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'You can sense it. You can feel it.' A closer look at the Bears quarterback competition and the dynamics for 2020

Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

CHICAGO -- As the Chicago Bears conduct an unusual training camp in Lake Forest, the Chicago Tribune takes a closer look at the quarterback competition.

-- QBs currently on roster: 3.

-- QBs projected on final roster: 2.

-- Roster locks: Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles.

-- Practice squad candidates: Tyler Bray.

-- Biggest offseason developments: The Bears let backup quarterback Chase Daniels' contract expire, then traded a fourth-round pick to the Jaguars for Nick Foles. ... They declined the fifth-year option for 2021 on Trubisky's rookie deal. ... They hired John DeFilippo as their new quarterbacks coach and changed Dave Ragone's role from quarterbacks coach to passing game coordinator.

 

-- What to like

The Bears aren't in an ideal situation. Not anywhere close. Few championship-contending teams enter training camp with serious quarterback questions plus an open competition for the starting role. To make matters worse, with organized team activities, minicamp, preseason games and two weeks of traditional training camp practices canceled this year because of COVID-19, the competition that general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy envisioned in the winter will be significantly abbreviated.

But credit Pace and Nagy for at least taking a big step this offseason and agreeing they had a quarterback problem. After Mitch Trubisky faltered throughout 2019 with the Bears finishing in the league's bottom five in total yards and points, Pace and Nagy knew they couldn't leave themselves without a safety net for 2020. They agreed to upgrade the quarterback room, then aggressively went after Nick Foles, who has prior experience playing for Nagy, new quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

The Bears are hopeful that familiarity will ease Foles' challenging transition and that he can quickly pressure Trubisky for the starting job. Foles has expressed his comfort in the Bears offense, which is very similar to the one he ran with the Eagles during his fairy-tale run to a Lombardi Trophy in the 2017 season.

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