The Chicago Bears made it official on Sunday with head coach Matt Nagy naming Mitchell Trubisky the starting quarterback to begin the 2020 season. Trubisky beat out veteran Nick Foles, who competed with the former No. 2 overall pick over the summer after being acquired by the team earlier this offseason. Despite that trade to bring the former Super Bowl MVP to town, Nagy elected to keep the status quo under center after seeing an improved Trubisky.
"In the end, Mitch won the job and I think that's very important for him, for us, for everybody to understand that he worked really hard to get to this point," Nagy told reporters on Sunday. "We know that we all -- in a lot of different areas -- struggled in 2019. What I think was most impressive from the end of the season until this past weekend was to be able to see some of the growth in practice and off the field that Mitch had. He decided to just control what he can control. He didn't worry about distractions. He didn't worry about other competition. What he did is just worry about getting better as a quarterback.
"With that said, we now, together, need to do that on game day. That's where when you lose the preseason games and you lose some of the OTAs, you lose some of that evaluation process. For him to come through like he did, I'm excited for him. We are really excited for this team."
Trubisky told reporters that he had a meeting with Nagy and the head coach informed him that he was going with him as the starter at the very end of their discussion.
"It's just the first step in my goal for this season," Trubisky said of winning the starting job. "It was a good battle the whole time. Couldn't say enough about how Nick handled the whole thing and how I handled the whole thing. It was a tough situation to be in, but I think we helped each other and pushed each other every day. I think the way we both handled it says a lot about how we're just trying to make this team better."
He added: "I was pleased with the training camp that I had. I think I've done a great job leading these guys and just showing how much I want to lead this team and be their quarterback. I feel like I got rewarded for it, but it's just the first step in this process to have a successful season this year for this team."
Specifically, Nagy saw Trubisky take a leap in his decision-making and noted that he was making some very accurate throws in the red zone. Trubisky's seamless fit in the offense was another key factor in making this decision.
"I thought he finished strong, which was good," said Nagy. "His footwork has been much better in the pocket in regards to staying up in that pocket and hitching up there. Decision-making has been improved so we're always working to get that better. You can feel the command and I think the difference in the command that I felt and our coaches felt is one that is just very natural."
Almost in the same breath as explaining his decision to name Trubisky the starter, Nagy made sure to tip his cap to Nick Foles for coming in under very odd conditions and making this a competition. He also acknowledged the limited viewing that the team had of him due to the pandemic shortening offseason workouts and eliminating the preseason.
"I also want to give a lot of credit to Nick Foles for coming in here under strange circumstances. He's had an interesting career. Coming off of last year with an injury, he comes in with no offseason on the field and really a shortened training camp. These guys battled and neither one of them complained, they just did what they were supposed to do."
Upon hearing the news that he would not be the starting quarterback to begin the year for Chicago, Foles asked Nagy if he could call Trubisky to congratulate him while also noting that he'd help him throughout the season be the best quarterback he can be.
"That's the thing I really enjoy about the game is helping other players out and having those conversations and giving them the wisdom I have from playing," said Foles.
All three of them were asked at some point on Sunday about a potential situation where Trubisky struggles in-game. Instead of shedding light on a scenario where Foles is possibly thrust into action for him, each of them looked at this current decision positively and are trying to build strong momentum into 2020. Still, it will be interesting to see what happens if that situation does arise at some point throughout the year, especially after the coaching staff gets a longer look at Foles in their system.