LAKE FOREST - At last, "Mitch-a-Palooza" is coming to Soldier Field. On a Monday night, too.
Fans have been clamoring for this since the first series they saw him play on August 10th in the first preseason game against the Broncos. The calls got louder after a three turnovers by started Mike Glennon in a blowout loss to the Bucs. Four turnovers on Thursday night brought out a literal and figurative roar from the fans to see the rookie QB.
The Bears, more out of necessity that fan backlash, finally made the move to Mitchell Trubisky this weekend. Specifically, it was a phone call that head coach John Fox made to the first round pick on Sunday night that informed Trubisky that the keys to the Bears' offense were his from now on.
"I was like 'Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Sounds good. I'll be ready to go. Good week of preparation,'" said the rookie of his phone call with Fox. "He did a lot of the talking."
Now it's Trubisky who will have to let his play do the same if he's to live up to his billing as the No. 2 overall pick in this past April's NFL Draft. He got the attention of the franchise and rooters when he had a solid preseason - 36-of-53 for 364 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Now it's up to him to salvage a Bears season that, once again, appears to be on the brink just a quarter of the way in.
On top of that, Trubisky gets the pressure of a Monday Night nationally televised game against the Vikings to first showcase his skills. The margin for error will be slim for the first Bears rookie to start a game for the team since Kyle Orton in 2005.
Yet the quarterback says that pressure is all what you make of it - quoting his former high school quarterbacks coach during his news conference on Tuesday.
"Pressure only appears when you're not prepared for something," said Trubisky on making his debut in the national spotlight. "That's kinda how I feel about pressure. You only get nervous or feel pressure when you're not prepared for the situation or you don't know what you're doing. My job is just study the game plan, and once I get in there just go back to my instincts and play the game I know how to play.
"I've been playing this game for a long time. So I'm gonna go in there, be myself and the pressure shouldn't be anything but what everyone else makes it out to be because I just go out there and try to have fun."
It seems as if the rookie's mindset is in the right place, and by starting him the Bears believe the same. Fox does admit that the ten-day gap between games was intentional to give Trubisky the most possible time to mentally and physically prepare for his first start.
While he's never sure what to expect, Fox felt comfortable enough about his mental and physical game to give him the Monday night start.
"I'm not sure anybody gets quite ready for at this level, depending on what city you're in. He's got a good mindset, he's got a good natural feel. I think he's done a good job up to this point and I think he'll continue to do well moving forward."
Certainly those who called for him to start for the past two months believe he will.
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