The Chicago Bears imported Nick Foles to help push Mitchell Trubisky or take his job. Either or.
According to receiver-turned-running back Cordarrelle Patterson, the move has worked thus far to make Trubisky better entering his fourth season.
"He actually looks like a whole new player this year," Patterson said Tuesday. "I see it in his eyes and everything. He's got that fire in him. That's what we need out of our quarterbacks, that competition, it brings the best out of everybody. I'm excited to see what him and Nick can do for that job."
Trubisky said he worked on his footwork this offseason to improve his anticipation and accuracy, both of which badly hindered the Bears offense last year. Having another full year in Matt Nagy's offense also helped the embattled quarterback.
"I know what is being asked of me and what I need to do," Trubisky said when told of Patterson's comments. "I think I'm just bringing a little more edge to the offense, a little more sense of urgency and I'm just trying to go out there and make great decisions and be a spark for the offense. I just think we can continue to bring great energy to practice, and be very supportive in the quarterback room. Competition or not, we need to make sure this offense is getting better, and that's all I'm trying to do, day-in and day-out.
"For (Patterson) to say that means a lot to me. I'm just trying to do my job and I feel like I've worked on my craft this offseason, so for it to show up this early, it's nice for your teammates to notice."
Coming off a poor, injury-ravaged campaign, the Bears declined Trubisky's fifth-year option and imported a potential replacement. The weight of it all pushed the quarterback in a make-or-break campaign.
"I think it's a combination of everything," he said. "Just realizing this is the last year of my contract, being hurt last year and not playing up to my own expectations, going 8-8, having a quarterback competition and just the desire to want to go out and continue to chase greatness. It's a combination of all those things.
"We're still out here trying to be great and I'm trying to bring that edge. You're playing each play like it's your last. Having that sense of urgency and trying to maximize your potential day in and day out, I think that's where that edge is coming from."
Nagy noted that while he thinks we'll see a new, improved version of Trubisky, the Bears haven't had enough field work to make a legitimate call.
"We don't have enough (practice reps) right now. I wish I could tell you we had enough, but there's just not enough with where we're at. We need to see more. I can't give you a fair statement, or opinion, with that," Nagy said, noting he does think Trubisky's decision making has improved.
Through training camp, the Bears plan to switch off days in which Trubisky and Foles will be first in the huddle for each session. Monday was Trubisky's day. Tuesday was Foles'.
As the days progress, Nagy will have more practice film to dissect and get closer to a decision on who will be his Week 1 starter. And we'll see if Patterson's insight into Trubisky's improvement is legitimized or proven a mirage.