An edgy and almost defiant quarterback Mitchell Trubisky insisted he has the support he needs from coach Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears' struggling offense will not be torn apart by outside criticism.
He said Nagy has "my back no matter what." And he was adamant the offense is sticking together even though it's looked unglued on the field lately.
The Bears will try to put it all together after back-to-back losses when they host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
"We've got each other's back and we've just got to continue to remind each other of that because people are going to continue to try and break us apart, saying we're not doing this and we're not doing that," Trubisky said Wednesday.
"A lot of people on the outside would probably do things differently or do things their way. But the fact of the matter is this is our team, our family, he's the head coach. We can do it however we want but the fact that we have each other's backs and we're going to do it our way, it gives me a lot of confidence."
There are all sorts of questions hanging over the Bears (3-3) and Trubisky — and not much room for error.
Coming off a 12-4 season and NFC North championship in Nagy's first year, Chicago appeared poised for bigger things. The Bears were counting on Trubisky to take another step after showing some promise last year and lead the offense to another level.
Instead, Trubisky's struggling. The offense appears stuck. The vaunted defense has been pushed around lately, too.
The Bears were 3-3 last year, then went on a 9-1 run to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. But Trubisky acknowledged this has a different feel, that the frustration on offense is leading to mental errors.
Chicago trails Green Bay by 2½ games and Minnesota by 1½ in the division and can hardly afford to lose more ground.
"Coming into this year, our highest intentions weren't to be toward the bottom of the league in offense," Nagy said.
But that's exactly where they are at the moment.
Chicago ranks 26th in points per game, 30th in total offense, 29th in passing and 28th in rushing. The Bears have converted just 32 percent of their third downs.
The run game has struggled with a franchise-low seven rushing attempts in a 36-25 loss to New Orleans last week. The blockers aren't creating many holes or much protection. But Trubisky simply hasn't played as well as the Bears hoped. In his third NFL season and second in Nagy's system, he is averaging 167.8 yards per game and ranks near the bottom of the league at 5.2 yards per attempt.
But Chargers coach Anthony Lynn apparently saw what Bears general manager Ryan Pace saw when he traded up a spot to draft Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017.
"He reminded me sometimes of Aaron Rodgers," Lynn said.
The Bears were hoping Trubisky would build on a solid effort against struggling Washington in a Week 3 victory following rough outings against Green Bay and Denver. But a left shoulder injury early in the win over Minnesota on Sept. 29 forced him out of that game.
He sat out a loss to Oakland in London the following week. And coming off a bye, Trubisky put on a performance against New Orleans that raised more questions about whether he is the quarterback to lead the Bears to the next level.
Though Trubisky threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns, most of that came late when the game was out of hand. The Bears had only four first downs through the first three quarters.
He was off target, looked uncomfortable in the pocket and acknowledged he had "happy feet" at times. Trubisky said he needs to "calm down" and improve his footwork.
"His confidence isn't at an all-time high," Nagy said. "We're struggling right now. But he's not the only one."
Trubisky insisted the offense will click.
"I think we all know we're capable of, talent-wise on offense and what we can be and what we did last year," he said. "If you don't believe in that you're in the wrong spot, the wrong place."