Mitchell Trubisky poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Chicago Bears as the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. File photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo
BOURBANNAIS, Ill. -- Quarterback development was a foreign concept in Chicago since the Bears picked Rex Grossman in the first round of the 2003 draft.
So the development of Mitchell Trubisky is likely to be a practice in guarding against impatience.
In the initial week of Trubisky's first training camp, he displayed both how far away he is and also his great potential. Trubisky watched Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Connor Shaw, then closely imitated them.
"I'm still trying to figure that out," Trubisky said. "How they prepare, how they carry themselves at practice, and really all the time, I'm still learning about that.
"And, for me, it's all about just trying to master the offense, having command in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage and then just using my natural abilities, as well."
One great concern over Trubisky's skills on draft day was simple inexperience at taking direct snaps from center. When he fumbled three times in one drill on the first day of padded practices and fumbled one again the next day, Trubisky put himself in the line of critics' fire.
"Yeah, it was frustrating because that was uncharacteristic of me and I've just got to handle that," Trubisky said. "They were just wasted plays and I was kind of frustrated because I kind of wasted a team session right there and I didn't allow myself or my teammates to get better.
"You've just got to block that out, bounce back. The other quarterbacks and the coach said something to me that allowed me to get back in rhythm and play football. It's the most critical part of the play. I've just got to take care of that and get better on my part."
On the other hand, Trubisky showed a knack for rolling out and finding receivers when plays broke down. It's something the Bears have seen quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers accomplish against their own defense for years.
In one unpadded scrimmage, Trubisky rolled right to buy time and found tight end Ben Braunecker crossing the field deep behind the defense.
"I mean, even on his college tape he's got mobility," coach John Fox said of Trubisky. "I think you even looked at 40 times with some of the comparisons with the other quarterbacks coming out, surprisingly he was right up there with everybody.
"So, he's got plenty of athleticism, movement in the pocket, even just straight speed. He's very athletic."
Trubisky seemed in OTAs to immediately establish a connection with tight end Adam Shaheen, the second-round pick from Division II Ashland.
Another less likely combination also developed with undrafted Wyoming rookie wide receiver Tanner Gentry. Trubisky and Gentry are consistently making downfield connections.
"It's always good to hit a deep ball," Trubisky said. "Me and Tanner have built a little chemistry here since rookie minicamp. Just throwing to guys and giving them a chance and letting them go make plays is what it's all about.'
The Bears will continue working Trubisky at third quarterback. He'll get needed playing time in the first preseason game at home Aug. 10 with Denver.
It's all a developmental process, much of it completely foreign to his past.
"At North Carolina it was making decisions in a different way," Trubisky said. "I would call protection based on what they gave me from the sideline.
"Here, we do it in the huddle and then we go to the line of scrimmage and then the protection can be changed based off that."
It's planned as a redshirt year while Glennon starts and Sanchez is backup.
"I have to respect the plan that they have in place, and I have to believe in that, so that's what I'm doing," Trubisky said.
Fortunately, he has experience being a redshirt in college. It taught him patience.
Regardless, he knows he must be ready. The Bears went through three quarterbacks last year before finishing with a passer who wasn't even in camp.
"Redshirt year or not, you've got to keep getting better, because when you're called upon, you've got to be ready to rock and roll," Trubisky said.