With the NFL and the NFL Players Union agreeing to cancel the preseason, the Chicago Bears’ quarterback battle got a little easier to decide for Week 1.
One of the disagreements that the NFL and the NFLPA (NFL players union) had that threatened the start of training camps and the season was the number of preseason games. The union wanted to cancel all games. The league wanted to have two games. Later, they offered to cut it down to one. Now, however, the league agreed to cancel the preseason altogether. That decision helped decide the winner (for now) of the Chicago Bears‘ quarterback competition.
The Bears brought in former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to push incumbent starter Mitchell Trubisky. Foles has experience in head coach Matt Nagy’s offensive system, having been with Nagy with both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Additionally, he also worked with the new coaches the team brought in. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo also worked with Foles in their Philadelphia days.
Many people expected an interesting battle. They expected Foles to not only push Tribusky but also send him to the bench. He has succeeded in this offense and Trubisky still looks like he needs more time to get a better hold of the system.
Now, with the preseason canceled, the competition is pretty much over. Unless Trubisky completely fails during training camp he’ll be the starter in Week 1 when the Bears take on the Detroit Lions.
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That won’t be the end of the competition
Don’t expect the battle to end when the regular season begins, however. Yes, Trubisky likely starts the season as the starter, but that might not last. Nagy will have a short leash on him. If he starts to struggle like he did last season, don’t expect Nagy to shy away from benching the young quarterback.
In his two seasons a Chicago Bears head coach, Nagy had Chase Daniel as Trubisky’s backup. Daniel was no more than a seat filler when Trubisky missed games. He didn’t have the tools to seriously replace Trubisky. No matter how bad Trubisky played, he was still a better option than Daniel.
Things are different now, though. Foles can come off the bench and succeed. He came off the bench to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl win in the 2017 season and won the MVP. The next season, he came off the bench with the Eagles’ playoff hopes on life support and got them to the second round of the playoffs (we won’t talk about which team he beat in the first round).
Foles will have to try it again with the Bears. Training camp won’t be enough time and he won’t have any real playing time to dethrone Trubisky. Once the games start for real and we see how Trubisky plays will we know if Foles gets his shot. If Trubisky comes out hot and maintains it, it could be a long season for Foles. However, what we’ve seen from Trubisky throughout his career we’ll probably get to see Foles on the field in a real game.