It feels fitting that Mitch Trubisky’s best throw in Week 8 was a touchdown to tight end Zach Miller … which was promptly taken away by replay. You could make the case that play summarizes the first four starts of the Trubisky era, and what could be coming down the line in the final eight weeks of the season.
Despite completing just 14 of 32 passes for 164 yards, no touchdowns, an interception, and a 46.9 rating, Trubisky moved up seven spots up Doug Farrar’s weekly quarterback rankings. Now, whether that’s more about Trubisky improving from one week to the next or the state of the quarterbacks in the bottom half of league rankings is up for debate.
Farrar’s assessment is that Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains is giving Trubisky a fighting chance, calling plays that should give Trubisky the types of reads that will allow him to get into a rhythm … and the rookie quarterback just isn’t taking advantage of the situation.
On a surface level, Trubisky isn’t at a place where he can make those throws consistently and it’s going to keep the Bears offense from reaching its potential in 2017. If these problems persist, Trubisky won’t ever live up to the billing of a No. 2 overall pick and a player GM Ryan Pace traded draft picks to ensure his acquisition.
At a deeper level, Trubisky is still early in his development stages and patience is required for a quarterback who will be making just his 18th start since graduating high school. But make no mistake, he’s looked, unsurprisingly, like a rookie quarterback through his first four starts in the NFL.
His latest performance, in particular, is the type that’ll get picked apart in the film room because there are both positives and negatives from which to draw. In Week 8, he flashed his athleticism with a 46-yard run on 3rd-and-10, a well-placed 45-yard pass to Tre McBride III, and that overturned touchdown to Miller. He also showed a bit of inconsistency as he struggled with accuracy, particularly when he was pressured by a relentless New Orleans Saints defense. Ebbs and flows. Highs and lows. That’s the life of a rookie quarterback.
The Bears’ offensive coaches are tasked with a quarterback who is still learning to read NFL defenses and react properly. It’s one thing to see what’s happening on the other side of the ball, but it’s another thing to process the information as a play develops in real time and make the right decision. There will be times where he makes the right decision, which will be deserving of applause. Other times, of course, he’ll make the wrong decision that will leave you scratching your head. And once more, there’ll be times Trubisky makes a good choice – such as throwing the ball away – but it might not have been the best choice overall.
But we still think he’s on the right path and we’re glad he’s out there. After all, these are the things Trubisky needs to learn and work through between the lines that simply couldn’t be taught if he was still backing up Mike Glennon.