Trubisky and Expectations.
What is real and what is hype is a fair question consumers have the right to ask. We live in a marketing generation that people will try to sell you an ice cube in hell. With reasonable deduction, is it possible to come up with common sense expectations for the quarterback of the Chicago Bears, Mitch Trubisky?
We have to start with what we know. He played 12 games in 2017 and had 7 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. He had 330 pass attempts with 196 completions. Jameis Winston played one more game than Trubisky, He threw 19 touchdowns and had 11 interceptions. He attempted 442 passes and completed 282 of those passes. So playing one more game than Trubisky, he attempted 112 passes more than Trubisky. Of course Winston had Mike Evans and Desean Jackson to throw to. Trubisky had guys who are no longer on the team. This is not me comparing him to Winston, this is to have something else to look at so we can get an idea.
So from that little bit, can we take away some reasonable thoughts? I think one is, and this will not shock the
drawers off of you, but Trubisky was in a highly conservative game. We also know this because, John Fox ran a run first, and second and most of the time on third down, against 8 in the box. That might have been forced upon Fox because he had very few receivers, who could get separations and get open. Again there were no Mike Evans or DeSean Jackson in the Bears lineup.
We also know, that when an offense becomes so predictable, it hurts the quarterback. Defenders know to give an umbrella coverage. There were not a lot of passes going past 20 yards. Very little stretching the defense, so the defenders did not have a hard time keeping everything in front of them. If I am reading the NFL stats correctly, Trubisky had 24-plus 20 yard completion and 4- 40 plus yards. In the same category, Winston had 32-20 plus yard completion and 5-40 plus yards. Tom Brady played 16 games, that is four more than TRU, he had 62 passes that was 20 plus yards. That is 38 more in those extra 4 games that he played.
Okay, I will not shock you with this conclusion but Trubisky was held back in 2017. John Fox sat on him quite a bit. The good news is, in those 12 games, Tru has had the opportunity to gauge the speed of the game.
Now this year, Nagy has stated, the aim is touchdown to checkdown. Last year it was a look to run first and find the checkdown if the primary receiver is not open, this year, it is balls against the wall boys, we are going for the t.d. first.
Last year the receiving corp started out with: Marcus Wheaton, Kendal Wright, Cameron Meredith,Kevin White, Victor Cruz, Josh Bellamy, Tanner Gentry and Deonte Thompson. Wheaton was hurt most of the year, Cruz did not make the team, Cameron Meredith and Kevin White was hurt. That left players like Gentry, Kendall Wright and Deonte Thompson, after Thompson was cut, players like Bellamy had to step up. Other than Bellamy who for special team purposes made this year team, who would have made the team this year from the 2017 core?
This year, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Kevin White, and Javon Wims. Plus you can consider Tre Burton in there as a weapon the Bears did not have last year. Does this favor Mitchell Trubisky this year over last year? I think it is reasonable to expect so. Players who can get open vs. players who could not?
Another factor that should help Trubisky is a head coach who played the position and has a different outlook. A man that is well seasoned and has had success with other QB's in the league who were under him. The offense will help Trubisky get a read on coverage. I expect to see a lot of "man in motion" in hopes the defense will have to commit itself to zone or man coverage before the snap. I am not sure how soon this will be actualized but as the season progresses, it is going to aid the Bears quarterback.
This is my reasonable hope, Trubisky will be far enough along with the weapons he has to see more open field for his receivers. Teams are not going to cheat up on Jordan Howard like they could last year. I do think it is okay to feel comfortable knowing teams cannot approach a Nagy offense like it was a John Fox offense.
I have said this before, expect this year to be Trubisky's worse year under Nagy. Experience and the players gelling will see incremental improvements from game to game. I am not saying, he is going to have a bad year, it will be a growing year for him. Like this year, next year, you can raise your expectations because his time under Nagy will season him. So will he be better this than he was last year? Absolutely and I am not trying to sell you an ice cube and this isn't hell.