Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles are set to engage in a preseason battle for the right to start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears this season; whenever it starts.
For the moment however, it is a battle postponed. With practice facilities closed and teams unable to gather for NFL minicamp due to COVID-19 restrictions; the physical competition is on hold. In the mean time, head coach Matt Nagy said the pair are busy preparing their minds for the upcoming campaign.
“What those guys are doing right now is they’re all building up their mental capacity within this offense as to what they like. The beauty of what is going on right now is there is so much feedback back and forth, and discussions are interactive in what coaches like and what the players like.”
After a disappointing 2019 season, the Bears decided to bring former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to town in an effort to push Trubisky for the starting spot. Let’s compare the candidates.
After a single year as the starter at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; The Chicago Bears drafted Trubisky with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The selection rose some eyebrows with names like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes still on the board.
He began his rookie season as the backup to journeyman Mike Glennon. But after Glennon led the Bears to a 1-3 start; head coach John Fox handed the team to its rookie face of the future. Trubisky also struggled in 2017, going 4-8 in 12 starts and throwing just 7 touchdowns.
But in 2018 both he and the team seemed to have turned the corner, with Trubisky leading Chicago to a an 11-3 record in 14 starts. His 3,223 passing yards and 27 total touchdowns earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl and garnered some optimism in the Windy City.
Unfortunately for Chicagoans both he and the team regressed in 2019, with his completion percentage, passing yardage and touchdowns all dropping. He frustrated fans with his inconsistent accuracy on deep throws and tendency to rely on check downs; as he averaged just 6.1 yards per passing attempt.
His past two seasons tell the story of two different quarterbacks, and it is up to him to prove which was the fluke.
Nick Foles has had as up and down a career as a player can.
He’s been benched and injured; traded and released. He’s also tied an NFL record for touchdown passes in a single game (seven); and elevated from backup to Super Bowl MVP in a single season as he delivered the Philadelphia Eagles their first ever title.
Foles has worn four different jerseys over his career, most recently that of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags brought him in to replace draft bust Blake Bortles; and the Nick Foles era seemed to get off to a splendid start.
The 31-year-old veteran dropped a 35-yard dime to breakout wide receiver D.J. Chark in the first quarter of the 2019 season opener in Kansas City.
But just after releasing the ball, defensive tackle Chris Jones came flying in on Foles; hitting him to the ground and breaking his clavicle. Foles made way for Gardner Minshew, a rookie out of Washington State. Minshew took the league by storm with a combination of exciting play and an extremely powerful mustache; and was a popular pick to remain the starter even when Foles healed up.
The Jaguars hand the reins back to Foles in Week 11, but after back to back losses head coach Doug Marrone re-inserted Minshew into the starting role in Week 13. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions in two-plus games he led and he struggled to keep games competitive.
The Bears traded a fourth round compensatory draft pick to Jacksonville in March to acquire the signal caller with a 26-22 career starting record.