The Chicago Bears playing against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday allowed local media a chance to catch up with John Harbaugh, a very successful head coach who rode a strong defense and a developing quarterback to a Super Bowl title.
All things considered, there aren’t too many better brains to pick than Harbaugh’s. And in Patrick Finley’s 10 Bears questions column, we were given a brief look into the mind of John’s brother Jim, the former San Francisco 49ers head coach who now coaches at the University of Michigan, and appears to be a fan of Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky:
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he talked about Trubisky with his brother, Jim, the former Bears quarterback and current Michigan coach, before the draft.
“He liked him coming out,” he said. “You know I did talk to him about the quarterbacks – I always do. And he thought very highly of him.”
Jim Harbaugh should know a thing or two about what a successful NFL quarterback looks like. After all, he had a quality 14-year NFL career as a player, leading the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC Championship Game, and heading to a Pro Bowl. Harbaugh has also coached Alex Smith to a NFC Championship Game appearance and Colin Kaepernick to a Super Bowl.
I wouldn’t dare attempt to connect the dots from Ann Arbour to Lake Forest just yet, but at least the former Bears quarterback seems to approve of the one currently under center.
- We can dream on potential, but no one truly knows what the Bears have in Trubisky at this time. However, one ex-teammate believes the Bears quarterback has what it takes to turn around the franchise’s misfortunes at the position. Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne writes about this class of rookie quarterbacks and catches up with Bug Howard, one of Trubisky’s top receivers at North Carolina who is currently on the Cleveland Browns practice squad. If you’ll recall, the Bears had Howard in on a tryout not too long ago. Howard tells Dunne he believes Trubisky “will be on an Aaron Rodgers level in five years.” That’s mighty high praise for a player who started just 13 games in college, once in the preseason, and will take his second regular season start on Sunday.
- Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly writes the Bears’ change in quarterbacks shows the team has a certain level of faith in Trubisky, which seems important considering his surroundings aren’t all that stable. The receivers room is a mess, one of the team’s key offensive linemen has taken a step back in Year 2, injuries have nagged players across the gridiron, and penalties have helped keep the Bears from taking steps toward progress. Still, the Trubisky led Bears had a different look and it will be worth tracking how that evolves in the coming weeks.
- Has Tarik Cohen hit a rookie wall? JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes the electrifying running back has seen his playing time and production reduced in each of the last two weeks, that could be partly a coincidence as RB1 Jordan Howard’s shoulder seems to have a clean bill of health. This could be the case of Cohen trying too hard, as he said his dancing in the backfield led to his struggles in Week 5. “I feel like I was trying too hard to make a play,” Cohen said in Stankevtiz’s piece. “And that’s what I really gotta look at, just playing to the offense and taking what’s there.”
- One area the Bears need to try harder in is in the discipline department. The team has a thin margin of error to start, but as JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes, the penalties have truly compounded matters. According to The Football Database, the Bears have committed the ninth most penalties with 38. Offensive penalties have been a drag, as the team ranks in the top-10 in offensive holding and false starts. That certainly won’t help Trubisky’s development one bit.
- The only thing hurting the Bears more than penalties in 2017 is injuries, which is something the Baltimore Ravens can surely understand. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes Baltimore certainly has a feel for what ails the Bears as the Ravens are the only team who has players miss more time due to injuries than Chicago – which is quite the accomplishment.
- Baltimore can also feel Chicago’s pain regarding disappointing first-round receivers. While we struggle with the Kevin White experience, the Ravens can’t seem to get first-round receiver Breshad Perriman going. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley allows for a comparison of the two receivers from a draft class where the best values at the position came in fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder and fifth-rounder Stefon Diggs.