Chicago Bears All-Pro safety Eddie Jackson will begin his fourth season with the team in less than a month. The Bears selected Jackson in the fourth round of the 2017 draft in what is widely considered to be the best overall pick of general manager Ryan Pace’s tenure with the team. That was also the year Pace selected what has come to be his most scrutinized pick: quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Pace notoriously traded draft capital to move up one slot to select Trubisky second overall that year, and after three seasons with the team, Mitch has failed to make his mark. Chicago brought veteran Nick Foles in this offseason to compete with Trubisky for the starting job, and now, players are being asked to share their thoughts on both quarterbacks.
Jackson has now officially weighed in on the team’s quarterback competition, and it seems as though he’s Team Mitch. The All-Pro safety appeared on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football Monday, and he shared a few interesting thoughts about both Trubisky and Foles.
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Jackson on Trubisky: He’s ‘Way More Focused’ This Season
When he was asked if he saw any difference in Trubisky this year than he did in previous seasons, Jackson answered in the affirmative. “The only thing I would say is different is he’s more focused. He comes in, you barely see him in the locker room, but when you do see him, he’s in and he’s out, so he’s way more focused. He knows what’s ahead of him this year.”
What’s ahead of Trubisky is the fight of his life. Foles is a competitor, and he is better at reading defenses than Trubisky is. If Mitch wants to be The Man in Chicago, he’ll have to be more focused than ever. He’ll also need to produce on the field.
Jackson, who came up with Trubisky in 2017, then seemed to say ‘Mitch is our quarterback’ in so many words: “That’s been our quarterback — we’ve been riding with Mitch … I feel like Nick Foles being here [serves] as a guide and competition to bring the best out of him, so I’m just excited,” Jackson said.
Foles Could Be More Than a Guide for Trubisky
Jackson suggesting Foles could serve as more of a guide to Trubisky is interesting. If Foles’ presence propels Trubisky and pushes him out of his comfort zone and into consistent and capable play, his three-year contract for $17 million guaranteed will be worth every penny. But don’t assume Foles is going to roll over and stop competing.
Bears’ new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who worked with Foles during the quarterback’s best statistical season with the Eagles in 2013, told the media recently that Foles has a bit of a Terminator-like mentality during quarterback competitions.
“I just remember that he never stopped developing,” Lazor said about Foles last week. “He was a young player at the time. He continued to work and work and work. So when the decision was made that Michael Vick would start, there was no blinking for Nick. He just kept going, kept going.”
It’s clear Trubisky’s teammates support him, but Chicago is in win-now mode. Foles lighting a fire under Trubisky would be a win-win situation for the Bears — but only if Trubisky manages to play with a good degree of consistency every week. If that doesn’t happen, it almost feels like Foles’ job to lose.