ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – This past offseason, Mitch Trubisky was in a position he’s never been so far during his NFL career, a free agent.
This came after the Bears did not pick up his fifth-year option even though they drafted him second overall in 2017. And even though the goal was to get back to being a starter, he had to alter his plan when options were limited.
“At first I wanted to go to a spot where I could compete for a starting position but the right situation didn’t come up and that opportunity really wasn’t there so I looked at the next best thing where I could continue to develop and continue to progress and become a better player and a person,” Trubisky said after practice on Tuesday.
“I fell into this organization and I loved it ever since coming to Buffalo. Just working under this coaching staff, being with the caliber type of players we’ve got here.”
Now the former second overall pick will serve as Josh Allen’s backup with the Bills, something Trubisky has to embrace for the time being and seems like he is.
“I think I’m very well prepared for the role that I have this season, just continue to learn the offseason and build chemistry with the guys, the 1’s, 2’s and the 3’s, whoever’s out there, just continue to be a great teammate,” Trubisky said.
“You just always have to be ready in the role I’m in so just being the most prepared I possibly can, being ready at any moment and just go out there and do my job.”
It seems like he’ll get a decent amount of playing time this preseason since there’s no need for Allen to play much, if at all. While it’s still unclear what Sean McDermott’s plan is for the starters, expect to see a lot of Trubisky in Friday’s preseason opener against the Lions.
Where things started to go south in Chicago for Trubisky was after his solid second season with the Bears. In 2018 he led the Bears to winning the division and 11 games. Along the way he threw for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns. But he started to slip in 2019 and 2020, was eventually replaced as the starter and then Chicago never picked up his fifth-year option leaving him a free agent after the 2020 season, which wasn’t a shock.
“I kind of saw it coming just the way I was progressing. Year two was really good and then year three and four not as good, was dealing with some injuries and some other things going on there but like I said it was disappointing but it wasn’t a surprise,” Trubisky explained.
“Throughout the process you could just kind of see they were contentiously just believing in me less and less and that’s just kind of how that process went.”
And of course there’s that added pressure of being drafted as high as he was to meet certain franchise quarterback expectations.
“I mean there definitely is, when you’re drafted number two overall. I only started one year at North Carolina but I played in a lot of games and you’re playing in one of the biggest markets in the country and it’s a tough football town,” Trubisky said.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he this will likely be a short stint here in Buffalo as he expects Trubisky to move on after improving and building his game.
“I think hearing him say that gives me confidence because he believes I am a starting caliber quarterback and I believe that as well. You never know what’s gonna happen but I’m here to stay in the moment and just give everything I can to this team and my teammates,” Trubisky said.
But he also said he’ll worry about all that next year, right now it’s about being the number two to Allen.
“I feel like now if given the opportunity I could go out there and help my team win so I know my role here.”
And given the coaching staff, the new environment and fresh start, things feel a little lighter on Trubisky’s shoulders these days.
“The game feels a lot more pure now than it did the last couple years. It feels a lot more fun and I’m getting that love for the game back and just being here,” Trubisky explained.
“I just feel a lot more free playing the game, going out there, playing loose, slinging it around and I’m having a lot of fun doing it so I’m just happy here. “