LAKE FOREST – On Thursday, he turned 26 years old, and for Cordarrelle Patterson, it might have been a rebirth for his quarterback.

At least that’s what it seems like to the utility players and current running back when talking about Mitchell Trubisky. That’s because the player on the field now is not the one he remembers from just a year ago.

“He actually looks like a whole new player this year,” said Patterson of Trubisky. “I just see it in his eyes each and every day.”

Why does the signal caller seem like a changed man?

“Last year I didn’t feel like he was that guy but this year I feel like he’s taking over. He wants everybody to know that he’s that guy and we can come to him when we need something, and he’s doing that. He’s doing a helluva job of it.”

It’s a bold statement for him to make before a make-or-break year for the fourth-year quarterback. Drafted to be the team’s franchise signal-caller in 2017, Trubisky has reached the crossroads of his career after an inconsistent 2019 forced the Bears to bring in competition.

So does Mitch agree with Cordarrelle?

“I think so,” said. “I know what is being asked me and what I need to do. I’m being more of an edge to the offense, a little more sense of urgency. I’m just trying to go out there and make great decisions and be a spark for this offense.”

Trubisky told reporters this week that he’s always had that edge, but it showing more of it now in his hopes of winning back the job that’s been his since October of 2017. Yet the fact that he’s in a competition is just one motivating force for the quarterback, for there are many others out there that have changed his mindset.

“Just realizing this is the last year of my contract, being hurt last year and not playing up to my own expectations,” said Trubisky. “I think going 8-8, having a quarterback competition, and the desire to continue to go out and chase greatness. It’s a combination of all those things.”

The question of whether Trubisky has truly changed for the better may not fully come till the end of the 2020 season. But hearing Patterson’s comments certainly has motivated the quarterback before his biggest year in the NFL so far.

“For him to say that, it means a lot to me. I’m just trying to do my job and I worked on my craft this offseason so for it to show up this early, it’s nice for your teammates to notice that but we’ve just got to keep working, keep pulling together, and make sure we’re improving the offense.”