know that I'm on top of everything going into Year Two, and I'm just very excited for it," said Trubisky, who posted a 77.5 passer rating in last year's conservative offense, throwing seven TD passes and seven interceptions. "Now I can work on more specific things for myself; what I need to improve on as far as my weaknesses go.

"Just getting better with movements in the pocket, being more efficient as a thrower, always being in balance, so I can continue to be consistent. I'm working on those type of things as well as taking care of my body, becoming a more explosive athlete, just becoming more durable in the pocket."

With the hiring of head coach Matt Nagy, Trubisky must learn his third offense in as many years, but he's looking forward to the challenge. It's another opportunity to lead.

"Just trying to learn this new playbook as soon as we get it and just owning it," he said. "I have to master this playbook and this new offense that's coming in along with this new coaching staff. I can get all my guys on the same page, and we can come out the gate really rolling this year. That's what we're trying to do."

His West Coast roommate is Rams quarterback Jared Goff, whose meteoric second-year ascension is what Trubisky would like to emulate this year. Goff was unimpressive as a rookie in 2016, throwing five TD passes and seven interceptions in seven late-season starts with a passer rating of 63.6. But under new coach Sean McVay, and with some upgraded receivers, Goff was spectacular last year with 28 TD passes and just seven picks. He led the Rams to an 11-4 record in his 15 starts with a 100.5 passer rating.

"We have the same agents," Trubisky said, "and we just got connected out here. I thought it'd be a good idea, while we're both training together in the same area, to room together. We're good friends, and it's been nice to pick his brain. I think that's helped me a lot and it's just good to be around a guy who's been though the same stuff."

Trubisky has also hosted some of his Bears teammates, including offensive linemen Kyle Long and Cody Whitehair, plus wide receivers Kevin White and practice squad pass catchers Demarcus Ayers and Nelson Spruce. Trubisky has been especially impressed with White, who is hoping to finally make his mark after three injury-impaired seasons. White looks chiseled in recent Instagram photos, and Trubisky said he's expecting big things this year from the 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver.

"He's working really hard to get back, and I have a lot of faith in what he's going to be able to bring to the table," Trubisky said. "He's looking good while we're throwing together out here, and we'll continue to put in that work. I know he's busting his tail to really do big things this year."

• Bob LeGere is a senior writer at Pro Football Weekly. Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere or @PFWeekly.

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