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Professional

Trubisky wants to be leader for Bears in Year 2

Ready to take the reins

Bears QB Mitch Trubisky (10) is working hard to learn the new playbook, and wants to become a team leader in Year 2. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Bears QB Mitch Trubisky (10) is working hard to learn the new playbook, and wants to become a team leader in Year 2. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

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 GM Ryan Pace said at the scouting combine. “This is his team as he goes forward.”

And that’s fine with Trubisky, who seems much 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 this year,” Trubisky told Bears All Access on WSCR AM-670 Tuesday night. “I love the responsibility. I think that’s been earned through hard work and dedication and showing my teammates what I’m capable of.”

Trubisky was speaking from California, where he’s been training before the 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 2, and I’m just very excited for it,” Trubisky said.

“Now I can work on more specific things for myself, what I need to improve on as far as my weaknesses go,” added Trubisky, who posted a 77.5 passer rating in last year’s conservative offense, throwing seven TD passes and seven interceptions. “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 Bears’ hiring of new head coach Matt Nagy, Trubisky will have to learn his third offense in as many years, but he’s looking forward to the challenge. It’s just another opportunity for him 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.”

Trubisky’s West Coast roommate is Rams quarterback Jared Goff, whose meteoric second-year ascension is something the Bears’ quarterback 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 weapons, Goff was spectacular last year, throwing 28 TD passes against just seven picks, and leading 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 through the same stuff that I’m going through now.”

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.

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