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Bears QB coach looking for 'juice' from Trubisky, Foles competition

The main attraction in the Chicago area this July will be on a football field, and it will feature a double headliner.

Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles will take center stage in Bears camp, and only one will emerge at the end of August as the team's starting quarterback. We've heard from both already on their excitement for the competition, but we didn't hear from their position coach until this week.

He'll be in the front row with a watchful eye during the quarterbacks' performance, and he's looking for one specific prerequisite: "juice."

"It means we have a passion for the game. We have a ton of energy," Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo said, via the Chicago Tribune. "We're the same people every day. But then we walk around with a little bit of swagger to ourselves in terms of knowing we're the best quarterback room in the National Football League.

"And that doesn't mean we go around and are cocky and arrogant. That just means we have a swagger about ourselves that the only (way we can be) beat is if we beat ourselves."

DeFilippo comes to Chicago with some familiarity and history with Foles, with whom he spent the 2017 season in Philadelphia and the 2019 season in Jacksonville. You might recall Foles leading the Eagles on an unlikely Super Bowl run, from which both he and DeFilippo now own a ring. The coach knows at least one of his quarterbacks can rise to the occasion when the lights are the brightest.

Trubisky, though, needs to prove he has that same mettle. DeFilippo's first words of advice to him were to take a moment to breathe and not think about football before returning to become the best he can be in a crucial season.

"I told him he needed to get away, man," DeFilippo said. "I said, 'Bro, you had a rough season. Like from a mental standpoint. (From a) physical standpoint, you've got a shoulder you need to rehab. But you need to go clear your mind for a few weeks.'

"Sometimes you have to steer young guys into that realm as well."

It sounds as if DeFilippo thinks Trubisky's biggest hurdle is between his ears. Trubisky has spoken recently of his renewed motivation to play at a high level for the team that once spent the No. 2 overall pick on him, and a trade for a legitimate competitor at the position should drive him. But what DeFilippo said was most important was staying sharp in every detail, both big and small, which starts with attention and focus but first reveals itself in his feet.

Proper footwork is essential for any quarterback's success, and especially Trubisky's, whose seems to unravel over time.

"But as the game goes on," DeFilippo said, "it seems to get away from him at times. We've talked about that. That's just part of the process of every play, you got to be mentally (engaged). Mental, mental, mental, mental, mental, mental.

"It's just a grind, man."

Bears fans might already be preparing their wallets for a purchase of a Foles jersey, but at least one former competitor of Trubisky's thinks he's not about to give his job away.

"Make sure you're not sleeping on my boy Mitch, though," Steelers running back James Conner said during an appearance on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast. "I think Mitch is going to come out hot this year. That's my dog, I played Mitch [during] my senior year of high school. We've been going at it, you know Pitt vs. North Carolina, Steelers and Bears, even though I wasn't playing that year ... I know his work ethic, I know what he's about to do so he's going to come out fired up."

Fired up, and perhaps armed with the juice wanted by his coach. We'll see if it turns into a blaze or quenches Trubisky's flames.

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