The NFL season doesn’t give players time to mourne what could’ve or should’ve been. Head coach Matt Nagy had a decision to make in Atlanta. Give Mitch Trubisky a chance to engineer another 4th quarter comeback or start the transition to Nick Foles. After watching another painful interception on an ill-advised throw, Nagy chose the latter.
It’s hard to question that move at this point. Foles led the Bears on a wild comeback to beat the Falcons and then shocked the favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football 10 days later. It was a type of victory this team hasn’t seen much of in the Trubisky era. In primetime against an opponent with a good defense and a Hall of Fame quarterback.
This has made it easy to forget about Trubisky. He’s sort of faded into the background. Most fans already consider him an afterthought. Such is the harsh reality of being benched. If you don’t get the job done, nobody wants anything to do with you anymore. Having been such an in-demand talent for so many years, that had to be hard for the 26-year old to take.
One person though isn’t letting Trubisky wallow in misery.
Henry Burris, one of the newest additions to the Bears coaching staff was also a quarterback for the organization back in 2002. He knows what it’s like to be benched and cast aside as if not good enough. According to Dan Pompei of The Athletic, he’s been using that experience to help his young quarterback regain his confidence.
“A lot that he’s going through is the same I went through,” he says. “I told him you can never say die. You have to worry about the things you can control. The decisions that are made are outside of your control. He has to focus on the things he knows he needs to focus on to become a better quarterback.”
Burris is smart to stay on Mitch Trubisky
There is more to this approach by Burris that simply trying to help a young man cope with rejection. He understands that the NFL season isn’t over yet. Foles is the starter, yes. He knows that. He also knows the 31-year old has never started more than 11 games in a season. Most of that due to repeated injury setbacks including two broken collarbones.
It is possible the Bears will need to go back to Trubisky at some point this season. They can’t expect good results if they let him linger in the past. He must look to the future and be ready for that next opportunity. He’s still young and hasn’t lost any of his talent. Maybe this time on the bench will help him grasp what he was missing.
This wouldn’t be the first time a highly drafted QB overcame a benching to regain starter status. Drew Brees did it. Alex Smith did it. Phil Simms did it. This wouldn’t be an unprecedented turn of events. It comes down to whether the light goes on for Mitch.
Burris seems to think that is possible.
He should know. He went from an NFL washout to one of the greatest CFL quarterbacks in history. If Mitch Trubisky buys into what his new coach is saying, then this may not be the last Bears fans have heard from him. If nothing else, it’s nice to see the coaching staff isn’t allowing to just gather dust on the trash heap. They’re still trying to make him better.