Mitch Trubisky can’t be feeling good right about now. Things couldn’t have gone worse for him in Week 1 of the 2019 season. Not only did he fall flat against the Green Bay Packers despite being in the third year of his career and having months to prepare. He also had to watch as fellow 2017 draft alum Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson had stat-tastic debuts to their seasons. Despite it being only one game, it felt like much more.
Chicago Bears fans have tried to stay patient with him. Knowing he’s young and trying to learn a difficult position. Still, after decades of watching so many quarterbacks fail, they’re growing tired of being patient. Many saw their faith in Trubisky’s growth take a crippling blow on Thursday night. He looked too much like his rookie form than a veteran with almost 30 games under his belt.
Depression set in for a lot of fans that night. Here is yet another Bears roster capable of winning a Super Bowl that is being held back by its quarterback. Is this team destined to go the route of 2006, 2001, and 1988? There are still 15 games left to play. Getting a definitive answer must wait until they’re played. By that point, Trubisky’s future will have come into focus. Nobody wants him to fail, but he isn’t making it easy.
One thing is clear though. The coaches know exactly what the problem is. By the sound of things, they’ve been pounding it into Trubisky’s head since the loss last Thursday as Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Mitch Trubisky must stop being an athlete and start playing QB
Quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone spoke with the media for the first time since the opener on Tuesday. Inevitably he was bombarded by questions about Trubisky. There was a ton of rather bland wordplay to sort through, however one interesting phrase was repeated twice during his the Q&A session. Something the team has reinforced to their young quarterback. It first appeared when asked about why the QB looked so out of sorts.
“There were things we were looking to have happen from him — and things he accomplished and things we need to improve on,” Ragone said. “Regardless of that being a win or a loss, we always strive to get better at fundamentals, get better with our eyes. There is no perfect game. When you have a loss, you self-evaluate just like after a win, and that’s something we’re doing this week.”
Then the words cropped up against when asked about Trubisky’s troubling tendency to lock in on Allen Robinson a little too much.
“It goes back to trusting the practice you’ve put in,” Ragone said. “He has put a ton of effort into working on all of that. Maybe not getting the initial result you want, just having the faith to go back — which he did at times — and trust your fundamentals and your eyes … trust your feet. That’s a constant we’re going to continue to preach to him.”
It isn’t an accident that Ragone kept saying those exact words.
One of the biggest issues Trubisky has had is in regards to his eyes and feet. Remember how people constantly talk about “going through progressions” all the time? Well such a thing is directly tied to those two body parts. A quarterback starts with his first read. If his eyes see it’s covered, he must shift to the next progression. That means looking to the next pass target and moving his feet to line it up properly so as to ensure an accurate pass.
Here is a video of Joe Montana during his career-best year in 1989 to help explain the idea.
Now here is another video of Trubisky from Thursday night. One can tell he lingers too long on his primary read and doesn’t move on to the next. This allows the pressure to set in, resulting in an errant throw. Had he come off that read quicker as he should’ve, he’d have found Taylor Gabriel open for an easy gain to set up a more manageable 3rd and 5.
This is what Ragone was talking about. He needs to trust his eyes. If the primary read looks covered, don’t linger on it. Move on to the next. What’s so frustrating about Mitch Trubisky isn’t that he can’t go through his progressions. It’s that he won’t do it consistently. Some games he’ll do it well. Then others it’ll be like he has never done it in his life. That is why Ragone said what he said. The coaches have to constantly stay on him about these things because they are vital to his success.