Preparing to face the Baltimore Ravens on a short week of practice is no easy task, and judging by one statistic, doing so as a rookie quarterback is one of the NFL’s toughest challenges.
Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes John Harbaugh’s Ravens are 11-0 against rookie quarterbacks at home since taking over as head coach in 2008. This counts regular season and postseason games. Rookie quarterbacks have been sacked 30 times, thrown 17 interceptions, and have thrown just three touchdown passes in those 11 games. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jameson Hensley shares the fact Jake Plummer is the last rookie quarterback to beat the Ravens at home in the franchise’s 22-year history.
So if Mitch Trubisky wants to re-write the record books, he’ll have to do something that hasn’t been done since 1997.
Good luck, rookie.
- While the Ravens look to make it tough on Trubisky in his first road start, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco offers up some sage advice via the Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer. “You can’t be thinking about the pressures of performing and doing all those things,” Flacco told the Chicago media in a teleconference. “You just have to go out there and play the game you love and take it for what it is. It’s football. You can’t make it bigger than that.” Flacco became the latest Super Bowl winning quarterback to weigh in on Trubisky and life as a rookie quarterback, joining Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Hopefully, Trubisky is soaking in every ounce of good advice he can get from outside the room.
- Grading a rookie’s debut is commonplace, and Larry Mayer is the latest to chime in with another passing grade. Mayer came away impressed with Trubisky, particularly his strong start while playing on a national stage. The numbers weren’t pretty and neither was that late-game interception, but the consensus seems to be there was more bad than good despite the outcome of Monday’s game.
- And if all else fails, Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune writes Trubisky is a welcome distraction from the many other problems the Bears currently have. Head coach John Fox insisted the Bears had other issues beyond the quarterback position after the team’s Week 4 loss against the Green Bay Packers, and it turns out he was right. Problems with penalties, missed assignments, mass confusion while lining up, and drops were among the things that popped up and turned out to be costly in a Week 5 loss. Like Mike Glennon before him, Trubisky will need to play through the miscues during this stage of his development. Still, the coaches and players around him could go a long way toward aiding Trubisky’s development by cleaning up those issues.
- Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes Trubisky is still in the process of tackling the learning curve of life as a quarterback. Among the things he’ll get a feel for in the weeks to come as he tries his hand under center will be learning when to be the gunslinger and when to play it cool and conservative. Trubisky seemed to understand where he erred in discussing his back-breaking interception in the fourth quarter that directly led to Minnesota hitting a game-winning field goal.
- Despite what we saw in the preseason and the flashes he showed against the Vikings, we need to keep it in perspective that Trubisky has only 14 starts under his belt since graduating high school. There will be some bumps along the rookie’s road to development. Still, Trubisky can’t be scared to move ahead or afraid to make mistakes. Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald writes Trubisky pledges not to be tentative against a Ravens defense that did a number on E.J. Manuel last week in a win against the Oakland Raiders. Frankly, you don’t want Trubisky to be hesitant at this point of his development as mistakes of aggression can be good teaching points. And you really don’t want to coach a player’s aggressive nature out of him, especially not at that position where there can be rewards in risk.
- Growing pains are a natural part of the grooming process for a young quarterback. JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes there is a belief Trubisky can be the kind of quarterback who elevates the play of his teammates as he fights through the ups-and-downs of being a rookie. For what it’s worth, his head coach thought Mike Glennon could be that guy earlier in the year but that proved to not be the case as he struggled through four games as a starter. We’ll soon see if Trubisky learned from watching Glennon’s miscues and come through for a team that needs its quarterback to make his surroundings look better.