Mitch Trubisky isn’t working with the most talented group of receivers to set foot on Soldier Field, but like Mike Glennon before him, the rookie is tasked with making the most of a tough situation.
Enter wide receiver Kendall Wright, who is here to lend a helping hand.
While tight end Zach Miller led Chicago Bears pass catchers with seven targets, it was Wright who garnered the most attention from Trubisky among the team’s receivers. Wright caught four of his five targets last night, gaining 46 yards in the process.
Each of Wright’s catches resulted in a first down, bringing his total of first-down grabs to 12 on the season. Pro Football Focus gave Wright an 80.0 grade for his efforts on Monday Night, which is the best for a Bears receiver in 2017. That honor previously belonged to Deonte Thompson, who earned a 76.5 grade in the team’s Week 2 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Wright is the most experienced and accomplished receiver on the Bears roster, the only one with a 1,000-yard season under his belt, and quite possibly the one who offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has the most faith in. After all, Loggains was Wright’s offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans when he produced that magical 94-catch, 1,079-yard season.
And despite Wright’s performance on Monday Night Football, rookie running back Tarik Cohen still leads the team in targets (30) and receptions (25). No wonder the Bears offense is the only one in the league without a pass play of 30+ yards.
Trubisky isn’t the first rookie quarterback to face this type of challenge and most certainly won’t be the last. Derek Carr was throwing to James Jones, Andre Holmes, and Brice Butler for the Raiders in 2014. Alex Smith was slinging it to Brandon Lloyd, Arnaz Battle, and Johnnie Morton as a rookie with the 49ers in 2005. Even Donovan McNabb started his career targeting Torrance Small, Charles Johnson, and Na Brown.
Because the Bears allowed Alshon Jeffery to walk away in free agency and didn’t draft any receivers to replace him (while also losing Cameron Meredith and Kevin White to injuries), Wright is the most important player at his position group on the roster. If Trubisky can develop chemistry with Wright, it will aid his long-term development and possibly bring a new element to the Bears offense.