2019-The Year Mr. Biscuit Silences the Critics
Mitchell Trubisky's inaugural season in Matt Nagy's offense drew an overwhelming amount of criticism. Some of it was warranted, but most was blown out of proportion. It's funny how many national media members piggybacked on the idea of how Tru could not see the field or work through progressions. I doubt that the national media members each individually watched and analyzed film for every team. For the members of the media that did, how well do you think they know Nagy's offense, and the progressions the quarterback has within them? I will be the first to admit that Tru had his struggles, but the only moment that seemed "too big" for him was that first game against the Packers. The last drives of that game showed his inexperience, but he grew throughout the season. I can't think of any other times the Bears needed a clutch drive where Trubisky didn't deliver. The Bears offense as a whole had its problems in 2018. Lack of a running game put more emphasis on swing passes and screens to gain the short yardage needed to put the Bears in better second and third down situations. The entire offense was trying to get on the same page for most of 2018. Wide receivers coach Mike Furrey stated that some of the wideouts weren't running the routes to perfection and taking short cuts to get to their spot, which affects the timing and placement of every throw. Then, of course, there are the Mahomes and Watson comparisons. There's no denying how outstanding Patrick Mahomes's 2018 season was, but he was in a well-oiled machine. The Bears completely remodeled their offense, whereas the Chiefs had multiple returning skill players. It is unfair to compare the two seasons solely on the fact that Trubisky was an earlier draft selection than Mahomes. Compare the two when they're both considered veterans.
As Bears fans know Nagy preached patience while he installed the offense in 2018, the Bears offense was in 101 of Nagy's curriculum. After seeing Mitchell's first practices of 2019, Nagy said, " I can say with complete conviction the offense is in 202." Trubisky's character, work ethic, and leadership are all things highlighted by the Chicago Media. Mitchell entered the 2019 Chicago Bears OTAs with more command of the offense. He has a better understanding of the offense, which is making him more of a vocal leader. Nagy says Mitchell is breaking the huddle, getting his teammates in the right position, and dissecting the defense. It doesn't sound like much, but this time last year, Trubisky just got his playbook. Mitchell taking a step in the right direction will help the rest of the offense respond positively to the new vocal leadership he's displaying. The Bears organization loves Mitchell Trubisky. There hasn't been one Bears teammate that had a negative thing to say about Tru, former or present. Trubisky has all the intangible leadership qualities that a franchise quarterback needs.
The film from the beginning of last year showed the inexperience of the offense. The Bears would script their first 15 plays and those plays were successful. They had opportunities to score on half of their opening drives in 2018 but only converted on 6 of them because Cody Parkey was their kicker. Trubisky's operation of the script shows he had a strong work ethic and good study habits, as well as his ability to run the offense when he fully understands it. As the year went on the script was less successful. Defenses were catching up and starting to expose Trubisky's inexperience in reading disguised coverages. The Philadelphia game is the best indication of what Tru will bring in 2019. Below is a video of 4 huge throws Mitchell Trubisky made in the fourth quarter of the wildcard game last year. All of 2018 Nagy put the "training wheels" on Mitch during his development. Nagy knew what the Bears had on defense, so he wasn't going to have his team lose games pushing the ball downfield with risky throws. When it came down to it, The Bears needed big-time throws, and the wheels came off. Mitchell was impressive in the fourth quarter of the Eagles game. When looking at the clips, it's clear that Trubisky is working through his progressions, leading the defensive backs with his eyes, and using a deadly pump fake. Realistically Nagy should have called that wheel route 40 times in that game. The wild card game shouldn't have come down to a field goal, and Nagy will learn from his previous mistakes.
As Nagy and Mitch Progress together, the offense should start clicking on all cylinders. Bears fans are hopeful this year's offense will be a similar support system to Chuck Pagano's defense like Fangio's defense was to Nagy's offense in 2018. 2019 is a make or break year for Mitchell Trubisky. I believe he will have the type of year that can even shut Colin Cowherd up, but that may be a bit of a stretch.