Mitch Trubisky’s first four starts have looked like what you’d expect from a rookie with 13 starts of college experience playing with a less than stellar cast of supporting characters. He is completing just 47.5 percent of his passes, averaging 128 passing yards per game, and owns a lowly 66.2 passer rating.
You see those raw statistics, and there’s no wonder one pundit believes the No. 2 overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft isn’t ready for the big stage.
Mike Freeman’s 10-Point Stance column at Bleacher Report weaves through what’s going on in the NFL. And he makes a stop at the Chicago Bears quarterback situation via comments from retired quarterback Rich Gannon who co-hosts CBS Sports Network’s NFL Monday QB program.
“He’s not ready to play and the Bears know it,” Gannon said on the show. “I think [the Bears] are trying to protect him as much as they possibly can with the game plan and play calls. They try to be conservative and they should be…It’s a very conservative approach with a young quarterback who’s not ready for prime time.”
Gannon had a 16-year NFL career, but didn’t take off until he joined the Oakland Raiders in 1999 at age 34. From there, he went to four straight Pro Bowls, earned two first-team All Pro nominations, and won the MVP in 2002. Perhaps Gannon knows a thing or two about the quarterback position, but it doesn’t take much to realize the Bears’ game plan has been to limit any and all risks with Trubisky under center. One could argue that kind of game plan has stunted Trubisky’s growth, especially when he looked rusty and inaccurate when asked to throw against the New Orleans Saints in Week 8.
Trubisky’s next start will be his 18th since graduating high school. So clearly, the rookie quarterback has plenty of growing pains to endure and many strides to take before he’s a finished product.
With that in mind, Boomer Esiason – who serves as Gannon’s co-host on NFL Monday QB – believes John Fox is the wrong head coach if the Bears are going to commit to developing Trubisky into a true franchise quarterback.
“I don’t necessarily know that this is the coaching staff or the offense that is going to get the most out of him,” Esiason said. “This is a defense-first coach (Fox). I never like that. I always want to see an offensive coach, much like Sean McVay, handling a high draft pick, much like Jared Goff in L.A.”
Between Fox’s strategies and the game plans constructed by Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains, Bears coaches have come under a ton of scrutiny this season. Things have only been magnified since Trubisky’s debut. Chicago’s brass is in a peculiar spot, as Fox is coaching for his job and his future while also trying to do right by developing Trubisky as a viable, long-term answer at quarterback. Experiencing bumps along the way were certain, but at least two NFL experts see significant hurdles that need to be cleared now, as well as in the future.