Winner No. 2: Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky
And subsequently … Loser No. 1: Nick Foles
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Week One’s starter is finalized. For all the rave surrounding his offseason workouts, Mitch Trubisky could at any point in time drop back and remember, “Oh wait … I’m a Chicago Bears quarterback,” and do Chicago Bears quarterback-type things. But until those circumstances do play into his demise, the cancellation plays to his hand.
And, there’s talk that he’s more motivated than ever for this upcoming season … but I heard that same sentiment about 2007 Rex Grossman. Here’s what intrigues me: per Anthony Miller’s Instagram Live, he and ‘Bisky, as he calls him, have gotten a chance to strengthen their chemistry through offseason workouts.
Best of luck finding the Chicago Bears workout tape with Nick Foles.
And without any reputable film against non-team competition in the preseason, I’d feel it difficult giving Foles an edge. And even then, it’s only fiscally smart to give Trubisky the nod anyway, to see if this is the year he offers the return on investment.
Nothing makes a suboptimal product perform at its peak quite as competition does. We’ve seen this in the consumer world with Madden vs. ESPN NFL 2K Sports games. And while I’m not suggesting Trubisky becomes Tom Brady, hell-bent on keeping Foles (or in this case, Drew Bledsoe) on the sidelines, there’s a new kind of pressure on him to perform.
With Trubisky, a few tweaks of the little things could make all the difference. He improved upon one of the major talking points of his first two years — throwing left — and, volume be damned, statistically threw better to that side of the field than to the right.
And the mental freedom that comes with a healthy shoulder means that one of his greatest strengths, scrambling, becomes easier. They went from No. 3 to No. 27 in expected points added on QB scrambles from 2018 to 2019.
You wonder where the threshold is for how much patience the Bears will have for Trubisky before Foles becomes the clear-cut better idea. If the former Super Bowl MVP manages to wow the coaching staff during practice, perhaps there’s room for a discussion. But the QB competition becomes less of a competition without the preseason litmus test, and that probably benefits Foles.