Forest Lake – “The most important game is the next” is 100 percent correct for the bears’ signal caller on a Sunday afternoon.
It’s easy to argue that it’s the most important in Mitchell Tropesky’s professional football career, because so much is at stake.
From the team’s point of view, the logic is simple: Win and the Bears are in the Qualifiers. They could enter with the Cardinals losing to the Rams, but the straightforward way would be for the midfielder to overtake the Packers for a second time in his Soldier Field.
On a personal level, the stakes could be greater. With his contract expiring at the end of this season, whether on Sunday or in the playoffs, these are moments for Tropesky either to win a new contract with the Bears or another team.
The midfielder is not naive about what is at stake when he enters the field on Sunday, but he believes that 2020 has prepared him for handling such a situation. From not extending his contract to having to compete for his job, winning it in the camp, then losing him in the third week, and finally getting him back, Trubisky is ready for anything.
“Everything I experienced this season has made me stronger, a better person and a player. What I had to deal with, everything we overcame as a team, just to see where we are now. I think it gives you the confidence to get into that. “Now you realize that all the distractions and all you have to deal with during the season, playing a season within a pandemic. It makes you mentally stronger as a person and you can handle a lot.
“We now have a great opportunity ahead of us, so our mission is to continue to stay locked up and look at what we have done over the past two weeks and what we have been doing in practice, get back to work and keep getting better.”
What this year’s experiences did to Tropesky also was to increase his appreciation to the teammates around him. They supported him during the ups and downs and it returned the favor with a strong end to the season.
Quarterback specifically thanked the offensive line, who had finally found consistency after months of struggling with changing personnel.
“I feel so proud of my buddies and proud that I have the opportunity to go out and play with them. Especially the five men at the front and all the skilled players we mix with but I have a special relationship with the five players in the front.” Lino, Cody, Sam, Pars, and Big J said. “They’re just an amazing bunch of guys and the way we’ve done and have kept getting better over the past two weeks, especially when we counted everyone else. I think this allowed us to get closer as a group, really rely on each other, and stay together during tough times.
“I think everyone has been fed up with their offensive line, their energy and intensity and how they’ve gotten better as a unit in the past two weeks. Really, everything in our attack goes through them, so I have to give a lot of credit to these guys.”
While together they prepare for a defining moment at 3:25 PM on a Sunday.