Chicago Marks First Stop in King’s Annual Training Camp Tour
“He can speak the language. But now he’s got to play the language.” – Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy on Second-Year QB Mitch Trubisky
“It’s hard to take. When I found out, I started crying. I’m still … just at a loss for words.” – Former LT Jake Long on Passing of Tony Sparano
Giants LB Harry Carson Reflects on Hall of Fame Selection Process in “What I Learned”; King Examines Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell’s Contract Situation
“Football Morning in America” Runs Every Monday Exclusively on NBCSports.com
STAMFORD, Conn. – July 23, 2018 – Peter King’s second edition of “Football Morning in America” includes the first stop of his annual training camp tour in Bourbonnais, Ill., where he spoke with first-year Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy about the direction of the franchise, interviews with former colleagues and players about the passing of veteran NFL coach Tony Sparano, and this week’s “What I Learned” with Hall of Fame and former New York Giants linebacker Harry Carson.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of “Football Morning in America”:
- Nagy on hiring former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich as his offensive coordinator: “Andy (Reid) always told us, ‘Hire people better than you are. That appealed to me. I asked Mark after about 15 minutes of talk, you know, hey, if I get a job, do you think you’d have any interest at all? And after maybe 30 seconds of thinking about it, he said, ‘It’s crazy you called. There is interest.’”
- Nagy on second-year QB Mitch Trubisky: “He can speak the language. But now he’s got to play the language.”
- Bears TE Trey Burton on the comparisons between Trubisky and Eagles QB Carson Wentz: “People have asked me about that comparison and they’ve taken it in the wrong way. I would never say Mitch is Wentz — Carson’s a top two or three quarterback in the league, and Mitch is still getting there.”
- Trubisky on utilizing RPOs under Helfrich: “I think just hiding the ball with the running back and then quick throws down the field — those are skills that fit what I can do well and I really enjoy the RPO as well. I think it keeps it simple. It allows us to play fast and it’s hard for the defense to cover.”
- Former Dolphins QB Chad Pennington on the passing of Sparano: “I will never forget our conversation when I walked into Miami that first day [Aug. 11, 2008] after getting signed. I go into Tony’s office, and he peers at me over the top of those glasses and he says, ‘Glad to have you here.’ He told me the culture he wanted to build there and said to me: ‘I need you to help us establish it.’ I always appreciated his honesty. That’s the only way he knew to be. Candid. Players loved that. And they loved that they knew with Tony, they were always going to be well-prepared.”
- Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson on Terrell Owens’ decision not to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio: “I don’t know why Terrell Owens has chosen not to go to Canton this year. But I fully support his right to do whatever he wants to. It’s his life.”
King also took a deep dive into the contract situation of Steelers LB Le’Veon Bell, utilizing data provided by Pro Football Focus to examine Bell’s decision to turn down a three-year contract extension and potentially become a free agent following the 2018 season.
Read the rest of the column here.
A new “Football Morning in America” will post every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.