As NFL teams fight battle after battle each Sunday, it’s difficult to keep the war in mind. But Matt Nagy needs to keep thinking about it and let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball.
- Trubisky is currently on pace to throw 552 passes, which would’ve been 7th in the league last year.
- He’s thrown at least 34 passes in both of the Bears games this season; games in which they were leading almost throughout.
- He reached 34 passes just three times in 12 games last year, despite playing from behind much of the time.
While there’s little question that he’s been a weak link on the team, the Bears can’t take the ball out of his hands until they know he can’t get the job done.
One thing that has become painfully clear early in 2018 is that John Fox was correct in his evaluation that the team’s best chance for winning in 2017 was to limit the rookie quarterback’s exposure. Whether or not that hindered Trubisky’s development is debatable, but it left the Bears without any real indication of whether or not he could get the job done without any handcuffs. Now it’s up to Nagy to figure out if Trubisky can swim and the best way to do that is to throw him into the deep end.
The Bears could probably ask Trubisky to do the bare minimum and they’d win more than they lost, but where would that get them? They’d have no shot at winning the Super Bowl and still wouldn’t know if they had their answer at quarterback.
It’s hard to argue that the Bears’ quarterback shouldn’t be further along in his development but he has shown flashes of brilliance. The biggest concern so far has to be the number of times he has missed throws that should have been easy completions. He’s still struggling with his footwork, a major point of emphasis since he was drafted by the Bears. Those struggles should be few and far between at this point, but he still has time to work through them.
The best thing Ryan Pace did this offseason was put his young quarterback in a position to succeed. They have weapons, coaches and blockers. It’s up to Trubisky to put it together. When he’s been adequate, the Bears have had long drives. If he can do it consistently, they’ll be very difficult to beat.
Nagy is still incredibly optimistic about the quarterback and Pace surely is too. The Bears wouldn’t have made the trade for Khalil Mack unless they were certain Trubisky was going to be the guy. Now, it’s up to the player to prove them right.
• Kyle Fuller got a huge contract because he showed the ability to play the ball last year. That hasn’t been happening this year.
The deep touchdown he gave up against the Packers was largely defended, but ESPN’s Louis Riddick was having none of that. Against Seattle, he had two plays that should have been relatively easy interceptions, but weren’t simply because he never looked for the ball. The first was a deep pass down the middle of the field to Will Dissly that fell incomplete. The second, of course, was the touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett.
Fuller needs to be better. He’s being paid to be better.
• Aaron Lynch is going to be really interesting this year. We have no idea how or why San Francisco felt they didn’t need him anymore, but he’s one of the better third rushers in the league.
• Dion Sims is playing way too many snaps. I understand that they like his ability to block, but he’s useless in the passing game. Adam Shaheen’s return is going to be huge for this offense.
• Khalil Mack is even better than any of us thought. He might be the franchise’s best defensive player since Butkus.