Back in September, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shared his thoughts regarding how the Chicago Bears should go about developing Mitch Trubisky. You can read them here if you’d like to take a trip down memory lane.
And while Rodgers is a rival and a pain in the butt of every living Bears fan, we couldn’t help but pay close attention to his perspective. After all, who knows more about what it takes to be among the best at his position than a guy who lived it? Rodgers owns a unique perspective, and whether you like him or not, it’s never bad to get different points of view.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s try and get a handle on Rodgers’ point of view on the much-talked-about second-year leap as the Bears start mandatory minicamp.
“The second year is maybe the toughest year for a quarterback because you have an entire offseason for teams – especially in your division – to study you,” Rodgers told Scott Keepfer of The Greenville News. “It makes things a little harder. I played decent my first year and came back in ’09 and was seeing some different looks because there’s a lot more film on you.”
For the record, Rodgers clearly didn’t have any issues adjusting to those looks. He led the Packers to an 11-5 record (a five-win improvement over 2008), improved his completion percentage, threw for more yards and touchdowns, and fewer interceptions, and made the Pro Bowl. So not only should Trubisky take Rodgers’ advice to heart, it’s clear that he should follow the blueprint laid out by his Green Bay counterpart.
It’s not a coincidence that both the Vikings and Lions faced Trubisky twice during his rookie season, and that Trubisky didn’t fare as well in the rematch as he did the first time out. Detroit was the first team to get a second shot at Trubisky, and with a game of tape in their back pockets, the team forced three interceptions in a 20-10 Bears loss. Minnesota didn’t pick off any Trubisky passes in its second outing against Trubisky, but they rendered him ineffective as he posted a not-so-nice 69.0 passer rating and averaged 4.94 yards per attempt in a 23-10 Vikings win that wasn’t as close as that score indicates.
Minnesota and Detroit made defensive adjustments that stifled the Bears’ rookie quarterback, which was to be expected from teams with experienced defensive play-callers who were in the thick of the playoff hunt. To be fair, you could easily make an argument that Chicago’s decision-makers didn’t do much to counter what those opposing defenses were doing. It’s part of the reason Matt Nagy and a new offensive staff is in Chicago, to help Trubisky avoid the pitfalls of what can happen when good defensive teams exploit the additional tape a player puts out there.
Since no one has seen Trubisky perform in Nagy’s offense, perhaps we should treat this as a clean slate. But even if we did, Trubisky would still need to conquer whatever opposing defenses threw at him after another go-around with even more film on the record.