The Mitch Trubisky-Adam Shaheen bromance started to yield some positive returns after a little bit of extra time on the practice field.
“Adam did a great job when I threw the ball his way. And he was coming down with it every single time,” Trubisky told reporters after Sunday’s win. “It was awesome. I guess it’s just a tribute to the extra work we put in before and after practice, and me and him just getting on the same page.”
The extra sessions put in by the rookies paid dividends in the Chicago Bears’ win in Week 14.
Trubisky had his best game of the year and Shaheen caught four of the five passes Trubisky threw his way, gained 44 yards, and scored a touchdown. The rookie tight end has become a viable option for Trubisky in the red zone, catching three of the give targets Trubisky has thrown in the area – with two of thos grabs going for touchdowns. Perhaps Trubisky will continue to target Shaheen over the season’s final three weeks.
Statistically speaking, he would be wise to do so. Shaheen has hauled in 11 of 13 passes thrown to him by Trubisky, gained 125 yards, and scored two touchdowns. Seven of Trubisky’s 11 throws have resulted in first downs. It’s a small sample, but it still adds up to an impressive 146.3 passer rating for Trubisky when throwing to the 6-6, 278-pound tight end.
Trading picks to move up to ensure an opportunity to draft Trubisky was risky, but logical considering the importance of the position, and the understandable fear of missing out. But drafting Shaheen, a physically and athletically gifted (but raw) Division II tight end, was a riskier choice.
Bears GM Ryan Pace made Trubisky and Shaheen the team’s first two picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, thus, making them two building blocks for the offense. The two were roommates in training camp and played together often when both were on the third-team offense during the preseason.
But on Sunday, the Bears and their fans finally saw a glimpse of what the offense could look like if Trubisky plays well and Shaheen is given additional playing time. Rookies should dominate the action in the next three weeks, so hopefully the Trubisky-Shaheen connection will take center stage once again.