Bears 'committed' to Mitchell Trubisky as starter in '20

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bears general manager Ryan Pace reaffirmed the team's commitment to starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in 2020, but Chicago could change its offensive philosophy next season.

"To be clear, yes it is," Pace said Tuesday morning at the NFL combine, when asked if the Bears' commitment to Trubisky is unchanged. "We believe in Mitch. Mitch knows he needs to be better. We need to be better around him. And that's our goal."

The second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, Trubisky finished the year 28th in total QBR (39.4), tied for 27th in touchdown passes (17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass attempt (6.1) and 28th in traditional quarterback rating (83.0).

The Bears went 8-8 and failed to reach the playoffs.

In 2018, Matt Nagy's first season as head coach, the Bears went 12-4 as Trubisky passed for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and rushed for 421 yards and three touchdowns.

"I think every quarterback is growing in different areas, and a big growth for a quarterback is understanding coverages, mastering your offense, being comfortable with all the new things coordinators are throwing at you," Pace said.

"... I remember with Drew [Brees], he went through that in 2004 in San Diego; just immersed himself in that. That's Mitch's mindset right now. Just being obsessed with learning NFL defenses, mastering our offense. And when you do those things, it allows you to play faster and with better instincts."

Trubisky underwent surgery in January to repair a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder but is expected to be ready when training camp opens in July. He suffered the labrum tear and dislocated his non-throwing shoulder in Week 4 against the Minnesota Vikings but missed just one game.

Pace emphasized that the Bears want competition at all positions -- including quarterback -- but the GM stopped short of revealing whether Chicago intends to add another quarterback via free agency or the draft.

The Bears enter the 2020 season with a clear sense of urgency -- particularly on offense, where Chicago ranked 29th in points per game and total yards per game, 27th in rushing yards per game and 25th in passing yards per game.

Nagy shook up the offensive staff last month by firing three assistants; hiring Bill Lazor to be offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo as quarterbacks coach, Juan Castillo as offensive line coach and Clancy Barone as tight ends coach; and promoting Dave Ragone to passing game coordinator.

"As we go through this offseason here, we need to figure out offensively what is our identity," Nagy said. "I think more specifically, too, in the run game, we struggled there. So we got to figure out what our identity is, and that's going to be an objective for us. ... There's a sense of urgency for us going into this year. It needs to happen sooner."

A former assistant under Andy Reid in both Philadelphia and Kansas City, Nagy brought a version of Reid's offense to Chicago when the Bears hired him two years ago. But after a pair of subpar offensive seasons, Nagy hinted that -- like Reid -- he's willing to reinvent himself on offense if necessary.

"Coach Reid in Philadelphia ran a true West Coast offense," Nagy said. "He's not running that anymore. He's been changing. ... When we had Alex Smith [with the Chiefs], he brought in a lot of the [run-pass option] stuff. And now he's got Patrick [Mahomes] and they're doing their things. So to each their own. And it worked. But that also took a little bit of time, right?

"... There's a foundation there of players that has been created over time, and that offense is not the same as what it was when I was there two years ago. That's fun. And now having new ideas from new offensive coaches and what they have, I've gotta tell you, I'm absolutely loving it right now."

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