Mitchell Trubisky’s contract will expire after next season, but it’s not necessarily all over for the Chicago Bears quarterback who has a chance to revive his career.
At just 25, Mitchell Trubisky has seen many things in the NFL as the Chicago Bears quarterback.
After being the No. 2 pick, he unseated Mike Glennon as the starter under John Fox to lead his dated offense. Then, he thrived under Matt Nagy in 2018 and the Bears made the playoffs. Following a season that saw him miss time with a shoulder injury and the Bears miss the playoffs largely because of his regression, his fifth-year option was not picked up.
Trubisky is in a quarterback competition with Nick Foles who was acquired for a fourth-round pick. If he doesn’t win the job, he’ll be looking at the Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota route as former top-two picks who bust out and become backups elsewhere.
In his 41 games as a starter, Trubisky is 23-18, with 48 touchdowns, 29 interceptions and an 85.8 quarterback rating. Trubisky has four career comebacks and six career game-winning drives. In the playoffs, Trubisky is 0-1 as a starter, throwing one touchdown and 303 yards in the infamous double-doink loss to the Eagles two seasons ago. Don’t blame that loss on Trubisky. He put his team in the best position to succeed on that final drive.
So, what happened from 2018 to 2019 for Trubisky? There is a mixture of things. For starters, the Bears offensive line was banged up and struggled to keep a clean pocket for Trubisky all year-long. Secondly, the Bears seemed to abandon the running game, something they did well with in 2018.
Counting with the trend of things that went against Trubisky was his shoulder and hip injuries. He injured his shoulder on the first drive Week 4 against the Vikings. He’d miss just one game, but the injury kept him in a harness for the rest of 2019. When the season ended, he had surgery on his shoulder, something he put off in hopes for a playoff run, a run that did not get close to happening.
Lastly, the play calling wasn’t as solid as in 2018. Nagy didn’t want to use Trubisky’s strengths to his benefit while putting him in situations where he had no chance of succeeding and the run game was non-existent behind an offensive line that had issues.
So, how does Trubisky move past 2019 and revive his career? Well, he has to beat Foles out for the starting job in Chicago first. If he can’t beat out Foles, he’ll have to try his luck in a different city.
If he beats Foles, there are key things that need to happen for Trubisky to be successful in 2020. For starters, the Bears need to use their running game more frequently. As Trubisky grows as a passer, he’s going to need more help. The best help a young quarterback can get is running the football.
Next, he needs to use his legs to his advantage. In 2018, Trubisky ran for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Nagy used a moving pocket and let Trubisky use his legs to extend plays. In 2019, Trubisky had just 193 rushing yards and two touchdowns. There was a lack of Trubisky using his athleticism to his advantage.
Finally, he has to get on the same page as Nagy. I think most of their inability to mesh well came from an off-year from the team. The Bears did lead the NFL in dropped passes. That doesn’t help the confidence of a young quarterback. If they can get their relationship back on track, there is hope for Trubisky in Chicago.
These next few months will be telling for Trubisky’s career. If he’s ever going to be “the guy” in Chicago, it’ll happen this season. If it doesn’t, the Bears will certainly be moving on from Trubisky.