Mitch Trubisky Is Well-Positioned to Win NFL's Most-Improved Player Award

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Mitch Trubisky Is Well-Positioned to Win NFL’s Most-Improved Player Award

Chicago Bears

Jared Goff was once a top quarterback prospect lost in the big, bad NFL world. But when a new head coach, offensive scheme, and a refurbished group of receivers surrounded him, he was able to find some pretty immediate and significant success. Perhaps, Mitch Trubisky will follow in his footsteps.

As we all know, the Bears have given Trubisky many of the same improvements Goff received after his rookie season, and at least one collection of football minds is buying the upside: Bleacher Report’s panel of pro football experts has come up with long-shot candidates for league awards, listing Trubisky as the top dark-horse for the NFL’s Most Improved Player award.

Goff won the award last year after throwing for 3,804 yards and 28 touchdowns to go with a sparkling 100.5 passer rating. The Los Angeles Rams signal caller’s sophomore surge followed a woeful rookie season, where he struggled with his accuracy and efficiency as was surrounded by sub-par pass-catchers in an unimaginative offense. Wow, doesn’t that sound familiar? Trubisky and Goff were roommates during the offseason in California, so it’s only right to dream on Goff sharing his experiences and showing Trubisky what it takes to take that much-talked-about next step in his development.

They even became best friends:

One could make a case that Trubisky is already ahead of the curve compared to Goff at this time last year. Trubisky has started more games, thrown for more yards and touchdowns, and posted a better passer rating as a rookie than Goff did in his first year in the pros. And while they each threw the same number of interceptions, Trubisky’s 2.1 percent interception rate was more than a full percentage point lower than Goff’s 3.4 INT% during his rookie season. For all of the flaws in the offensive system run by Dowell Loggains during John Fox’s reign, at least Trubisky learned the value of not turning the ball over.

Of course, we have to be clear. Statistically, Trubisky’s rookie season really wasn’t great. The University of North Carolina product averaged 6.6 yards per attempt, 182.8 yards per game, and completed just 59.4 percent of his pass attempts. Even when you extrapolate his rookie year numbers over 16 games, we would find ourselves looking at a player who would project to finish with 2,924 passing yards, 9 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Not quite the numbers you’d expect from the face of the franchise quarterback.

But when you scout him beyond the numbers and consider the new coach, scheme, receivers, and playbook (and how bad his numbers looked last year), well, most improved seems well within reach.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.