Mitch Trubisky threw for 3,223 yards, tossed 24 touchdowns, and added 421 rushing yards (and three more touchdowns) during the 2018 season. At the surface, it represented a second-year leap in production for the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. But not everyone sees it that way.
Dan Pompei of The Athletic spoke with three league scouts on the condition of anonymity, who shared their freshest and most honest opinions about the 2019 Chicago Bears. The most candid commentary was directed at Trubisky, as each of the scouts shared varying degrees of skepticism regarding what the starting quarterback will bring to the table this season.
One scout said he liked Trubisky’s arm strength, mobility, and traits, but still wants to see him make “elite” throws in late-game and red-zone situations. Fair enough. Chicago’s offense will go only as far as Trubisky takes it. And while having the tools and potential is important, getting it done on the field takes another gear.
Another scout went as far as to question if Trubisky even took the next step last season, crediting Matt Nagy’s scheme for the increase in production. The same scout also gave Trubisky credit for being “a really mentally strong kid” and suggesting that it could be worth it in the long haul so long as he grows out of some tough early times. But a third scout leveled the most important questions surrounding Trubisky’s future.
- “Can he consistently make the routine throw?”
- “And can he make the big-time throw?”
- Can he be good enough in the pocket to get you where you want to go?”
Those are fair questions. And without having answers right now, I can understand why this scout is skeptical about Trubisky’s future, why he has doubts, and why he questions if the Bears’ franchise quarterback can truly be a top-end player at the position. Then again, the same scout notes Trubisky is tough to defend because of improved (but still inconsistent) throwing and impressive athletic ability, and ultimately coming to a conclusion that he believes Trubisky will be a “solid” quarterback when it is all said and done.
Without having answers to the questions and concerns above, I can see the perspective of those who wanted to see Trubisky and the offense take a few turns in the preseason. Because while health is of the utmost importance, establishing a rhythm and identity in the early stages of an offense’s second year has value, too. But that’s water under the bridge at this stage of the summer. At least we are just two sleeps away from the season-opener, which will hopefully put us on the path to getting some answers.