It’s hardly a secret the Chicago Bears have had issues at the quarterback position. That information has become a standing joke for the NFL going back decades. Mitch Trubisky is merely the latest confused mess. Many will look at simple talent being a big issue, and that’s fair. However, there’s more that goes into such ineptitude than that. One might also look at system stability as another hallmark. What does that mean? Put simply, when was the last time a Bears QB had the same play caller as his coach for three seasons?
The fact that you just had to really think about that says it all. Here’s an eye-opening stat that perfectly exemplifies how unable the Bears have been to build a quarterback-friendly structure. The last person to be together with his play caller for at least three years was Jim Harbaugh. He and offensive coordinator Greg Landry were together from 1989 to 1992. This means since 1993, no QB-coach combo has lasted beyond two years.
There are various reasons for this streak to have held up so long. Eric Kramer had a chance to do in from 1994 to 1996 with Ron Turner but suffered multiple injury setbacks. Jim Miller almost made it with John Shoop until his body gave out on him as well between 2001 and 2003. Rex Grossman lost his starting job in the middle of his second year with Turner in 2007.
Then there was Jay Cutler.
Two years with Mike Martz in 2010 and 2011 before the coach was fired. Two years with Marc Trestman before the coach was fired. The remaining years each under a different coordinator. Just a brutal rate of turnover.
Mitch Trubisky could extend that streak in 2020
Now fast forward to the present day. Trubisky completed his second season with Matt Nagy as his play caller in 2019. The results weren’t what people had hoped for, throwing for just 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. This has led many to think the Bears are going to make some sort of significant move at quarterback. One that could see Trubisky lose his job if not right away then perhaps at some point during the season.
If so, that would extend the streak this franchise has endured of no continuity on offense to 27 years and counting. Why does this matter? Well mostly because quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl in recent years tend to have enjoyed continuity within their offense. Patrick Mahomes was in Year 3 under Andy Reid. Tom Brady was in Year 7 under Josh McDaniels. Joe Flacco was in Year 5 under Cam Cameron. Eli Manning was in Year 5 under Kevin Gilbride. Aaron Rodgers was in Year 5 under Mike McCarthy.
There are exceptions to the rule of course, but not often. Quarterbacks tend to play their best when they have full mastery of the system. Nagy himself stated it takes three years to get a firm grasp on his offense. This might explain why the Bears are hesitant to abandon Trubisky just yet.
One thing is for sure. If they do make a change, they better be sure it’s worth breaking up that continuity yet again.