Chicago Tribune: Mitch Trubisky confident he can win Chicago Bears job.
NBC Sports: Trubisky still feels the Bears are his team.
The Athletic: How Bears QB Mitch Trubisky is trying to reach a ‘different level’.
Chicago Sun-Times: Mitch Trubisky – Nick Foles trade left me “kinda pissed off”.
We hadn’t heard much from Mitch Trubisky since the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Scratch that, we hadn’t heard ANYTHING from Mitch Trubisky since the conclusion of his disastrous 2019 season. The protesters were getting too close and the Bears sent their beleaguered young quarterback into the bunker without his fifth-year option. By the time he returned to ground level, a former-Super Bowl MVP was sitting behind his desk.
When Trubisky met (virtually) with the press last week, he said all the things you’d expect to hear, and are referenced in the headlines above. He hasn’t given up on being the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears. He believes he can be a better player. He’s not ceding ground to well-phallused Foles. Even though his voice seems incapable of rising above a sort of aw shucks monotone, there was certainly more resolve than we’d previously heard, more determination.
Will it matter? Probably not. Trubisky’s problem has never been that he doesn’t want to be great. He’s not JaMarcus Russell. He’s not Cade McNown. Since the day he arrived in Chicago the organization – both publicly and privately – has done nothing but praise the kid’s intangibles. He’s a good person, a great teammate, a hard worker.
The problem is he’s not any good at playing quarterback.
We’ve detailed where he struggled in 2019. Reading defenses. Getting into the right protections and plays. Deciding when to keep the football and get easy first downs with his legs. Hitting wide open receivers for big plays down the field. By every conceivable evaluative metric for quarterbacks, Trubisky ranked no better than 28th in the league, and often ranked below several backups. He was objectively bad. If he played any other position, or the Bears had a serviceable option on the roster, he would have been benched well before Thanksgiving.
This summer, Trubisky fights for his football life. If, as expected, he loses the starting job to Foles, it’s unlikely he’ll ever get a consistent opportunity to start in the league again. (Hell, the Bears tried to trade Mitch before the start of free agency and even they were surprised by how little interest they found.) First-round flop quarterbacks become backups for a bit and then disappear. Anybody seen Christian Ponder or E.J. Manuel lately? That’s the trajectory Trubisky is going to spend the next few months trying to avoid.
Am I rooting for Trubisky to succeed? No. The best case scenario for the 2020 Bears is Foles winning this job easily and relegating Trubisky to the bullpen. Foles is capable. He’s not great. He’s capable. He can do all those things Trubisky failed at in 2019. The Bears will be in the right protections. Wide open receivers will be hit. Capable quarterback play, paired with a possibly-dominant defense, will put the Bears back in the postseason.
And we’ve seen what Foles can do in the postseason.
Trubisky doesn’t believe his professional football story has been written yet. But to many around the league, that book has been closed and donated to Goodwill.