Admittedly, it was a small task. But in the pre-draft process, every minute detail counts. So on March 16, Bears general manager Ryan Pace found himself curious to see how Mitch Trubisky would handle a routine assignment. A quintet of key Bears talent evaluators was headed to Chapel Hill, N.C., to visit Trubisky, the promising University of North Carolina quarterback. On the docket was a Friday morning workout to assess Trubisky's arm strength, athleticism and poise in person. But first, a traveling party that included Pace, coach John Fox, director of player personnel Josh Lucas, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone requested dinner. As Pace does with all such get-to-know-you dinners, he asked Trubisky to pick the restaurant and make the reservation. It's a minor request. But it often can be revealing of a player's reliability. Pace also ordered Trubisky to keep the meeting top secret, so as not to tip off anyone — not any Tar Heels coaches or teammates, not any other NFL execs or agents, not even a campus meter maid — to the Bears' interest. Trubisky took the directive and pieced things together. Before Pace and his cohorts arrived on campus, the Bears GM had a text. Dinner at 7 p.m. The venue: Bin 54, a top steakhouse in North Carolina's Triangle region. And to keep the gathering covert, Trubisky made the reservation for six under an alias: James McMahon. "I thought that was cool," Pace says. All of Trubisky's visitors from Chicago appreciated that touch. They took it as evidence of all they had been told about the 22-year-old quarterback never taking himself too seriously yet always focusing on the details.
How a covert visit to Chapel Hill solidified the Bears' conviction in Mitch Trubisky
Chicago Tribune | May 19