Why did the Chicago Bears move on from former second overall pick Mitch Trubisky? General manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy spoke with the media via Zoom for the first time since signing Andy Dalton and letting Trubisky hit free agency, and they revealed their reasoning for parting ways with the quarterback Pace traded up to draft in 2017.
Pace and Nagy were both complimentary of Trubisky, who signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills this offseason. “As I look back, Mitch battled for this team. A lot of our ability to be in the playoffs two out of the last three years is a credit to him, and I think he sacrificed a lot for this team. We wish him nothing but the best and now we’re looking forward,” Pace said.
So, why did the Bears choose the 33-year-old Dalton over the 26-year-old Trubisky? It turns out decision-making was a very big part of it.
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Pace: ‘Andy Makes Good Decisions’
Pace made a note to stress that he feels Dalton is an upgrade over the recently-departed Trubisky. “There’s a lot of factors and there’s multiple people involved in that, and at the end of the day, we wanted to get better in different areas of our team, and that’s one of the areas of our team where we feel like we’re improving,” Pace said when asked about replacing Trubisky with the 10-year veteran.
When Stacey Dales of the NFL Network asked Pace how, specifically, Dalton was an upgrade over Trubisky, he responded thusly:
“There’s a lot of things that come down to that,” Pace said. “I just think Andy’s experienced. He’s played in a lot of games in this league. He’s won a lot of games in this league. Andy makes good decisions. He’s accurate and we just feel he’s a fit for our offense.”
One of the primary knocks on Trubisky during his four-year tenure with the Bears was his questionable decision-making, but whether Dalton fares any better than Trubisky did remains to be seen.
Pace then tried to shut the door on the Trubisky era for good: “Instead of talking about the past and Mitch, I’d like to talk about the future with Andy and what he provides and we’re excited about that.”
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Nagy: ‘It Didn’t Work Out’
For his part, the Bears coach didn’t get into specifics about Trubisky’s exit, but he did say he was grateful for his time with the new Bills backup.
“I’m indebted to Mitch and what he’s done for so many different reasons. It’s hard to go through these processes. I care so much about him. It didn’t work out here,” Nagy said, adding: “And when I say I’m indebted to him, there’s so many different conversations — and good conversations — that we had and things we worked through throughout those three years. For different reasons, it didn’t work out. But I certainly appreciate the way that he handled everything. And I’m sure he’s learned a lot. I know I’ve learned a lot.”
Nagy then talked about what he learned from Trubisky:
I’ve learned a lot … in wanting to try to develop quarterbacks and how do you do that, where could I have been better, and try to get better and learn as a head coach in developing a quarterback. I’m sure he learned, too, in things that he could have done better and differently. But guess what? Here we are and he’s in a new chapter, and we’re in a new chapter. And so I have nothing but good feelings for Mitch. I wish him nothing but the best. Teams change every single year. There’s always change. That’s where he’s at. Obviously, we would have loved to have it work for both ends, but it didn’t. This is where we’re at.