Mitch Trubisky has been taking some heat lately, but his general manager has his back.
Bears GM Ryan Pace addressed a number of topics on the WBBM News Radio 780 and 105.9 FM pregame show, among them were a pair of quips regarding the quarterback he moved up to choose in the 2017 NFL Draft. Larry Mayer of the Bears’ website shared a transcript of the interview, which you can check out here.
But the Trubisky highlights are too good to overlook right now.
Pace expressed optimism that Trubisky’s play will improve in the future, citing the second half of the Eagles game as progress after an awful first half.
“You see it within games right now. You saw it in Philly; it was really a tale of two halves. So he’s fighting his way out of it within games,” Pace explained. “We all know that Mitch can play better. Mitch knows that. He’s just in the process of navigating through this along with the rest of the offense. He has confidence in himself. His teammates have confidence in him. And we’ve just got to fight through it.”
However, even with a better second half, Trubisky’s passer rating last Sunday was 66.6 and he went without throwing a touchdown. All five of his touchdown throws have come in two quarters of play, which has been a sticking point for criticism.
Trubisky’s mental toughness has also been questioned this season, but Pace believes his quarterback has what it takes to pull through because of Head Coach Matt Nagy’s understanding of the position.
“I think this is all part of playing quarterback in the NFL. Every quarterback goes through this and it’s just part of the experience,” Pace said. “We’re fortunate that we have a head coach that understands him more than anyone. … Other young quarterbacks around the league are going through it, the same thing and honestly we’re proud of the way Mitch is handling it.”
It is important that Pace has come out backing his head coach and quarterback, if only because Pace isn’t as widely available as other front office types in this town.
For example, Cubs executive Theo Epstein and White Sox counterpart Rick Hahn are often available at the park after the team comes home from a lengthy road trip. John Paxson gives a yearly state of the Bulls address on radio around Christmastime. Even Blackhawks leader Stan Bowman chimes in from time to time.
But because the Bears play just once a week, there isn’t a regularly-scheduled, built-in time for time with the press. And this was long overdue. The Bears had been struggling, their coach and quarterback have been under fire, and a team with Super Bowl aspirations is a long shot to make the playoffs. So while I would have liked for this to have come earlier, getting it in late instead of never is better than the alternative.