In a piece for SB Nation, Peter Bukowski digs into how the Bears have worked to unlock Mitch Trubisky’s potential this season, and you’ll want to check it out. The highlights in this must-read piece include quotes from Head Coach Matt Nagy, Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich, and Quarterbacks Coach Dave Ragone, each of whom has had their hands in re-booting Trubisky 2.0. And while no one wants to look back at what happened last year, you truly can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.
At the crux of the problem for Trubisky entering 2018 were the restrictive habits formed during his 12-start rookie season under Head Coach John Fox and Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains. So it’s a refreshing concept to have coaches who understand quarterback development, prioritize it, and are willing to go all in and get hands-y in the process. Indeed, it’s somewhat fascinating how much good coaching and an improved game plan has raised Trubisky’s level of play (the new receiving toys didn’t hurt, either, but still). Remember, Trubisky was on pace for a 3,900-yard, 30-touchdown season before missing the last two games with a shoulder bruise. Those are good landmarks for a second-year quarterback who had as much growing to do as Trubisky did from Year 1 to Year 2.
Of course, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but following Trubisky’s growth under Nagy from the outset has certainly been one heck of a ride.
- Think back to April when we discussed how Nagy was open to Trubisky letting it rip, making mistakes, and learning from them, which was the absolute opposite of what he was being taught as a rookie (remember how the head coach and offensive coordinator had different public opinions regarding Trubisky’s development?).
- We then moved to June when we highlighted Chase Daniel’s role in helping Trubisky flush out the old offense and embrace the new scheme.
- Move forward to September, where we discussed Nagy coaching Trubisky into being a more instinctual player and pushing his quarterback into being a thrower first.
- In early November, we picked up on how Nagy had successfully re-programmed Trubisky, then went into the video-room and dissected how Trubisky was truly taking to Nagy’s coaching. If you really think about it, this has all been building up since the day Nagy was hired.
It’s been quite a haul to get Trubisky to where he is now from where he was at the start of the year, but it’s been worth it to see real growth from the player at the most important position in the game.
Trubisky’s development from Year 1 to Year 2 has aided the Bears in their team rebound in going from last place in the NFC North to battling for a division title in December. And for the Bears to reach their ultimate goal, they will need their quarterback’s growth to continue. So far, so good.