Bears coach Matt Nagy was pleased with what he saw from both Trubisky and Foles as they ran through plays against air about a month before Chicago's opener at Detroit on Sept. 13. In particular, Nagy liked the footwork and timing that his quarterbacks showcased.
"It's going to be a healthy competition," Nagy said after practice. "So far, they're proving me right."
After an unprecedented offseason program was conducted virtually during the coronavirus pandemic, each team is faced with the challenge getting up to speed for the regular season. That's especially true for the Bears, who acquired Foles from the Jaguars in March to create a competition with Trubisky. They hadn't been able to evaluate the two quarterbacks on the field until Wednesday.
The quarterback battle didn't play out through virtual meetings conducted on Zoom, Nagy said on multiple occasions earlier in the offseason. It will be decided on the field.
The Bears and other NFL teams can begin full-contact practices Monday, marking the start of training camp in earnest. The work at Halas Hall on Wednesday served as part of the league's mandated ramp-up portion of practice. Trubisky already had a bit of a head start on Foles, as he had worked with teammates like Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohen, Demetrius Harris, Cole Kmet and others in local parks over the summer.
Given the truncated preseason, it would seem the incumbent Trubisky has the advantage over the newcomer Foles -- but time will tell.
"That’s just the situation," Foles said in July. "The situation is what it is. My focus is acclimating to being in Chicago, getting to meet a lot of people at this facility, trying my best to memorize names, which is impossible with so many people, but I’m working on it.
"We’re going to push each other every day. But there’s got to be a healthy way to do it."
Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and Nagy are creating a plan to maximize the limited reps available for Trubisky and Foles. Without any exhibition games or joint practices, the Bears will be tasked with creating game-like reps in the competition.
Nagy indicated the Bears could pit their first-string offense and first-team defense against one another at times during practice to truly test the quarterbacks. It's also possible the Bears could hold another game-simulating scrimmage at Halas Hall as they did last year, with that setup designed to create scenarios that could arise in games.
For now, the Bears are just beginning their quarterback battle and have about a month to decide a winner.
"So far, so good," Nagy said.