Mitch Trubisky was the Black Knight.
With his arms cut from his body, he turned to a Pythonian King Arthur and declared it “just a flesh wound”. We, the fans and media alike, reacted like Arthur does moments later in the immortal Holy Grail: “You’re a loony”.
But is it possible we’re the loonies?
Trubisky’s performances against the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys do not, by any means, cement his status as the Chicago Bears starting quarterback in 2020. The tape don’t lie and too often this season Trubisky has looked the part of a back-up. Uncomfortable in the pocket. Unable to read defenses or get the line into the right protection. Unwilling to get easy yards with his legs. Unbelievably inaccurate.
But since the whistle blew to start the second half against the New York Giants, he’s quite simply been a different player. Yes there are still accuracy issues and yes there are still decisions that leave us scratching our heads. But most quarterbacks in this league have those moments. What Mitch hadn’t been doing was compensating for those moments with production. With first downs. With great throws. With touchdowns. With wins.
Now he is. And the mistakes are far more forgivable in Club Dub.
Did the light switch turn on?
Has this three-game stretch been a definable turning point for the young signal caller?
Perhaps The Great Trubisky Project was a more difficult endeavor than any of us imagined and it’s taken Mitch a year and a half in Matt Nagy’s system to finally grasp how he’s best suited to run it. (And quite possibly vice versa.) Perhaps in this crazy, impatient, Tweet-before-you-think world, we are witnessing something all too rare in the sports universe: a young player developing at his own pace.
There was another team that desperately wanted Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft. A prominent member of their front office, who I often refer to as [REDACTED], told me they believed Mitch was a three-year project. That’s how raw his tools were perceived to be. He also told me his team was going to operate on “The McNair Model” if they drafted him. Steve McNair didn’t become the full-time starting quarterback of Tennessee Titans until his third season.
The trepidation is understandable. And as sure as hitting “Publish” on this post, Trubisky could lay a horrible egg at Lambeau next week and send the fan base back into a quarterbacking tailspin.
But it is undeniable that what felt like a closed book is now reopened. Trubisky could have let the criticism bury his career. He could have wallowed and walked down Backup Boulevard like so many have before him. Instead he got angry. He got tough. And now he’s given himself a chance to be the franchise quarterback Ryan Pace selected number two overall.
In other words, maybe it was just a flesh wound. Maybe this Black Knight will triumph.