Here’s what Chicago coaches and players had to say as the 2020 Bears Offseason Training Activities (OTA) wrapped up.
Matt Nagy: The number one concern you will always run into is going to be the health and injury risk that these players have. They’re all on different levels. Our mindset coming into this year is that we’re going to be a physically and mentally tough team. That’s talk right now. When they get here., the message is loud and clear to the players via zoom calls that that’s the mindset. What are you doing at home right now to prepare for that?
Mitch Trubisky: That’s the business. I was kind of pissed off in a good way. [when the team signed Nick Foles] I’m excited for this year. I think it’s going to be a good competition. Foles has had a crazy career as well. It’s been good having him in our [QB] room. Talking ball. I know we’re going to push each other. I still feel like this is my team. I’m excited for the competition and to get back on the field with the guys, and show everybody what I can still do, and how hard I’ve been working this offseason to help the Bears win this games this year. It’s been interesting, but again it’s a business decision season. I’m all for the Bears getting better and helping us win games.
Chuck Pagano: I think Khalil Mack has done a great job this offseason. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the entire coaching staff. The job that they did in these unprecedented times. Trying to do all this virtually. The way they adapted and navigated through some tough circumstances. Not easy to stay engaged. Khalil, like the rest of his teammates, he did a great job. I know he has a workout facility at home .He’s determined. We want to be the best defense in the National Football League. More importantly, he wants to win.
New Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor: Nick was part of a quarterback battle when I first got to Philadelphia with Michael Vick. I watched him grow through the course of the offseason and the preseason. I just watched the back and forth, and I saw the jump he made from preseason play to when he got in during the regular season. I saw constant development. Part of the growth is between the coach and the player. And the coach figuring out the player. Until you’re with a guy it’s hard to know how it’s going to go on game day. I saw him grow as a teammate. It was a long time ago.
Nagy: We have a lot of different healthy competitions this year. These are involving a lot of plays all the time in practice. So the video is going to help us out to evaluate that. The mental mistakes or the good things these players do. So our biggest challenge is going to be to steal some reps that we lost in OTA’s.
Trubisky: Nick is a really good dude. It’s been all positive, healthy relationship. The first conversation we had I think we both made it a point that it’s important for us to be a part of a great quarterback room. That’s what we want. Now it’s me, Nick and Tyler (Bray) included, and our job is to push each other, help each other get better and make sure we are prepared to going out onto the football field. We’re all going to bring that into the quarterback room. There also comes a competition side of it, and I want to win this competition. I want to be the guy out on the field leading this team. We’re going to have a great relationship, and we’re able to help each other having those Zoom conversations. I’m excited about how it’s going to go.
Eddy Piñiero: I think Nagy has done a good job as far as getting us all together and learning about ourselves. It’s sad that to think about what a bunch of guys on our team were going through with these racial experiences. Nagy has done a good job with communications and letting us talk about it and share our feelings. this organization really supports us.
[Free agent LB] Robert Quinn: It boiled down to where I was going to best fit in, and make the best contribution. I know Chicago has a great team, and just I wanted to come to a place where I think I could add a little bit more. Plus, it’s known for its defense, so I figured it was a great way to go, so here I am becoming a Bear.
Pagano: Robert Quinn’s resume speaks for itself. A really, really talented football player. Everybody just thinks he can rush the passer. He’s relentless. He’s tough. He’s athletic, He’s physical. He’ll plays well against the run. He’s done a great job to this point picking up the playbook. Just his ability to rush the passer; come off the edge. A great person, a great teammate. Talented guy.
Tarik Cohen: Guys meet up in the offseason and have a throwing session. Mitch finds the place, and sends the texts messages out, and we invite everybody else. The word spreads, and we all meet at that location. It’s always good for the new guys to get on the same page as Mitch. To see how he thinks the routes are going to be run. It’s good for the new guys, coming from another team. I met Cole Kmet for the first time a couple of days ago. Good guy.
Quinn: You tell the room is full of personality for theses Zoom calls. I’m the quiet one, laid back, but there’s a variety of different personalities, but they take the game serious. You want to have fun, but you want to win. Winning is fun. From afar, not being in the locker room I think we got a great group over there.
Lazor: Matt and I had mutual acquaintances. We casually knew each other, from combines or QB workouts. When I left my last job, I chose to travel, and visit other teams. Part of the decision for me. I thought Chicago had done some really good things. I had a casual relationship, and I decided to reach out to him. I got to see the energy on the practice field. Two days of practice and meetings, gave me a good window into how this organization is run. It gave me more insight. I had a pretty good feeling.
Tarik: Mitch is slinging it right now. Still working fundamentals right now. Every year you go into the offseason, you always want to start from the basics. So you start all over, and you sharpen those ground routes. We all go back and learn our routes again. Learn the route tree again. You still the talent in Mitch. It was a shock to all of us when Nick Foles joined the team. But as coach Nagy says, competition breeds success. Nick integrated well. He’s worked with coach Nagy before.
Eddie Jackson: We’ve been in one year [under coach Chuck Pagano] so we kind of know what to expect, and everybody knows their job. Now you know different guy’s roles. One think I like about coach Chuck, and they way their teaching is they’re teaching everyone different positions so you know the job of the man next to you, and it makes your job easier. I’m ready to get back and compete.
Nagy: If you go back nine weeks ago to when we had our first zoom meeting, and you fast forward to now, and you said to me, ‘How is thing going to go?’ Is going to get monotonous. Are these guys going to be sick and tired of it? Right now they’re not there, but I also feel like it’s getting close. Our coordinators did a great job of prepping install-wise. We had a lot of guest speakers come in. That’s broken up the monotony. The players tell you. I like to ask the guys, what’s the pulse of the team. They give us feedback. We work off of that. That’s what tells me we are in a good place.